If you have yet to see The Amazing Spiderman 2, go read my Spoiler-Free Review for the film and go see it. If you have seen the movie, then you’ve come to the right place. It’s time to look back at the movie, explore important parts and focus on what you might have missed. So let’s countdown the Top 5 most amazing things about The Amazing Spiderman 2.
Warning: Spoilers Ahead!
5. The Green Goblin:
First up is Dane DeHaan’s Green Goblin. This is a very different take on the usual idea of ‘Green Goblin’ seeing as how instead of it being a costume persona, is actually brought about by an inherited disease. As with most ‘Green Goblin’ stories, it starts with Norman Osborn, but it is his son Harry who brings out the glider-riding Goblin we are more familiar with.
A mysterious disease that has ravaged the Osborn family for generations is why Oscorp was originally founded and why Harry turns in the end – quite literally. Spotty hairloss, jaundice-like skin coloration, and elongation/decaying of teeth and nails are just some of signs of this disease that ends in a painful drawn-out death. Harry saw how it ravaged his father and desperately doesn’t want the same for him, but with the Board of Directors against him and learning his whole life that money can buy you anything, Harry goes to drastic means for a quick fix, which ends up speeding up the process.
As for the battle suit, it is actually a military grade weapon Oscorp designed that could interact with the wearer’s nervous system and perform ‘maintenance’ on the body. This is how he is able to not die when the spider venom speeds up the mutation – and also looks normal at the end. The suit won’t offer a long term fix and the Green Goblin will return, but this new story gives us something we haven’t felt for Harry Osborn in a while: sorrow.
He’s always been shown as the spoiled brat who doesn’t understand, thus it’s hard to identify with him. This interpretation on the other hand is a lot more emotional and realistic. Harry must deal with a ‘family legacy’ he never wanted and when his best friend condemns him to death, he wants revenge. The ideas of vengeance and family legacy are still present in this version, but in a much more powerful way. He might still be a spoiled brat, but he is just trying to save his life from an otherwise hopeless situation.
4. Spidey Humor:
Next up is why Andrew Garfield’s Spiderman is the perfect – if you like the wisecracking Spiderman from the comics. His snarky remarks and the delivery of these jokes is just amazing. My personal favorite moment was when Aunt May walked into Peter’s room and asked why his face was all dirty, to which Peter says he was cleaning their chimney. When Aunt May says they don’t have a chimney the look on Peter’s face is priceless and still cracks me up.
At the end of the day, Spiderman represents hope – just like Peter told Harry at the river – , but hope is a lot more than just saving the day. Spiderman makes people smile and feel important. Even in the face of such terrible odds, he still can find the good and crack a joke. The rest of us might not have spider powers, but we can certainly learn a lesson from Peter’s outlook on life and find the good in whatever situation we come across.
3. Super villain team up:
As I hinted at in my Spoiler Free Review, The Amazing Spiderman 2 solved the problem that has plagued so many superhero movies before it – too many villains. Whenever you have 3 or more big name villains in a superhero movie, the team up reasoning always seems very one-dimensional. It’s either ‘we both hate him’ or one works for the other.
The team up between Electro and Harry Osborn in The Amazing Spiderman 2 was nothing short of brilliant. Sure, on the outside it might seem like another ‘we both hate Spiderman’ team-up, but what finally convinces Electro is when the guards come to take Harry away – when Harry says ‘I need you’.
As we saw throughout the film, Max just wanted people to notice him. He was ecstatic whenever someone remembered his name, but to find someone ‘needs’ him is his dream come true. Max looked up to Spiderman and probably wanted to be a hero with him when he first noticed his powers, but when the city looks at him as the villain, Max decides that’s what he’ll be.
When Harry cries out for Electro, this is Max’s chance to help someone, to be that hero for someone. This frames Electro as less of a villain and more of an anti-hero. Evil isn’t born, it’s made; and it can sometimes be born from the best of intentions. Max just wanted to help someone, to be needed. He joins Harry not for their combined hatred of Spiderman, but rather because he (Electro) can offer Harry the same thing Spiderman gives to everyone else: hope.
2. Gwen Stacey – A Damsel NOT In Distress:
For those of you who read the comics, you knew Gwen’s death was coming. When you heard the graduation speech and all the other moments of foreshadowing, it probably felt as though you were being hit over the head with it. Some felt as though Gwen’s death erased everything she did in the film and made her ultimate purpose just to die, but that isn’t true. Gwen was more than just a death. She was ready to live her life without Spiderman and was never defined by him. She didn’t get in the way just so he could be sad. In the end she saved not only him, but also the entire city – and her speech framed this all.
