Wednesday, April 30, 2014



Review By:
G.P. Manalo

Directed By:
Marc Webb

Andrew Garfield | Emma Stone | Jamie Foxx |
Dane DeHaan | Sally Field | Paul Giamatti |

I’ve always thought that the first The Amazing Spider-Man wasn’t entirely all that “amazing” and it was obvious that there is definitely room for improvement. But for a sequel, it is a step backward somehow because of the flaws the film failed to correct from its predecessor.


After the events of the first film, Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is still haunted by the death of Gwen’s father, and he learns to move on by graduating high school, distancing himself from his daughter, Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) and becoming the city’s greatest defender as Spider-Man. But being Spider-Man has a cost, and it would mean him facing formidable threats such as Electro (Jamie Foxx), The Green Goblin (Dane DeHaan), and The Rhino (Paul Giamatti) coming together to defeat Spider-Man, but Peter has even greater problems as he go deeper to the secrets of his parents’ cause of death when he was only a child.


Like I said, the film had its fair share of problems, the same kind they failed to correct from the last film. The producers of the film wanted the film to be its own universe like how Disney-Marvel is doing these days; Sony seems to think that building a universe would mean running through as many characters and plot points as possible as quickly as possible. The film smothers the narrative as it stuff so much material in one film that lasts for 2 hours long; it had enough material to make 2 movies.  

The other problem is that the film had three villains, a handful of people feared that Sony is repeating history due to its past attempt. Another result to the clunky narrative is that they are under developed even though they had a really good set up; Once they suit up, they exit the movie in a snap and seem that they only exist to get to one fight scene to the next (granted, they are pretty cool to watch). It is unfortunate that they under-developed when you have talents such as Dane Dehaan, Paul Giamatti, and Jamie Foxx; all three who could offer something great for the film if they were given the right amount of time.

The film finds its charm when they develop the man behind the mask effectively, even when it's just about two characters simply talking to each other in a scene; this is where director, Marc Webb truly shines. He gives heart to the chemistry between one character to the other such as Peter and Gwen’s genuinely well-written relationship being the strongest point of the film along with his friendship with Harry, and Aunt May’s mother-like relationship with Peter. Simple scenes like those were the strongest points of the film.  


The film definitely feels like a comic book come to life. Marc Webb finally realized the kind of tone it deserves in a world where a giant lizard man, mad scientists, and an electric fueled man inhabits New York City. The film is no longer dark and gloomy but booms with bright colors in each scene giving that comic book feel to it.

Spider-Man actually gets a score this time around, and it’s all thanks to Hans Zimmer’s helm along with Pharrell Williams and the Magnificent Six. The music is rather diverse, not only limited in orchestral music but also putting techno in the mix. Most of the music has its specifics for each character, for instance Spider-Man would get an orchestra theme while Electro would get a pseudo-metal vibe (and dubstep). Small details like that are quite clever once you notice them. 

The action scenes are a blast to see in the big screen, whenever it is time to suit up it is easily the best scenes we have seen Spider-Man in as it showcases his set of powers creatively, resulting to very entertaining action scenes we have to come to expect in a summer blockbuster superhero flick.


The performances are still strong in this film - at first I wasn’t in favor with Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker, when he is a better Spider-Man but not a good Peter Parker. As the film humanizes the man behind the mask, Andrew Garfield does handle both personas of the character very well as he capture the Spider-Man and Peter Parker we’ve known and loved in the comics. Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy on the other hand is a delight to watch being the best female supporting character (that I truly care about) I have seen in a comic book film so far.

There were also some other great performances like Jamie Foxx’s hero-worshipping introvert, Max Dillion though he does share a large amount of cartoonish-ly cheesy moments throughout the film, there were still a couple of scenes where you truly empathize for the character. Dane DeHaan always plays a genuine villain, a villain where you don’t know when he’ll snap and when he does you can really tell that he is the kind of guy you don’t want to mess with. Lastly we have, Paul Giamatti who is only limited as a cameo throughout the film, for 2 brief scenes he mostly pulls off his best Muppet impression whenever he is seen.  


In the end, the Amazing Spider-Man 2 isn’t entirely amazing as I was expecting it to be nor is it superior to the last film. It was still an entertaining popcorn flick.  The film may have failed to correct the problems of the last film as a sequel but the different material it tries to juggle, however it still makes up a strong string of scenes in this rather clunky narrative.  I left the theater having an impression that this film is rather “pretty okay” in fact they should’ve called this movie as “The Pretty Okay Spider-Man 2”.




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