My favorite Marvel Comic character growing up in the 1960’s and 70’s was Spiderman. Spiderman came to Marvel in 1962, just one year before I was born. What it would be to have all those old vintage comic books. I could make Comic Con with the crew from Big Bang Theory!
Thanks to J. Ryan Parker and the folks at Different Drummer, I enjoyed an Advanced Screening of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 starring Andrew Garfield. I missed the first installment of this new re-telling of the Spider-Man story, or the Spider-Man Franchise as it may be termed. I will remedy that soon.
The showing was offered at the AMC 24 at Quail Springs Mall in OKC. There is a better iMax theater in the Metro OKC area. But, the AMC at Quail Springs is a good venue. I saw Avatar here. Patty and I especially like that the AMC at Quail as it offers more small market and Indie films than any other venue in the Metro save maybe The Oklahoma Museum of Art. I digress.
One must remember that my gaming experience began with the Atari. When I went to college I was introduced to Intellivsion, skiing and football were our favorite to play for study breaks. Galaga was my favorite video game at the local arcade or Student Center. By the time the new game consoles came out I had little interest in Black Ops or Madden Football. Our daughters never really took much of an interest in anything beyond Super Mario Brothers on an early Nintendo game console.
The advancements in CGI and other special effects are quite noticeable to a video game dinosaur like myself. If you are like me, the special effects of the upcoming The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will impress you greatly. There is little doubt the viewer will realize the scenes that are computer generated simply from the standpoint of the feats achieved. Yet, the moves between real life and animation are about as seamless as I have seen. This avoids the distraction that comes with such glaring differences that interrupt the flow of the movie during these transitions from one to the other and back again.
Andrew Garfield handles the verities of a carefree college student injecting bits of humor in the face of questions of personal tragedy that influences self-awareness and personal identity that plague the orphaned super-hero. I liked Jamie Foxx as Max and Electro. His character could have been developed a bit more. It would have amplified the reason for his anger that was capitalized upon by a desperate Harry. Dane DeHaan as Harry emerged rather suddenly and his character too would have benefited from a bit more detail. Those familiar with the Spider Man Franchise will likely agree the roles played by the cast were done well and with little surprise.
Maybe we needed a little surprise. I am still trying to put my finger on it.
The plot, or storyline, seemed too big. Maybe Marc Webb had too much to achieve in this installment in the series. I did get the impression that we were witnessing the Dark-Knight-ing of Spider-Man. It did not work well if that was even a secondary aim. And, truth be told, I would have liked to seen it work. In the end the film seemed more transitory, getting us to what will come next. No spoilers here.
My evaluation likely says more about me than about the writers or Director. If one plans to explore the darker themes then give way to it. Give the characters a bit more of an opportunity to work out their death issues – Peter his parents and Gwen and Harry their respective fathers. The theme of hope that emerged would have surely found greater contrast.
I liked the movie. The film works for what I would perceive as its intended audience. Were my grandsons old enough I would consider taking them to see my childhood comic book hero of choice. They would have enjoyed the show.
I may offer a more introspective review in the days ahead.