Posted by Cassandra T. in Movie Reviews, Spider-Man on May 2, 2014
WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD! I just finished watching The Amazing Spider-Man 2 yesterday, and while the plot wasn’t great, there were some very emotional and touching moments throughout the movie. The spoilers start right in the next paragraph so if knowing what happens will ruin it for you, TURN BACK HERE! NOW!!!
If you do not know the major plot twist that is in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, it is this: Gwen Stacy dies. Killing the love interest of Spidey is a BIG deal, so it was with much anticipation that I watched TASM2 to see how the story would play out.
It is clear that Gwen Stacy, played by the lovely Emma Stone, is the scene stealer of the show. Her valedictorian graduation speech, her courage to stand up to Spidey, and her earnestness to fight for what she believes in left me impressed right to the very end. More on her later!
Spider-Man (played by Andrew Garfield) feels like he is trying too hard, with his constant lame taunting of his enemies while fighting them. Without the mask, Peter Parker feels like a devil-may-care boy who just graduated high school and wants to have fun. He feels very different from Tobey Maguire’s Spidey, who was shy, serious, nerdy yet thoughtful, and somehow just more befitting of Spider-Man (OK, I am being biased – I admit it!).
The baddies in this movie are sadly forgettable. Max Dillon (a.k.a. Electro) started out promisingly, as an outcast weirdo genius who develops an unhealthy attachment to Spidey. However, the film fails to generate enough sympathy or interest for Max for me to care much about the fight between Spidey and Electro.
As for Harry Osborn (a.k.a Green Goblin), his character development is the opposite of Electro’s. He starts out stiff, awkward, and pretentious, but as he starts experiencing the symptoms of the genetic disease his father, Norman Osborn, died of, I start to sympathize and understand his increasing desperation to cure himself, and his anger at Spider-Man. Dane DeHaan makes an excellent Green Goblin, and it is too bad that he went down without much of a fight, or enough screen time as the Green Goblin.
As I have always said, the true gauge of a movie’s greatness is in its ability to touch the audience’s heart. While the director Marc Webb (oh, the irony! Webb, geddit?) failed to do so with Spidey’s baddies, he made up for it with Gwen and Aunt May. The loss of Uncle Ben still brings great pain to Aunt May, and every scene where she has a heartfelt talk with Peter never fails to bring tears to my eyes.
For Gwen, her courage and earnestness really won me over. By the mid-point of the movie I was really rooting for her and Spidey to stay together, despite all the difficulties they would have to face (Does she have to die?! Really? Come on, it’s too cruel!) However, she DOES die, and I have to say, her death was pretty anti-climactic and quite disappointing for me.
The best scenes of the movie occur after her death though, as Peter grieves and Spider-Man goes MIA for 5 months. Will Spidey recover from the loss of Gwen?
“It’s easy to feel hopeful on a beautiful day like today, but there will be dark days ahead of us too, and there’ll be days where you feel all alone, and that’s when hope is needed most. Keep it alive.”
What TASM2 does best is in expressing love, hope and finding the courage to go on.