During Gwen’s speech she speaks of how after graduation everyone feels invincible and never thinks they might lose anything. This of course ties into the journey Spiderman will go through. At the end, it is this speech that snaps Peter Parker out of his half-year long daze and gets him back to hero duties. Gwen’s death was made all the more haunting by her dead father’s continued appearance, but her death wasn’t her defining moment. That is why I can’t agree with the idea that Gwen’s only purpose in this film was to die and create a heartbroken Spiderman.
She didn’t just sit at home waiting for Spiderman. She wasn’t some powerless tag-along that got in the way. Sure she might have died in the end, but just as her speech said – it was the journey. Gwen lived her life the way she wanted. If she hadn’t gone after Spiderman, he would have died. He never would have turned the power back on, those planes would have crashed, and he wouldn’t have realized how to defeat Electro.
When Gwen finally did die, we jumped. Whether we knew it was coming or not, that horrific ‘thud’ of her body hitting the ground shook us to the core. This is because even if we knew it was coming, we were following Gwen’s journey rather than just ‘waiting for her moment’. The entire film was her moment, and in doing so she created one of the most dynamic female leads in a superhero movie yet. Her death might have been tragic, but her life was nothing short of heroic.
1. Future Set-Ups:
Just as Gwen’s speech foretold of her death and Spiderman learning he’s not invincible, this film foretold much of The Amazing Spiderman’s future in both The Amazing Spiderman 3 as well as its spin-off film The Sinister Six. So in case you aren’t that familiar with Spiderman history, here’s some of the awesome things this film set up for:
– Spider Slayers
Remember Max’s really jerky boss? Well his name is Alistair Smythe, and he’s a lot more that just your ordinary jerky boss. In the comics Alistair goes on to create the Spider-Slayers, which were a bunch of powerful robots that were designed to hunt down and kill Spiderman.
Eventually, Alistair himself becomes a cybernetic monster and calls himself the Ultimate Spider Slayer. This storyline also usually involved the Mob Boss KingPin and Alistair becoming wheelchair-ridden, so I’m sure this story won’t be told until a little later. Perhaps The Amazing Spiderman 3 will finish setting up for this story.
– Gustav Fiers
The man in the hat that we originally saw at the end of The Amazing Spiderman wasn’t Norman Osborn, but rather Gustav Fiers. A rather minor character in the comics, Fiers has lots of money and even more hatred for Peter’s family after Peter’s parents constantly foiled his plans. In the comics, Fiers has Peter under surveillance all along and knows of his secret identity. This is probably why that scene about Oscorp following Peter was cut from the film – it fits more with Fiers and would have ruined the reveal at the end of Peter being Spiderman to Harry.
This film started to explore Peter’s family, but it’s true meaning will be delved into in later films. We got some hints of more sinister stuff with Oscorp’s funding, but that still has to be fully explained. His quarrel with Peter’s family will probably be explored in The Sinister Six – since we saw he and Harry starting it at the end when Harry says ‘keep it small’. He was referring to their group of villains to rule the city. Green Goblin and Rhino will be a part of it, as well as Vulture and Doctor Octopus – as seen in the secret science division of Oscorp. The others members of this team will be revealed later, but I bet Doctor Connors will return as well. Not as a villain, but as someone to help Spiderman since he and Peter Parker’s father seem to have known each other.
– Black Cat
Last but certainly not least is Harry’s beautiful assistant Felicia Hardy. Admit it, you were hoping they were going to call her Mary Jane Watson. Sure she didn’t have red hair, but you could just feel she would become important. Well, Felicia Hardy is quite important, or rather her alias is: Black Cat.
Black Cat is the super-sexy, super-skilled, super-deadly master thief who turns over a new leaf to fight alongside Spiderman. Whether she is just a super skilled thief or has superpowers – as she does in some stories -, she is someone you definitely want on your side. The beautiful Felicity Jones might have seemed harmless in this film, but just wait until she lets her claws out in one of the upcoming film.
Un-Notable Mention – Post Credits:
Rather than a post credit moment to hint at an upcoming storyline or show where a past character is now, we got a quick scenes from X-Men: Days of Future Past. Contrary to what most people in the theater thought, this doesn’t mean Sony and FOX are going to collaborate and merge universes. This was simply to promote the FOX film in return for FOX allowing Marc Webb to break contract and direct The Amazing Spiderman 2.
Without having any set up – or knowing why Mystique was there – the clip seemed jumpy and poorly edited. Was this one clip that transferred to another, or was this the full scene and it only seemed jumpy because we didn’t know her purpose for being there.
Personally I think this was an AWFUL idea. They should have aired a different scene (something kind of funny with set up) at the start of the film and had a full post-credits scene rather than very subtly hinting at The Sinister Six by showing feint holograms of different items during the credit sequence.