The Spider-Man reboot franchise is very polarizing. Some people loved the new direction Marc Webb has taken with the series and some think that the Sam Raimi movies should never have been touched. I am more of a fan of the former. Oddly enough, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is very very different from both the Raimi series and the first film.
The movie is about Peter Parker/Spider-Man trying to juggle his personal life with friends and loved ones and being a superhero and saving people. He is great at saving people, and honestly he saved more people in this movie than Superman did in Man of Steel. The movie opens with a flashback to Peter’s parents and we get a little more back story on them. Then we cut to a classic Spider-Man and even comic book trope. The hero fighting a small villain before we get into our main story. In this case it is a pre-Rhino suit Aleksi Sytsevich (Paul Giamati) and you can tell that Paul has always wanted to be a villain; he hams it up hardcore, but it is still funny and endearing, especially since his character in the comics is pretty silly himself.
We then get into the complicated relationship that is PeterxGwen. I think they pulled off the relationship aspect pretty well. Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield have wonderful chemistry throughout the entire film. It can get a little ridiculous because it is so on again off again, but this is Spider-Man, he is never going to have the perfect relationship, no matter how hard he tries. I also love that throughout this movie Gwen doesn’t take any of Peter’s shit. She is strong and even though she loves him, she isn’t going to let him tell her what to do all the time.
Then we learn about Max Dillon (Jaimie Foxx) Honestly, I was not looking forward to this casting; no, because of his race, but because I had only seen Foxx in two movies I thought he was good. However, he does a fairly decent job in this movie. Max Dillon is a very, very sad human being. He is pushed around by everyone, and no one really remembers his name. But then Spider-Man saves him one day, and he becomes obsessed. And not in a Tumblr kinda way, in a creepy serial killer kinda way. Unfortunately for Max (as it seems with most Spider-Man villains), he ends up falling into a tank of genetically modified electric eels and is transformed into the energy draining Electro.
Meanwhile, Harry Osborne has returned to NYC and soon develops a hatred for Spider-Man. This leads to him doing some very, very bad things. Through the course of the film he shares intimate moments with Peter Parker and it can be very touching. If you are not prepared you might just find yourself shipping them. Dane Dehaan kills it in this film. He is not exactly like Harry from the comics or the original films, but he has such a menacing look and crazed persona at times that you understand why he was cast.
The music in this film is fantastic. Hans Zimmer stepped up his game for this. And I don’t know much about Pharrell but he did he a pretty good job with his tidbits. I am fairly certain he did the crazy Electro theme. The main theme is very inspirational and fun to listen to. It is nice to see something a little less moody from Hans Zimmer, and no big “BWAAAAAAAAMP” noise.
The film is not with out its negatives though. At times it can feel a little bloated and drags on from time to time. Yes, the film has three villains, but they do not make the film overcrowded. It is clear that the main villain in this film is Electro. He has the most screen time and it focuses mainly on him. The other two villains feel like they are set up for the sequel. That and one of them is used so we can have a very, very iconic scene from a popular Spider-Man storyline. And let me just say, you will not leave the theater with all your feels intact. I was bawling towards the end of this film. Another issue I had was actually with Electro. While I think Jaimie Foxx had a good performance, there were times where the writing for his character was very sloppy. He seemed human most of the time, but there were times he felt a bit cartoony and two-dimensional.
The film is nowhere near perfect, but it is a fun film. It drags at certain parts, but when it kicks it into high gear it is quite enjoyable. Apart from some the script issues, the film can be very entertaining. I give The Amazing Spider-Man 2: 7.5 Webshooters out of 10.