The temperature is rising, ladies are wearing these pretty, frilly, little sun dresses everywhere I go, and grown men are on the big screen wearing spandex. Yep, the summer movie season is here and it kicks off this week with The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
Andrew Garfield is back as Peter Parker, and his life is getting complicated (amazing how that happens when you are leading a secret life as a masked vigilante).
He’s still in love with Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), even though he promised her Dad (Denis Leary) he would stay away from her to keep her out of danger.
An obsessed fan, Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx), has suffered a horrible accident at Oscorp, and, now he has morphed into the villain Electro and wants revenge on everyone who ignored him and took advantage of him throughout his life (and that is many many people).
And, Peter’s pal Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) has returned to town and he needs Spider-Man’s blood to overcome a crippling disease that is killing Daddy Osborn (Chris Cooper) and has been passed down to him, too (do you think that might cause a little rift between those BFFs?).
Can Spider-Man save the day?
Summer movies usually mean bigger and louder, but The Amazing Spider-Man 2 needs to economize a little bit.
Garfield is great as Peter Parker as we see the young man grappling with all sorts of emotions, responsibilities and so much confusion as he tries to sort out the right path for himself as he attempts to come to grips with his past, present and future. While it is a cliché, the kid is a tortured soul who wants to do good, but also wants to have a good life for himself. Frankly, it’s almost a shame to see Garfield all covered up with the mask and spandex, since he is so good at playing Parker versus spouting some one-liners as Spider-Man.
However, I just wish we had one villain to focus on, because both of these guys deserve more time to grow the characters and make them into more than cartoons.
Jamie Foxx is fantastic as Electro, but we never get enough time to see his previous life as Max Dillon. We get a few glimpses, but the three person writing team could have expanded on this and given us a better understanding of all of the reasons he is full of rage and bitterness. With all of this before the big event that makes him the bad guy, Foxx could have given the character more of a sympathetic vibe, which would have caused some great mixed emotions with the audience and made him a more complex and rewarding character.
Then, DeHaan elevates Harry Osborn beyond being a sniveling little spoiled brat even when the script doesn’t quite reach the same heights his performance does. He has the classic villain look, so why not give him the lines and scenes to match?
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has all of the action you want, especially those mind blowing scenes of the webbed one swinging through the city with abandon, so let’s go for it this weekend.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is rated PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action/violence.