Sunday, May 4, 2014

Review: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Delivers More Thrills and Romance

by Shervaan Baros

Peter Parker engages his mysterious past when an old friend, Harry Osborn, returns to New York with evidence linking him to Oscorp and their shady experiments. A serious accident occurs at the company, and turns an obsessive employee into Spider-Man’s deadliest foe yet, the raging, power-consuming Electro, who has a personal vendetta against our masked hero.  Peter’s gamble with his love life takes a toll on him, and the realities he now faces as both man and menace, will force him to travel down a few dark paths if he is to defeat every new-emerging threat, and protect the ones he cares about most.

Okay, I’m gonna level with you. The film’s first act is perhaps not the easiest to be smitten with. In fact, it’s as sloppy as you don’t want it to be. It’s fairly random, the dialogue is just a sin, there is a ton of clumsy foreshadowing, and you just don’t care.  Then, somewhere after the first 40 minutes, director Marc Webb manages to mop up this mess, and deliver an increasingly-satisfying film. I don’t know how he did it, but he did it, and the leap is initially so jarring it’s like you’ve stepped into a different film altogether. The real hero of the film isn’t Spider-Man, or even Marc Webb. It’s the romance between the two leads, which is so extraordinary to watch, it’s inspiring. I’ve never been as invested in a superhero’s love life than I’ve been for Spiderman’s, and I’m sure many people will say the same, be it in this rebooted film series, or Sam Raimi’s original trilogy.

Magnificent Six, indeed. Led by Hans Zimmer, this team-up of artists provided unique and detailed pieces for each character, that added more texture and depth than the film even knew how to handle at times. The main theme isn’t particularly memorable, and it seems more like an afterthought when compared to Electro’s theme. Nevertheless, the music is as super-charged as the lead villain, and it’s completely different from anything ever experienced in a superhero film. Hans Zimmer once again cements himself as a music god.

Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone are meant for each other. That’s putting it bluntly, but it’s clearly obvious. Their chemistry transcends the screen, and that alone is sufficient to warrant the term “Amazing” in the title. It causes these films to stand out. Say what you want about the films, but that can’t be denied. The two leads are match-for-match superb. Jamie Foxx is given some really terrible dialogue, but he pushes through it without batting an eye, and gives a really good performance as Electro. Dane DeHaan has been one of my favourite actors to watch since his “debut” in Chronicle, and delivers a far more chilling take on the Harry Osborn character than we’ve seen before.

Wait for the film’s climax. Wait ‘til you get to that scene. Wait ‘til the credits roll. And now wait another two years ‘til the next one. Practically insufferable. Oh, and Peter Capaldi would be an awesome J. Jonah Jameson, if they’re looking to cast the role for the next go-around.

A jilted, sort-of ridiculously entertaining, weird, cool, sometimes nonsensical, then back to ridiculously entertaining again, mash-up of a film. This Spiderman film both initiates and phases out tons of universe-building blocks, with the promise of a more emotional and focused way forward.

RATING: 7/10