First let me tell you: “Amazing Spider Man 2” is a knockout hit. How can you not like Marc Webb’s second part of his trilogy, with Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, and Dane DeHaan just perfect as Peter Parker, Gwen Stacy, Electro and Harry Osborn?
There’s something about the part 2’s of these trilogies that always works. Part 1 was a hit, and now there’s money. Everyone at the studio is confident, so the filmmakers spread their wings. This “Spider Man,” like the 2nd Sam Raimi episode, has that feeling of everyone on the same page, focused, and enjoying it.
My favorite small thing: Peter Parker’s cell phone ringtone is the old “Spider Man” theme song from the cartoon series. A nod like that means the director is so connected to his project that he finds little flourishes like that. Also, Marvel creator Stan Lee’s “Hitchcock” scene is up front, and Lee has lines. Another nice touch.
There are plenty of smaller supporting roles expanded this time. Sally Field’s Aunt May is wisely expanded. Campbell Scott is outstanding as Peter’s father, Richard Parker (also the name, I realized, of the lion in “Life of Pi”). Top notch actors Colm Feore, BJ Novak, Paul Giammatti, and Chris Cooper are all featured as well.
I can’t give away SPOILERS but I can tell you there’s a gasp followed by a lot of audience talk back toward the end of the movie. And while the whole thing is a roller coaster ride, even the denouement works.
Garfield and Stone are the rare off screen couple who have plenty of heat on screen. Garfield really steers the ship, too. It’s his movie. And while every one is very good (Jamie Foxx steals all his scenes) I continue to remind you about Dane DeHaan. He has ‘star’ written all over him. As for Emma Stone, she’s more than ready for top billing. She’s as good as it gets.
The lavish premiere party was held at Moynihan Station– the famed landmark post office on 8th Avenue. It’s huge, so Sony filled it with VIPS like Daniel Craig and Katy Perry. Pharrell, Kenrick Lamar, Johnny Marr, and Alicia Keys performed live with composer Hans Zimmer, who put together a makeshift rock band for the night that featured a cool singer named Lisa and dj Diplo. Pharrell did a little bit of “Happy,” and he and Keys performed their song from “Spider Man.”
The post office rocked. But still, no window was open for buying stamps. Some things never change.