If you have yet to see The Amazing Spiderman 2
, don't read past this point!
Although not as action-packed as its predecessors, and far too long at two and a half hours, The Amazing Spider-Man 2
more than makes up for it with beautiful artistic visuals and a magnificent ensemble of actors who bring their A-game performance for this movie . Andrew Garfield is perfect as a young Peter Parker struggling with his past and double life.
Yes,we ‘ve seen that narrative before, but it is worth noting that it was shown in the previous Spider-Man Trilogy. These were snippets, though, kept more in the realm of cartoons and comics. This was especially true with that jazz-dance walk on the street scene.
Andrew Garfield, on the other hand, plays it closer to reality. Yes, he is a superhero, but at certain moments he can make you forget that you are watching Spiderman. It feels more like the life of Peter Parker, and that what makes this movie unique from other comic book hero adaptions. It is more about the hero’s private life, in contrast to having a rich background story to his journey into becoming a hero. The action and the adventure is in the periphery, not the centre of the movie.
Aside from Garfield, Emma Stone and Sally Field are just as equally amazing in their roles. Gwen Stacey (Emma Stone) is not just the damsel in distress but a true partner for Spiderman, proving her worth with her intelligence. And Emma Stone played her beautifully, showcasing both her independence and vulnerability within a single scene. Meanwhile, Sally Field as Peter’s Aunt May is not the goofy but caring character that was present in the comic books, nor the grandmother-like presence in the previous trilogy. Aunt May is truly Peter’s mother and guiding light. There one brilliant scene in particular where Peter Parker and Aunt May were arguing about a secret from his past that Aunt May's motherly affection becomes apparent. That part felt more like it came out of an Academy Award-winning drama than a comic book action film. Andrew Garfield would have not been able to tackle the great dramatic climaxes with such brilliance, without these two talented actresses.
The villains, on the other hand, were not really given that much screen time. For a man of his talent, Jamie Foxx was under-utilized, despite playing the main villain Electro. Harry Osborne (Dane De Haan) was given more development, and therefore was able to give a magnificent and menacing performance. But that is due in part to Harry being a friend of Peter Parker, and since this movie centres on Peter’s private life, he got more of a storyline.
Now for the bad part: the storyline is good but the narrative and pacing dragged on. Although it makes the movie unique and more character driven, the focus on the drama may be a bit boring for some people. The action scenes were shorter, giving us a nice departure from the norm of the Industry. Instead of giving us several consecutive explosions, they worked on the choreography and used effective stop motion and CGI to literally create beautiful painting-like visuals on the screen. It was so nice, you can literally take a screen shot, print it out and hang it on your wall as a piece of art!
So how does this all stack up? It is a great movie, hands down. The actors are magnificent, the action is great-- just don’t expect a lot of it--and be patient at the dragging parts.
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