THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2: “The kind of movie 3D was made for.”

The Amazing Spider Man 2 movie posterAndrew Garfield as Spider-Man / Peter Parker
Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy
Jamie Foxx as Electro / Max Dillon
Dane DeHaan as Green Goblin / Harry Osborn
Campbell Scott as Richard Parker
Sally Field as Aunt May
5 out of 5
In theaters May 2

In this film we find Peter Parker AKA Spider-Man (Garfield) continuing in his role of protector of New York City while suffering the slings and arrows of the people who are not sure if he’s a help or a menace. Peter balances his life between crime fighting, graduating from high school, and his relationship with Gwen Stacy (Stone). Haunted by visions of Gwen’s father, NYPD Captain Stacy, Peter feels a little guilty because he promised Capt. Stacy that he would stay away from Gwen so that she does not become a casualty in the wake of danger that surrounds Spider-Man. Peter is also still deeply haunted by the childhood memories of his parents and why they left him in the care of his Aunt and Uncle.

While thwarting a bunch of criminals who were wreaking havoc across the city, Spidey saves a meek little man , Max Dillon (Foxx) from death. Max, who also is an electrical engineer at OsCorp, is a quiet, sheepish man who wouldn’t say boo to a ghost. Constantly being put upon and taken advantage of by his boss, he is practically invisible. Max basically has no life besides his work and mistakes Spidey’s kindness as the beginning of a friendship between the two. One day at work a freak accident transforms him into a living conductor of electricity. Confused by his new-found power, he causes a public disturbance that calls for Spider-Man’s help. Max is also confused by his interaction with the web-head because he is still clinging to his obsessive delusion that they are friends. This delusion ends as Spidey tries to calm him down, then ends up subduing him for the authorities. As Max is locked away, his admiration for Spider-Man becomes a deep, dark hatred.  Meanwhile, Harry Osborne, an old friend of Peter’s, comes back into town to see his father Norman Osborn, the head of OsCorp, who is on his deathbed. Stricken with a dreadful illness that is genetic, Norman tells Harry that he will suffer the same fate unless he can access a possible cure held in the secret labs of OsCorp—a cure in the form of mutated spider venom. He dies, leaving the company to Harry. As Harry’s illness progresses, so does his desperation and madness. Through the deceit of the board of directors, Harry is barred from the company that is his legacy. Speculating that Spider-Man must have been a recipient of the mutated spider venom, Harry thinks Spidey’s blood can help cure him. Since Peter takes all of Spider-Man’s photos, Harry thinks Peter can contact him and asks Peter to help find him. Spidey eventually tells Harry no, because he has no way of knowing how his blood will effect Harry. It could possibly kill him. This enrages Harry and gives him no other choice than to seek out the spider venom in the lab. Harry seeks a powerful ally to get the formula he thinks will save him. He recruits Max, now Electro, as his partner in mayhem. Harry gets the venom, but when he injects himself, it transforms him into a hideous monster and he blames Spider-Man for his misery. Electro and Green Goblin both have axes to grind with the web-head. Between the two villains, the future of the city is up for grabs. It’s up to your friendly, neighborhood Spider-Man to save the day.

This is the second movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe reboot of the Spider-Man franchise. Most of the cast of the first film have returned. Andrew Garfield web-slings his way across the 3D screen once again as your favorite wall crawler. I just love the way he pulls all those iconic comic book poses as he swings through the sky. Emma Stone portrays the ill-fated Gwen Stacy. I’m finally warming up to her as a blonde. Campbell Scott is Peter’s long absent father and longtime favorite Sally Field returns as his Aunt May. Dane DeHann, who won critical acclaim for his role as Lucien in Kill Your Darlings is sufficiently balancing awkward and alienated as Harry, then creepy and psychotic as the Green Goblin. He’s definitely one to watch, but Jamie Foxx is a stand out. As Max he’s obviously got issues, total obsessive stalker behavior where Spidey is concerned and he translates those issues to his becoming a monster. His characterization is slightly reminiscent of Jim Carey’s Edward Nygma before the transformation. I did feel that he could have done more damage and made a bigger impact, but I understand that there were a lot of plot elements to carry here. Above anything else in this movie, as in the comic, it’s more about the growth and development of Peter Parker and balancing his life and relationships against being Spider-Man. If you are a fan of the web-head as am I, this movie will not disappoint you. This is the kind of movie that 3D was made for. You swoop and fly through the dizzying heights of Manhattan as if you were the wall-crawler himself. For dynamic super hero action all with the Marvel touches, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a great time at the movies. P.S. Paul Giamatti makes a brief appearance as the villain Rhino, but this is very brief and is being teased in the trailers no doubt to set up for the next movie due out in 2015.

Check out the trailer for “THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2″ below:

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