Thursday, May 08, 2014

"The Amazing Spider-Man 2": Garfield looks a little too weathered for college; you want better for DeHaan and Foxx

“I am Spider Man. With great power comes great responsibility.”  That’s how the first of this comics franchise ended, with the boyish Toby Maguire concluding his romp.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2” (directed by Marc Webb) is the second of the franchise remake with Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker (not to be confused with the tiger Richard Parker). In most scenes, Garfield’s face looks a bit aged and furrowed – he’s 30 now, but one expects Garfield to look like an angel forever.  He looked “younger” on SNL this weekend than in the film.

The Marvel story has some real substance.  The Parker family’s solidarity continues, as the script emphasizes that Peter was raised by an aunt when the parents failed.  He still keeps his secret in his family bedroom.  Emma Stone plays class valedictorian.

The “villainous” Oscorp has replaced Con-Ed, and probably would do a better job with the power in another Hurricane Sandy.  When the corporate patriarch dies of “retroviral hyperplasia” the smooth-skinned son (Green Goblin) Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) takes over the company as a teen CEO.  But he is dying of the same thing, and enlists Peter to find Spider Man got him the spider serum that will heal him.

But the biggest challenge to public safety come from Electro (Jamie Foxx), who becomes a living flux gun, capable of shorting out the power grid as if he were a living EMP machine.  New York loses power a few times during the film, and some of Times Square comes down.  Harry enlists Electro to save him when Peter can’t.

Garfield does portray a wonderful personality in the role.  I wondered if some other actors like Reid Ewing or Timo Descamps could have played it.  Then I thought, it would be harder to cast Harry. DeHaan was laconic enough -- you still want better for him and he doesn't seem like a bad guy.  But it would he hard to imagine either of the other two actors in a "bad guy" role at all.  (No, in "Judas Kiss" I don't see "Shane" as bad.) 

The closing credits have a bizarre epilouge which I did not get. 

I saw the film in 3-D in a large auditorium at Regal in Arlington VA.  The Regal trademark short (on a space station) looks good in 3-D. 
Picture: No, a different character in Times Square, my trip, Jan. 2014.  

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