Cast: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, Paul Giamatti, Sally Field, Felicity Jones, Colm Feore, Campbell Scott, Embeth Davidtz, BJ Novak, Denis Leary
Directed By: Marc Webb
The thing I learned today is that there are a lot more Spider-Man comic book fans than I would have thought, and there are still some who are oblivious to comic books. There was an audible gasp when Felicity Jones revealed her character’s name was Felicia. As in Felicia Hardy, aka Black Cat. No, they don’t go anywhere with that. Nor do they go anywhere with Alistair Smythe. But people definitely appreciated the Black Cat name drop.
An equal amount of people were audibly shocked at the death in the film. You know the death. If you don’t know the death, I won’t 100% spoil it for you, but it’s a big death in the comic book franchise repeated here on the screen. Shot almost exactly how it happened in the comic book, it is a powerful moment. And there were audible gasps, and at least one person crying.
The film spends a ton of time on the mysterious deaths of Ma and Pa Parker, and just why they died, and what they had discovered. The mystery isn’t 100% revealed, obviously because they knew they were going to do a third film. Another sign of them doing a third film, is that the film ends with a climatic battle between Rhino and Spidey, suggesting more like Rhino are coming (like Vulture, for instance). And at least one of the two MAIN villains (Electro/Green Goblin) is still alive for a reprise in the third film.
Andrew Garfield is a more appropriate Spider-Man than Tobey Maguire. He really embraces the humor of Spidey. However, I think Tobey was a better Peter Parker (except for Emo Parker in the third film). Emma Stone is a great alpha female, taking ownership of her own need to do the right thing, and perform a great act of heroism. She has a speech at the beginning of the film that basically foreshadows the whole film though. Bad form.
Special effects? Oh yeah. The Electro effects are super cool. He glows the whole film, and the electricity looks great shooting from him. It’s really well done, really realistic. He doesn’t ever look CGI’d at all. I could have done without the bizarre makeup on Goblin, which seems to be easily curable by the end of the film. Don’t transform him into yoda, and then just create a cure out of thin air.
It’s an improvement on the first Amazing Spider-Man, for sure, but it has hits and misses. Rhino is basically a waste of time, and Paul Giamatti. I get that you’re setting up a third film, but Dane DeHaan needed more screentime to make Harry not look like a psychotic emo rich kid. Special Effects on Electro= Good. Makeup Effects On Goblin= Bad. The Rhino Suit? Silly. Emma Stone? Fantastic. Overall plot structure? Pretty good.
FINAL GRADE? B