“The Amazing Spider-Man 2” swung into theaters this past weekend and has already gained an estimated $92 million domestically. The most recent Spider-Man fits perfectly into the newly reimagined, mature Marvel universe.
Director Marc Webb was tasked with rebooting the series in 2012, after three previously successful franchise installments by Sam Raimi. Webb’s Spider-Man is young, and revived the series in the sense of putting it into a young actor’s hand, so that it could go even farther than before. With all that is happening inside the Marvel Universe, Spider-Man appears as if he won’t or at least is attempting not to be left behind. Exactly how and where he will fit into the larger picture, being unable to break into the widely successful Marvel Studio films, he and his franchise appear to be finding a place to fit or at least branching off as a world all its own.
Jumping from where the first movie left off, Spider-Man is still miss understood by society. He now only has his Aunt May (Sally Field) since his Uncle Ben was killed and he has "promised" to stay away from Gwen. The city still wonders is he a hero or a menace? This movie seems to portray him as a mix of both, but that seems to be the case for any super hero. They save the city and often times save the girl yet cause a wake of destruction, chaos and mixed emotions. This movie seems to be staying in line with varying reception of good and bad reviews.
From the start, unknown to the audience yet, we see Russian mobster who later becomes Rhino (Paul Giamatti). This movie propels the audience towards the upcoming two, already in development, movies for the franchise. The movie then catches up with Peter Park aka Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield) and Gwen (Emma Stone) as they are preparing to graduate high school. Peter Parker’s character feels a bit more matured from the start of this one and only continues that feeling throughout the entire movie. We hear less of his egotistical, self-assured aside comments as we did in the first movie. Spider-Man is growing up, at least in many ways seems to be.
The movie as a whole has very serious themes and emotional issues running throughout, which follows in line with the other modern comic book movies. Peter Parker still struggles with his parents "abandoning" him leaving him with his aunt and uncle. He struggles with staying true to his word and a promise over his own personal desires. Harry Osborn, CEO of OsCorp, following his father’s death struggles with his own mortality and like Peter the loss of a parent, all the while attempting to maintain control of his company.
We are introduced to the man who will become Electro (Jamie Foxx), Max Dillon, an OsCorp engineer, who is an emotionally troubled man with feelings of being ignored, invisible and unappreciated. After being saved by Spider-Man, Max becomes unhealthily obsessed with him. Both Max and Spider-Man have a weird stalker vibe about them, Max with Spider-Man and Spider-Man/Peter Parker with Gwen, which turns out disastrous for them both.
The main villain for this movie is Electro, yet part of why this movie succeeds a little more than the previous, is that the villains don't stop there. By the end, we are introduced to The Green Goblin and Rhino, with the expectation of many more to come. Like all the other movies in the Marvel universe, this builds up and adds villains or characters in order to build towards additional movies. This movie is no different and already has audiences anticipating the next Spider-Man installment, possibly the “Sinister Six” and in the credits offers a clip from the upcoming “X-Men: Days of Future Past”.
This movie offers exciting twists, turns that will leave the audience both cheering, and fighting tears. Spider-Man is a different man by the end of this movie and the ramifications of this movie’s events will forever ripple in his world. Audiences will have to wait until 2016 for the next “Spider-Man” installment, but now we must just wait, read all the gossip and see where the franchise will go.