An emotionally invested enthusiast of pop culture in the guise of a Copywriter. Apathetic by design. Aesthetically offensive and eloquently candid. A sentimental heathen.

Admittedly, I do have the tendency to watch a sequel without even bothering to watch the first movie first. This often happens because the prequel wasn’t all that interesting, or when the sequel was more or less a stand alone that you could still get without watching the predecessor. And that’s the case with me watching The Amazing Spider-Man 2 a spur in the moment decision caused by a certain eerily attractive Dane Deehaan.

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Ridden with guilt after causing the death of George Stacy, Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) tries to keep his promise by breaking things up with Gwen (Emma Stone). Despite being obviously love sick enough to stalk his girl friend, Peter attempts to focuses on his duty as Spider Man.

In the meantime, his long lost childhood friend Harry Osborn (Dane Dehaan) returns home to be in his father’s deathbed while an infatuated fanboy of Spiderman named Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx) fell into a tank of genetically modified electric eels.

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One of my qualms about Hollywood’s movies are their predictability. It’s not that I mind watching a three-part structure drama, but it need to at least be interesting and keep me guessing for the next part. It’s such a shame that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 only got me staring with half interest. The Spider-Man himself did live up to the usual sense of humor and sassy attitude that Marvel heroes usually have, and their villain are as cunningly attractive as ever – or at least one of them did – but the story fell short.

The conflicts doesn’t reach farther than skin deep. Yes, the substance was there – the needs for salvation, to be noticed, to prove oneself, the betrayal, the love stuff – but it wasn’t explored well and more or less feels like it was thrown there just for the sake of making the story longer. Which is also a problem, for the long duration drags the story line needlessly. Not to mention that there wasn’t enough exposure for Electro, and that lessen the impact on his turning point. Oh yes, he was a good guy that got bullied and left unnoticed by almost everyone, but his sad story didn’t appeal as much as it’s supposed to because, umm, it wasn’t sad enough, I guess. Although to be fair, he didn’t get that much of a screen time post-Electro and his breaking point wasn’t pictured properly. He feels more like a misguided soul that you could actually make peace with if you had enough time, and that wasn’t the kind of life-threatening villain that could charmed me.

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Admittedly, I might be a bit bias because the other villain – namely Harry Osborn-slash-Green Goblin – was the kind of villain that I could easily fell for. A charming, fragile, and demented genius that also happened to be Peter Parker’s long lost best friend that looks good together and okay, I won’t start ranting about how adorable their push and pull bromance is. But I do think that Dane DeHaan deserves an appreciation for his performance as Harry, for just like Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire, he was walking under the shadow of James Franco who left such a lasting impression during his run as Harry in Raimi’s trilogy. To my relief, DeHaan managed to mold his own version of Harry Osborn, one that’s more of a prideful ambitious heir rather than a good son that’s driven by his love and admiration for his father. Likewise, Garfield also manages to show a different Peter Parker and I will say that I like his version more. His Peter Parker was not as brooding as Maguire’s, and that is a huge plus because I adore his dorkyness, his sense of humor, and his laid back attitude. He and Emma Stone also brought the highlights of the movie, Peter’s relationship with Gwen Stacy. It’s no secret that the two are real couple, and maybe that’s why their chemistry is just undeniable. They brought Peter’s tumultuous relationship with Gwen to life, a total blessing considering that their romance took up quite a large chunk of the story. If it wasn’t for their sweet portrayal and striking chemistry, TASM 2 could’ve easily fell on the sappy teenage romance section.

However, I would also admit that TASM 2 was quite pleasing visually. The final fights, especially, both Spider Man’s last stand against Electro and against Green Goblin were sight for sore eyes. I adore the choice of locations, the inside part of clock tower and I just can’t get over that moment when Electro bounce from one coils of power plants to another and blasts out a rendition of Itsy Bitsy Spider. Also liking all the dubstep background music for each time Electro goes in action. Other than that, though, TASM 2 didn’t leave a lot of memorable scenes aside from those with DeHaan in it because preferences.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was good, but not good enough. It falls short from delivering something with conviction, because even good acting can only do so much in the face of bad writing. It’s not dull, but it wasn’t vibrant either. Not even the presence of Dane DeHaan would convince me to rewatch this movie. At the very least, though, it has a special clip from X-Men: Days of Future Past after the credit title.

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Director: Marc Webb. Writer: Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci & Jeff Pinker. Released on: 30 April 2014. Casts: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Dane DeHaan, Jamie Foxx

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