Great power doesn't just come with great responsibility but also at a great cost. Heroes deal with their painful pasts and yet rise to face the evil that can threaten the present day. It is their ability to overcome those personal battles in times when darkness looms over society, that makes them superheroes. In the follow-up to the reboot of Raimi's Spiderman trilogy, director Marc Webb (!) massively improvises upon the story's technological rendering and the human element of it that delineates the challenges of being a superhero for an ordinary man. Peter Parker's ability to overcome his fears, his childhood loss, his financial instability and relationship's complication is what really makes him the Amazing Spiderman and in its 2nd installment, his portrayal by Andrew Garfield outclasses any prior attempt. At the burden-heavy core of his responsibility web is Emma Stone's charming Gwen Stacy who is perhaps the most lovable superhero girlfriend yet.
As Spiderman busies himself with crime prevention in the city, thus gaining popularity among its citizens, Peter Parker's personal struggles mount. Devoting time for his girlfriend and being there for her big moments is one challenge but visions of her deceased father warning him to keep her out of his harm's way is a decision that is taken by his destiny and not him. Meanwhile, Harry Osborne (Dan DeHaan) returns to his ailing father's death-bed to take over a device containing his life's work and his empire of OsCorp. The same illness however is detected in Harry and his only solution to a cure is blood transfusion from Spiderman. The hero's woes aren't over just yet. In a freak accident in a lab, Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx) is submerged in a tank of genetically modified Eels that mutate him into 'Electro' – a living electric station that has the power to cause a massive blackout and use that energy against Spiderman. Parker soon realizes that all of his challenges have OsCorp in common and it is his father's hidden video feed that clarifies Norman Osborn's true intentions about the biogenetic projects. Spiderman must now face all his demons, take high volts of electricity thrown at him by Electro, combat the wrath of the goblin-glide rider Harry Osborn and keep Gwen away from imminent danger. A hero's strength will become his weakness and he will pay a price to be the savior of the city that he must protect.
The action is frenetic at times and draws parallels with 'Man of Steel' where each sequence isn't elaborately explained but is delivered in its intense form directly. We all know the powers of Spiderman so the director doesn't waste time in how he goes about the action. The swinging scenes are better than ever at engaging the audience, the action is bigger and Spiderman's powers seem enhanced. The special effects truly come into play when portraying the destruction by Electro and yet, they simply aid the story and characters. The plot balances well between being a Superhero's struggle story and an all-out action duel.
Dane DeHaan plays a sinister Harry Osborn with evil emanating from his expressions. Jamie Foxx 's innocent Max Dillon is then transformed into the CGI version that is Electro and Foxx is excellent in his powerful villain's character. As secrets that are buried in the past are revealed, Peter understands his purpose better and overcomes his challenges. Garfield's quirkiness works in his friendship with Harry, his vulnerability works with Aunt May and his ambivalence works with Gwen. In an all round performance, Garfield manages to out-swing The Amazing Spiderman's curse of being the 5th movie about the superhero in 12 years. Emma Stone's Gwen Stacy is the reason this film stands out beyond all the action and effects. Her charming portrayal of the young, ambitious and intelligent individual is such a far cry from Kirsten Dunst's Mary Jane. Peter's fears raise complications between them while Gwen's confidence and charm bring them closer. The scene when they establish 'ground rules' after a break up can just make one fall in love with her as Peter did. Gwen's science degree makes her more of an understanding partner rather than just a romantic one and such chemistry makes them the best couple in a superhero film.
Faced with an enemy far superior in powers, a complicated relationship shrouded in fear and a past remembered for its losses, the friendly neighborhood Spiderman must rise to live up to a role that every superhero embraces. Through the dark days that took over the city and through days he felt alone, what made our hero 'The Amazing Spiderman' was his ability to give hope to people...... and of course, how he can free fall from the tallest building's top and make us spend all that money on its 3D effect.
- 8.234 on a scale of 1-10.
36 out of 56 found this helpful.
Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.