Title: The Amazing Spider-Man: Rise of Electro
Release date: May 2nd, 2014
Running time: 142 minutes
Director: Marc Webb
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, Sally Field.
Summary: We’ve always known that Spider-Man’s most important conflict has been within himself: the struggle between the ordinary obligations of Peter Parker and the extraordinary responsibilities of Spider-Man. But in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Peter Parker finds that his greatest battle is about to begin. It’s great to be Spider-Man. For Peter Parker, there’s no feeling quite like swinging between skyscrapers, embracing being the hero, and spending time with Gwen. But being Spider-Man comes at a price: only Spider-Man can protect his fellow New Yorkers from the formidable villains that threaten the city. With the emergence of Electro, Peter must confront a foe far more powerful than he. And as his old friend, Harry Osborn, returns, Peter comes to realize that all of his enemies have one thing in common: Oscorp.
This is a hard review to do because I’ve got very mixed feelings about the movie. I really liked the first Amazing Spider-Man movie and I did enjoyed this one while I was watching it, but when it was over, the more I thought about it, the more I saw wrong with it. For instance, what sense does it make that New York citizens are lining up to watch a fight? Don’t they know that is dangerous?
No complain about Andrew Garfield. He is the perfect Peter Parker, he’s good with the jokes (making some ridiculous moments acceptable) and with the drama. Also Emma Stone was very good in it. The relation between Peter and Gwen is so well-defined, obviously pulling from their real-life chemistry.
Now let’s jump into Gwen’s death and why it didn’t work in the film. The speech she gives at the graduation completely pulled me out of the movie as the only thing I could think about during the whole thing was that she was going to die. The death itself wasn’t epic enough as you would expect for the hero’s love interest and it was quite frustrating that she looks like a damsel in distress, not even trying to do anything to save her life. And she made so clear that being there was her own decision, she repeated it like three times in case we didn’t catch it. This is a big change from the comic book where Gwen Stacy didn’t know that she was dating Spider-Man. In that scenario Peter was the one to make that decision for her, so when she died he was the ultimate responsible. In this case though, where she is the one to make the choice of staying with him after Peter has insisted that she have to go, you can’t really say it’s his fault and the character won’t be affected the same way.
As for other characters: I don’t think Electro really fit in the movie and had a very poor development. The way he was before the accident was so cartoonish, Jamie Foxx was wasted in this role. The main problem is that everything about this movie is rushed. I love Dean DeHaan as Harry Osbourne, but his story moves so fast. Harry’s only purpose here is to become the Green Goblin so he can kill Gwen. No explanation of the disease, what it does and why it took his father so long to die but in a matter of days Harry is already dying. And right when you think the movie is over… wait! there’s another villain! Rhino didn’t have anything to do here, just setting things up for Sinister Six. That last scene shouldn’t have been in there at all, maybe during the credits but definitely not in the actual movie when everything was concluded.
There were too many characters that they didn’t know how to handle. In my opinion Electro should have been the only villain of the film, letting the friendship between Peter and Harry develop (which was rushed again), introducing Mary Jane and saving Gwen Stacy’s death and Harry becoming the Green Goblin for the third installment.
The first Amazing Spider-Man was such a good comic book adaptation that the expectations for this one were very high and, I hate to say this but sadly it couldn’t reach it.