"Seriously - does anyone have a bucket of water I can throw on this dude?!" The alias of Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) battles former superfan Max Dillon – now known as the villainous Electro (Jamie Foxx) in a scene from director Marc Webb's THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2. Credit: © 2013 Columbia Pictures/Sony Pictures ImageWorks. All Rights Reserved. 


KEY CAST MEMBERS: Andrew Garfield, Jamie Foxx, Emma Stone, Dane DeHaan, Paul Giamatti, Sally Field, Colm Feore, Felicity Jones, Embeth Davidtz, Marton Csokas, Louis Cancelmi, Max Charles BJ Novak, Denis Leary and Chris Cooper

WRITER(S): Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Jeff Pinker (screenplay); Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Jeff Pinker and James Vanderbilt (screen story); Stan Lee and Steve Diko (Marvel comic on which the film is based)

DIRECTOR(S): Marc Webb


60 SECOND PLOT SYNOPSIS (OR AS CLOSE TO IT AS ONE CAN TRY TO MAKE): Picking up after the events of The Amazing Spider-Man, 2 finds Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) fully enjoying being New York City's new favorite masked vigilante ... And spending his private time with his fellow high school graduating senior (and class valedictorian) Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone). Peter loves Gwen and she loves him ... But that's problematic since he promised her late police captain father (Denis Leary) he would stay away from her because being who he is, "people will get hurt" – and that is not something either of them wants for a girl with such a bright future.

Meanwhile, multi-million dollar conglomerate Oscorp is doing its best to distance itself from its past employee Dr. Curt Connors' "reptilian" episode, with heir to the family company throne Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) staring to realize he has some other serious issues to deal with that don't involve pleasing the company's stockholders. That's probably why he, like so many other people in the company, don't really notice Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx). An Oscorp employee who's great with a power grid, Max becomes enamored with the webslinger after Spider-Man saves him from being hit by a car one day on his way to work.

Unfortunately, Max's fandom becomes a bit of an obsession, which can be dangerous for a man who has a bit of an anger issue bubbling beneath the surface since no one seems to ever pay him any attention.

But all of that is about to change, however, following one fateful night at Oscorp that will change all of their lives forever.

WHO WILL LIKE THIS FILM THE MOST?: Fans of The Amazing Spider-Man reboot, people who enjoy their superheroes with a darker edge to them, Jamie Foxx fans, fans who are very fond of some of the best known original stories in the Marvel comic source material, people who like film trilogies

WHO WON'T – OR SHOULDN'T – LIKE THIS FILM?: Fans of the original, more lighthearted (but not really) Spider-Man trilogy, fans who are very fond of some of the best known original stories in the Marvel comic source material that DON'T like it when it's tinkered with in any form, people who don't like a more angsty Peter Parker

BOTTOM LINE – IS IT GOOD, GREAT, BAD OR DOWNRIGHT AWFUL? It may not be Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but it's definitely a solid, emotional, entertaining entry that proves there's no stopping the comic book powerhouse that is Marvel right now.

WHAT'S GOOD (OR BAD) ABOUT IT? Whether anyone will admit it or not, Christopher Nolan's Batman series made superheroes with an edge all the rage in the comic book movie world. Whereas old superhero movies were allowed to be campy, be one-liner fests and have feature over-the-top stories that were presented as such (see anything pre-Iron Man or the grossly under-appreciated Edward Norton/Louis Leterrier Incredible Hulk film), modern superhero movies are almost noir ... That feature men and women with superpowers and/or in spandex and armor.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 falls right in line with the modern motif while retaining the undercurrent of humor found in the comics before giving proper way to intense, emotional battle scenes that advance the character (and not just for future movies).

Given the box office receipts, it's a safe bet to say many people loved Tobey Maguire as the "original" Peter Parker, as he nailed an "aww shucks" sensibility that progressed into a young man that became a hero. Garfield, however, came into The Amazing Spider-Man with a lot less naiveté, self-assuredness and sense of adventure to make the character his own; 2 proves that his take was no fluke as there is no point in the film where he wastes a movement, expression or exchange of dialogue.

As Peter, Garfield's interactions with everyone from his Aunt May (played well by Sally Field without the "auntie knows best" overtones that were Rosemary Harris' calling card) to Gwen and his villains all help shape who he is with the mask on and off as well as they should. While some feel the teen rom-com elements between Peter and Gwen get a little Nicholas Sparks-ish at times but never so much they drown out the overall story's progress.

Likewise, Foxx and DeHaan each continue the new trend of villains who only become villains after an incident that forces their hand (or so it would seem), Foxx truly losing himself in Max and DeHaan not letting his haircut dominate his screen time. (See the movie and you'll know what I mean.) Much like his previous well known work 500 Days of Summer, 2 shows director Marc Webb's skill at presenting a story with characters that may be moving in different directions yet intersect in critical ways with one another. Whereas Marvel's previous release this spring really delves into one character's psyche well, 2 does it and does it well with multiple characters. That's part of the reason 2 doesn't feel like the required sequel and simply the next step in the building overall story of the "new" Peter Parker Marvel is introducing to audiences.

That in itself is a pretty amazing feat. 



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