“The Amazing Spider-Man 2:” Not as bad as they said

Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures.
Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures.

It started out as one of the most anticipated movies for this summer, but as premier day got nearer, negative reviews aligned one after the other got me doubting. In the end, “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” gave me a fun, joyful experience which I really don’t regret.

This Spider-Man movie, directed by Marc Webb, gave a better sense of how it is in the cartoons more so than Sam Rami’s franchise of “Spider-Man” in the early 2000s.

Just like Rami’s first installment of “Spider-Man,” this movie was dark and somber, but counterbalanced that with the joy we get from the comics. With “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” Webb managed to assemble the best of both worlds. He used Rami’s comic book sensibilities, villain description, creative and colorful action, beautiful view of the city with his own faithfulness to the comics, humor, quality and and chemistry between the actors.

As a result, we get the same Spider-Man of the comic books, played amazingly by Andrew Garfield in his expressions and the way he walks and talks.

The movie takes place after Peter Parker’s high school graduation. Peter is loving life as Spider-Man. Unfortunately, all the hero stuff has grabbed the attention of some pretty tough bad guys at Oscorp.

It was never a secret to the viewer that Spider-Man’s bigger struggle was with himself. The dual personality of Peter Parker, who has to deal with his normal obligations and the tremendous responsibilities of Spider-Man. In “The Amazing Spider-Man,” he encounters his hardest test yet.

For Peter Parker, there’s no greater pleasure than being Spider-Man, swinging from building to building while enjoying the hero tag and spending time with his girlfriend, Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone). Being Spider-Man also comes with great adversities: Only he can protect his beloved city of New York against the great threats that are posed by the villains.

In Electro (Jamie Foxx), Peter faces a villain which is far more powerful than he is. When his best friend Harry Osborn (Dan DeHaan) comes back in town, Peter comes to the realization that all of his foes originated from the same base: Oscorp.

The plot of the movie was a wonderful and coherent story tied in together with some unexpected twists contributing to who Spider-Man was originally. I was not left perplexed nor in the dark about anything during the movie. Everything that happened in the film was for a particular reason, even the minor details which may go unnoticed. Questions from the first film are gradually answered in this one, including what happened to Peter’s parents.

Another development in the film is the relationship between Peter and Gwen Stacy. Throughout the movie, the two go back and forth on whether they should be together after Peter promised Gwen’s father he would stay away from her. This indecisiveness hampers the couple from moving on with their separate lives.

Harry Osborn finally makes his long awaited appearance in this film, but he is faced with some difficult situations which consequently bring him and Peter back into each others lives.

Sally Fields’ Aunt May brought some realism to this superhero movie. Throughout the film she is struggling to adjust to life without her husband, Uncle Ben, including problems such as paying bills and raising Peter, who just graduated from high school. As Peter is embarking on a life of independence, he is relying on his aunt less and less, when at the same time she needs him more than ever.

Courtesy of Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Imageworks.
Courtesy of Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures Imageworks.

Max, aka Electro, is played brilliantly by award winning actor Jamie Foxx. An electrical engineer at Oscorp, Max lives a sad life with no friends and relatives. He gets no respect or affection, but when he meets Spider-Man, he is ecstatic. This brief encounter shows the full extent of Max’s loneliness and how irrelevant he was to everyone around him. After Max gets his powers, all that goes to his head, making him a crazy villain. He is jealous of Spider-Man’s fame and also wants to feel relevant.

The theme for this “Spider-Man” film is about people feeling incapable of fighting the forces of the world and not getting what they desire most. It’s about people making decisions that separate them from the one they love.

In the end, I give “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” three out of four stars. It was a really good superhero movie. If you are a fan of the comics, you certainly won’t be disappointed. If you are a fan of action however, there may not be as many action scenes as you would like, but the few you get are purely entertaining. This is well worth the money and I am glad I ignored the negative reviews.