I didn't go into the Amazing Spider-Man 2 with high hopes. Andrew Garfield's broody, emo portrayal of Peter Parker in the first Amazing Spider-Man was almost enough to turn me off. it was his snarky, one-line spewing as the Spider-Man reminiscent of the comics that kept me in the movie and brought me back for more this time around. Peter is supposed to be this shy, smart, bullied kid who gains confidence and power when he dons the spider-suit.
In the comics and throughout his origin, Peter Parker was, to be downright honest, a stereotypical nerd. I don't think anyone can argue this point. It's fact. Stan Lee and Steve Ditko wanted us to sympathize with this "every-man" and be able to relate to a guy who can crawl up walls and swing on a thread. I just couldn't find myself doing that with this pretty-boy version of Peter that is so far distanced from the Peter Parker I grew up with. In this day and age, broody an emo is what it's all about, I get that. You have to freshen things up for a new audience, just don't play it so hard that you turn the older fans off.
Jamie Foxx as Max Dillon/Electro was, well, boring. Most of the time he was on-screen felt more as though they wanted a bigger named actor to fill the spot than someone who could embrace the role. Names fill seats, I get that, but there are other names out there that could have used that screen-time in such a better way. I didn't feel sorry for Max the way I wanted to. It seemed from the beginning he was a whiny, obsessed fan with delusional tendencies already bordering on the mentally unstable. And he was out to get Spider-Man. Why? There was no real reason for him to suddenly turn his longtime idol into his most hated villain. No, his real enemy all along should have been Oscorp, the people who not only left him for dead after his accident, but tried to cover it up.
Dane DeHaan as Harry Osborn was perfect casting. For Green Goblin, not so much. After the movie my wife and kids both said he looked "evil." I asked as Harry or the Goblin and they all responded Harry. His motivation I get, though why Chris Cooper wasn't used better as Norman Osborne is beyond me.
One thing that bothers me; can we please leave the Richard and Mary Parker storyline alone now? For decades they weren't really important and didn't play a part in the spider-story at all other than leaving Peter with Aunt May and Uncle Ben. In these movies it feels like any time something needs to be "solved"that the writers can't quite figure out how to solve or fix we pull out the dead-genius-scientist-possibly spy-parents. And while we're at it, for the next re-boot can we leave the origin story alone? Everyone knows he got his powers by being bitten by a radioactive spider. If you're going to do the origin, make it in the opening credits and get straight into the story.
In this universe, I probably wouldn't have pulled out Electro or Green Goblin as my villain. With The Amazing Spider-Man using the villain it did, one could easily imagine a big-game hunter going after the only person that was able to track and bring down the Lizard creature? What better set up to Kraven the Hunter could there have been? Hopefully we will see him in the Sinister Six movie since elements from this one hinted at a larger, darker villain, at least to anyone who has read the Ultimate Spider-Man comics.
All-in-all the movie was good. Even casual fans knew what was going to happen with certain characters and it did a good job setting up the stand-alone Sinister Six movie with all of the little easter-eggs throughout.
Without being spoiler-y, what did you think? Were the right antagonists chosen? Were the right people in the right roles? Who do you think should be the next big bad for Amazing Spider-Man 3?