Friday, May 2, 2014

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 [2014]

MPAA (PG-13)  CNS/USCCB (A-II)  ChicagoTribune (2 Stars)  RE.com (2 Stars)  AVClub (C+)  Fr. Dennis (3 Stars)

IMDb listing
CNS/USCCB (J. Mulderig) review
ChicagoTribune (M. Phillips) review
RE.com (C. Lemire) review
AVClub (A.A. Dowd) review

AUSTRALIA: urbancinefile.com.au (L.Keller / A.L. Urban) review
BRAZIL: fohla.uol.br (T. DeMenses) review*
CZECH REP.: lidovky.cz (A.A. Pokropová) review*
GERMANY: actionfreunde.de review*
GERMANY: critik.de (N. Klingler) review*
INDIA: indiatimes.com (R.G. Rasquinha) review
ITALY: CineFile.biz (A. Cassani) review*
JAPAN: japantimes.co.jp (K. Shoji) review
RUSSIA: kinonews.ru reader-reviews*

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 [2014] directed by Marc Webb, screenplay and story by Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Jeff Pinkner continuing the screen-story by James Vanderbilt based on Marvel comics' Spider-Man [Wiki] created by Stan Lee [IMDb] and Steve Ditko [IMDb]) is part 2 (of 3) of the current reboot of the Marvel Comics based Spider Man trilogy of 2002-2007.  If perhaps long -- the current film goes on for nearly 2 hours and 20 minutes and perhaps needlessly involves three separate villains -- the portrayal of the ever chaste if also ever angst-driven / tortured, on-again / off-again relationship between the story's principal teenage protagonists Peter Parker/Spiderman [IMDb] (played in the current series by Andrew Garfield) and his girlfriend Gwen Stacy [IMDb] (played in the current series by Emma Stone) will probably be worth the trouble for most viewers.  Teens will relate and many/most adults will reminisce:

Yes, to many/most teenagers, life is _largely_ "drama."  And so whether Peter Parker [IMDb] and Gwen [IMDb] are breaking-up or making-up, or whether Peter Parker/Spiderman [IMDb] is facing off against a crazed psychopathic "Russian Mobster" named Alexei Sytsevich [IMDb] (played by Paul Giamatti at his wild-eyed best) driving a giant iron-clad "Rhino" suit or against a, thanks to an experiment-gone-awry involving "lots of Volts" (and electric eels), previously mild-mannered, indeed _powerless_ but now terrifying Tesla-ray spewing "human capacitor" named Maxwell Dillon / Electro [IMDb] (played by Jamie Foxx), it's "all the same."  To a teenager, a make-up or break-up or a "crisis at home" or among friends _can_ and feel like "the whole world is collapsing" with "buildings crashing," "bolts of electricity shooting all over the place" and lots and lots of "glass breaking."

And so one's enjoyment of this movie -- IMHO much better than the first of the current reboot -- will depend if one can "get into the zone."  Teens will probably already "be there." Their parents?  They may have to work at it a bit.  However, the film _could_ be a fun stroll down "memory lane" ... when _everything_, every smile, gesture or frown, "made a difference."

Finally, it's emerging Hollywood/American "dogma" that these "superhero" films are _loved_ across the world.  So I made an effort (above) to check what critics / audiences around the world had to say about the film, which was actually released internationally BEFORE it was released here in the United States.  My sense is that teens/young people around the world, like teens in the U.S. "can relate," while "older critics" (like in the U.S. as well) remain somewhat befuddled, wondering "Why do our kids seem to like these kind of films?"  

In any case, the key remains: Think back to when you were young... And if one can do that, one will "get" Marvel's genius and indeed the genius of the Spiderman story-line.


* Foreign language webpages are most easily translated using Google's Chrome Browser.  

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