Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

May 6, 2014

‘Amazing Spider-Man 2’ overloaded, but still improved

Movie Review

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Democrat

emann@pvdemocrat.com — As Fox Television (or network TV in general) has largely burned through most of my petty complaints toward entertainment conglomerates, these days I tend to give things like the web crawling franchise reboot a pass. Today I tackle the second such entry in the series, one admittedly I was finally able to be excited about post original trilogy angst.

And throughout a majority of it, I can say that some of the flat feeling that came with the first entry was replaced with improvements from the main villain to well played emotional trauma. The only thing that prevented it from actually being right there with the first two Toby related chapters was that it seemed like it was trying to introduce way too much. It was at times wickedly fun and other times like one of the worst ADHD distractions for “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.”

Picking up in a similar fashion to Amazing part 1, we get an even deeper look at the story of why Mom (Embeth Davidtz) and Dad Parker (Campbell Scott) abandoned Little Orphan Peter (Andrew Garfield). He is still mooching off the free room and board provided by Aunt May (Sally Field), is still saving the day on a regular basis and when the plot doesn’t remind him to move along, forgets the crushing guilt of a promise he made not to date Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone).

Peter has also built up quite the Beiber scale fan club, including Oscorp token black guy Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx), who literally stalker worships him until (spoiler alert) he becomes Super Villain spokesperson for Duracell, Electro. Throw in the rushed introduction of Pete’s childhood friend (and the guy who has free candy written on his van) Harry Osborne (Dane DeHaan), desperately seeking his help not to die from a genetic condition, a barely used Rhino (Paul Giamatti) that we had almost more exposure to in the trailers and tons of references (like the sinister six) to the universe the studio wants to milk in the future and you start to see the crowded point I made earlier. But, the important thing to remember is that eventually things do end on a strong note and it is possible to finally feel more attachment to the guy who has taken up the mantle.

Another thing I might note is that this film actually does a better job of rewarding the comic book superfans who are super familiar with who Peter versus the original trilogy. At certain points it feels more like a cliff hanger from a television show season finale than a movie and maybe that helps take the edge off the feeling that it is missing something that could have taken it even further.

I’ve come to the conclusion that the only way Spiderman can catch up with something like the refreshed X-Men universe or the Avengers is if the corporate overlords in the competing studios somehow find a way to invite him in. That said, it did make for a good night out and I might even watch it again to see what I missed. In the end, it’s worth four out of five victories for “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.”

Movie viewing experience courtesy of the Royal Twin Theater of Pauls Valley.