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Film Review: Big Spectacle, Small Heart in ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – For a film with so much eye candy that it threatens ocular diabetes, “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” is decidedly low in story rhythm and energy – even with a villain named Electro. The story also has the “three villain syndrome,” which allows for a lack of focus and heart.

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.0/5.0
Rating: 3.0/5.0

But what is “amazing” about it is that the effects and atmosphere during the action sequences are other-worldly. Comic books have come to life, with no limits to whatever the creative imaginations can conjure, much like the era when superheroes evolved between the covers of a 12 cent dream. Spider-Man’s leaps, flips and web swings are in full blown 3D mode, yet the motivations of those actions are bloated and soft. Like a huge Thanksgiving bird, the film is stuffed to the gills, but the meat lacks flavor. That is not to say it’s a turkey, but it does gobble-gobble up too much territory and time in telling the story.

Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield) is an established protector in New York City, and sparks a bit of debate on whether he’s a vigilante or hero. In his secret identity as high school graduate Peter Parker, he still lives with his Aunt May (Sally Field), and courts the lovely Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone). After thwarting the villainy of Aleksei Sytsevich (Paul Giamatti) as Spider-Man, Peter must deal with the possibility that Gwen and he are losing their relationship.

In the background, there is a mystery involving a spider-based rejuvenating formula developed by Peter’s now deceased father (Campbell Scott) through Oscorp Industries. Peter’s friend Harry Osborne (Dane DeHann) has taken over the company and is in a power struggle, which is exaggerated by a lowly Oscorp clerk named Max (Jamie Foxx), who has survived an overdose surge of voltage to emerge as a the villain Electro. Your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man has a lot on his plate.

“The Amazing Spider-Man 2” opens everywhere on May 2nd, in 3D and regular screenings. Featuring Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, Felicity Jones, Paul Giamatti, Sally Field, Campbell Scott and Stan Lee. Screenplay by Alex Kurzman, Roberto Orci and Jeff Pinkner. Directed by Marc Webb. Rated “PG-13”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”

Jamie Foxx, Andrew Garfield
Max (Jamie Foxx) Encounters Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield) in ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’
Photo credit: Columbia Pictures

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”

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