Review: Peter Parker swings between two lives in ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’

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Marvel Enterprises/Columbia Pictures

Most would believe that being “the amazing Spider-Man” sounds like a dream. You could have superpowers, be a crime fighting vigilante, and swing from skyscraper to skyscraper. But the new movie “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” debunks this dream completely, as both the audience and the beloved protagonists discover that being a superhero has a price.

Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone star as Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy. The movie opens to at their high school graduation, with Gwen about to give her valedictory speech. Everyone in the class is present, except Peter, who is fighting crime rather than being there for his own graduation.

This pattern repeats itself, as Peter finds himself struggling to balance the personal things in his life with his vigilante tasks. His problems pile up as he struggles to deal with the guilt of endangering Gwen by dating her. At the same time, he is sucked into the mystery that is his parents’ disappearance, and eventually he faces a whopping total of three villains.

In this exciting movie, Spider-man faces villains Electro (Jamie Foxx), his demented childhood friend Harry Osborn (Dane DeHann), and eventually The Rhino (Paul Giamatti). The fight scenes and general cinematography in this movie are incredible, but there is not much else about the villain scenes that is interesting. The cheesy one-liners that roll off of their tongues are hard to take seriously. These characters also have such ridiculous justifications for their malicious ways that it is difficult to sympathize with them at all.

Although Peter has to fight off these villains, the movie is more of a character study, as we watch Peter fighting his own demons. His life quickly becomes a mess when he has to face his past and his parents’ past in order to establish a future for himself and Gwen, notwithstanding the crazed Electro.

Peter balances his problems quite poorly, as do the director and screenwriters. The burden of juggling each task Peter has to undertake falls to the audience. It is easy to become confused, as the movie jumps between locations and characters seemingly randomly.

One of the best things about this movie is that the chemistry between Peter and Gwen is incredible. This can be chalked up to the fact that their actors, Garfield and Stone, have been in a romantic relationship themselves. All the long looks and kisses look very sweet and real, because in fact, they are.

In general, the characters seem real. The acting was remarkably believable, the interactions between the characters are very telling as to the dynamic of their relationship. The established friendships become very evident due to the behavior of the actors.

“The Amazing Spider-Man 2” has an amazing soundtrack. Along with the instrumental action themed tracks, the movie featured a lot of indie songs that really match the plot.

Overall, this movie is really incredible. At times, Peter’s journey is hard to follow. However, do not let this deter you from seeing it as soon as possible. Despite a bumpy plot, “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” is still a thrilling and fun movie that deserves your time.

Our Grade: B
Rated: PG-13
Length: 136 minutes
Genre: Action
Director: Marc Webb
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHann