The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

I went back and re-watched the first movie, and I should probably have given it about half a point higher than the 1.75 I gave it. But, I was particularly upset with the creators of the movie at the time, so I hope you can forgive me. After having watched this one, the sequel, I can firmly say I liked the second movie better than the first. I still have an issue with all the CG Spider-man swinging through the CG city after CG cars or CG bad guys, but this is what we signed up for.

Andrew Garfield is growing on me as Spider-man. He has the right body type for it, and Toby McGuire never did. Plus, there was that third McGuire Spider-man movie. Whoa. Well, Andy manages to pull off the role pretty well. More importantly, they wrote the role in a way very similar to how the comics write him, and that means he's charming and funny while fighting. Toby never pulled that off.

Emma Stone is cute as heck, but that blonde hair just doesn't work on her. She's a great redhead and a pretty brunette, but the blonde is just not great. However, she overcomes this deficiency to deliver her lines like a pro - with wit where called for and emotion when they pop up. Her character even gains a little bit of a third dimension as the two of them deal with difficulties that might actually happen in the real world as well as the fake superhero world.

Jamie Foxx is the newcomer in this movie, and he plays the bumbling nobody who has serious self-image issues that carry over into his new persona when he has an accident at work that makes him a supervillain named Electro. The effects they use for him are CG-heavy, but they are actually very good. His villainous master plan, however, is not really so great. He doesn't really understand his powers, and he doesn't understand what his own goals are. It's pretty novel for a villain, and I kind of like the change of pace.

Rhino is briefly played by Paul Giamatti, and it is a shame that his character appears at all. I always kind of liked the stupid simple character that Rhino plays in the comics, and the fact that he was just a side note in this movie reminds me of the way Bane was in the Batman movie with Poison Ivy (I can't remember which one of the crappy Batmans it was, and I'm not going to look it up. It may have been the George Clooney one). Admittedly, Rhino was never really a big character in the comics, but to just toss him in is a bit pointless.

Dane DeHaan has a real problem. He has to play Andy's best friend and also the creepy psychopath who will eventually (as everyone who has seen the previous movies knows) become the evil nemesis Green Goblin. He does creepy nemesis just fine, but it's pretty much impossible to like him in his good guy role. I guess they didn't want to go for the dual personalities that they used for both Willem Dafoe and James Franco in the previous incarnation, but that really seems like the only way to swing wildly from love to hate with any believably.

Honorable mention goes to Sally Field. It's hard to play the doddering old Aunt May in any incarnation of Spider Man, but she manages to play her smart enough to be realistic, but wrapped up in her own problems enough to ignore what is pretty obviously going on with her nephew. She is much improved over the fussy, mostly useless version that Rosemary Harris had to play. Rosemary seemed skillful enough, but she had to deal with a pretty terribly written part.

Effects were good (too much CG)
Acting was good
Cinematography was good
Story was good
Action was a bit disjointed



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