Spider-man is Amazing “Too”!
In 2004, we were given the sequel to Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man film “Spider-Man 2”. Now 10 years later, we get the sequel to Marc Webb’s “Amazing” reboot “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.” For those of you who don’t know, or don’t remember, the reason that Sony decided to reboot the Spider-Man series is due to conflicts between Raimi and Sony on where to go with the series. Stating how he hated the way the third film came out and how he was being pushed to complete the project by May 6, 2011, Raimi left the project. After much searching, Webb was brought on and later Andrew Garfield, and The Amazing Spider-Man was born.
The film, like its predecessor, is much more faithful to the comic books than the previous series, and therefore can make this film series with plots closer to the comics. Along with that, the costume has gotten a massive redesign, being the first to be accurate to the source material (case in point larger, more comic eyes on the mask similar to the mask in the comics.) The web shooters make a return, as Spidey does not have organic web shooters, a concept that appeared in the “Disassembled” storyline of the comics, like he did in the previous trilogy, with a new design appearing less like a modified wrist watch.
OsCorp returns as the driving force behind the villains, being responsible for Rhino, Electro, and the Green Goblin (obviously). Rhino’s appearance isn’t as big as the other two villains, however he sets up the Sinister Six spin-off, similar to the cameos in such films as Iron Man and Thor.
Electro, portrayed by Jamie Foxx, is closer to his appearance in the ultimate marvel universe, with a skin tight jumpsuit and blue electricity skin, however while ultimate electro only turns blue when defeated. Foxx’s appearance as Electro has him constantly blue, with the effect of a storm raging under his skin, and changing color depending on his mood (blue for normal and red for angry).
Dillon also gains his powers from falling into a vat of electric eels while being electrocuted. As Max Dillon, Foxx portrays Dillon as a clumsy scientist and a “nobody”, who idolizes Spidey after he rescues him, which turns into an obsession, due to Dillon being ostracized his whole life and misunderstanding Spidey’s remark of “your my eyes and ears out here” which was more of a “hey you are important, you matter” than a “you are important, your my sidekick.” This causes him to want to kill Spider-Man and make the whole world see him after he’s incarcerated in Ravencroft mental institution where he is studied.
Harry Osborn, played by Dane DeHaan, takes over OsCorp, and is affected by the same disease as his father, which led Norman Osborn to hire Peter’s dad to create the spider that bit Peter in the first film. Desperate to cure himself of the disease that took his father, Harry seeks out Spider-Man to obtain his blood believing it to be the best hope of curing him, of which the former’s rejection causing the young CEO to take the drastic measure which turns him into the Green Goblin.
As Harry, DeHaan, does a very good job of portraying him as a desperate man on the verge of death. When he sees his father on his death bed, he’s informed of the heredity of the disease, and how fast acting it is. Knowing his time is short, and being the newly appointed CEO of a multibillion dollar company, forced Harry into a dire situation. When Spidey refused to give him his blood due to the danger he fear it poses, it makes Harry a man without hope, until he learns about the existing spider venom, which turns him into the Green Goblin.
As the Goblin, he’s actually insane something James Franko’s portrayal of the goblin in Spider-Man 3 was lacking. In most Spider-Man universes, be it the original, ultimate, or whatever universe you reference, the Green Goblin is insane no matter if it is Norman or Harry.
In Sam Raimi’s trilogy, however Harry is not so much insane, as he is impulsive and stubborn, refusing to listen to reason. However, this is not insane, this is being impetuous. While yes more than once, Norman appears to Harry in reflections and as a disembodied voice, this could be seen as less insane as more his drive to avenge the apposed murder of his father at the hands of Spider-Man.
The outfit DeHaan wears as the Goblin is high tech battle armor, similar to the New Goblin’s outfit, but actually serving a purpose as the battle suit heals the damage caused by the spider venom worsening his disease, but not fixing the physical damage it caused. Harry also has the general assortment of weapons the Goblin normally has (i.e. Pumpkin Bombs, the glider, razor blades, ect).
Peter’s relationship with Gwen is that of a “normal” teenage couple, with Gwen being able to deal with the fact that her boyfriend is Spider-Man for the most part. However, what strains their relationship is Peter’s inability to ignore her father’s dying request to stay away from her at the end of the first film. Even though Gwen wants to be with Peter, he feels guilty that he’s breaking a dying man’s request, and is even haunted by apparitions of Captain Stacy when talking to Gwen or at random times. This leads to their break up, and causes a bit of drama between the two throughout the whole film.
While three villains did not work out in Spider-Man 3, the concept works here as it sets up the Sinister Six spin off, and Spidey’s adversaries are not dropping like flies. Electro is the main focus villain of this film, as he is the most damaged of the three. While the Green Goblin can be seen as a set up character, his part serves to simultaneously further develop Spider-Man’s character in the series, along with keeping true to the source material. Rhino is mainly a set up, but serves to motivate Spidey to do what he does best.
Overall, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is an excellent film and a worthy sequel to the reboot. The special effects and make-up for the villains was extremely impressive, especially for Electro. The story is close to the source material, and it follows the Marvel film tradition of setting up for future films, something the previous film failed to do for the most part. I highly recommend seeing this film, whether you saw the previous film, or are a fan of the comics.