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'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' lives up to its name

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'The Amazing Spider-man 2' movie review

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‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ swings into theaters this weekend. Fans of Marvel Comic’s will not be disappointed since the film is full of action, humor, and romance. Of course, the villains make themselves known (there are three) and set the tone for the film. You see, it all has to do with relationships and choices that each one makes. Their choices affect ordinary citizens and those who choose to share their lives. Don’t be surprised if you come away from the film thinking about these choices and their impacts (along with the awesome action scenes).

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The talented cast includes Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Oscar® winner Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHann, Campbell Scott, Embeth Davidtz, Colm Feore, with Oscar® nominated Paul Giamatti and Oscar® winner Sally Field.

Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) struggles with his daily commitment to fighting crime and balancing an ordinary life that includes his love interest, Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone). At the heart of the struggle, is the promise he made to Gwen’s dying father to stay away from her so that she would be safe from harm. But, even superheroes have girlfriends who are strong of character and challenge an agreement made that takes away her ability to make decisions for herself. Yet, he also questions the decision that his parents made when they left him with Aunt May (Sally Field).

‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ allows us to experience the relationship between Peter and Gwen and the effect that their commitment has on their lives. It is an honest portrayal of what we want to believe are the good qualities of a superhero peppered with real human emotions. As a result, we become invested in their success. Not to mention the chemistry between the two is heavy- duty (it helps that they are a in a relationship off-screen); thereby solidifying their story (every fantasy has a bit of truth).

The film challenges us to question how a society ignores individuals that they do not deem worthy of acknowledgment. Perhaps it is the result of people going about their daily lives without concern for those who reside on the fringes. In the film, we witness the callous treatment of Max (Jaime Foxx) by his co-workers at Oscorp who barely acknowledge his existence (he is invisible in their eyes) and relegated to menial tasks despite his knowledge as an electrical engineer. When he has an accident and falls into a tank of electric eels, Max emerges as the galvanized Electro and demands that the world see him. He becomes a visible force and uses his electrical powers to demand acknowledgement. For example, Max is a timid, lonely, and insecure man with a comb-over hairdo who emerges as Electro, and becomes a blue god of electricity.

Foxx captures the lonely bumbling Max who desperately wants someone to notice him and have friends. Foxx delivers a solid performance as both the vulnerable Max and super defiant Electro. His eyes project the pain that is his only friend and ultimately his metamorphoses from Max to Electro is pure acting talent and not just electric blue paint.

The movie is filled with both sight gags and witty dialogue mostly delivered by ‘Spidey’. Andrew Garfield who reprises his role from 2012’s ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ is well suited for this role as he effortlessly delivers barbs and performs feats with timing and style. His antics help to balance the surrounding chaos and action charged scenes. Yet, deep down, Garfield is perfect as our masked hero because he is a likeable young man (the boy next door) who has the ability to portray the conflicted Peter with authenticity.

Dane DeHann is Harry Osborne/Green Goblin whose performance is believable as the young man whose only friend is Peter. When he is denied help by his best friend, he embraces the legacy of his father and sets out on a vendetta to destroy Spider-Man. Ironically, he becomes a person whose life is altered by a friend’s decision. His choice to wreak havoc spells dire consequences for Peter and Gwen.

The biggest star to make an appearance in ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ is the 3Ds special effects . The first rate quality of this 3D is clearly not the cheap afterthought seen lately in films. Awesome does not begin to describe the sight of Spiderman as he swings from building to building. As you immerse yourself into the action scenes, you begin to sway and move while he tumbles and flips through the city. Not to mention, Electro’s glowing personality emitting from the lightning filled battle scenes. It is refreshing to see 3D being used correctly to enhance a film and not detract from it.

Because Spider-Man’s work is never done, we are treated to yet another villain when Paul Giamatti makes an appearance as Rhino. Although his time on screen is fleeting, it does hint at more to come.

‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ is not your run of the mill action-filled superhero film and whether you are fan of this genre or not, this motion picture has the qualities to keep you interested. It will be in Theaters May 02, 2014. It is rated PG-13 by The MPAA for sequences of Sci-Fi Action/Violence. It has a run time of 142 minutes.

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