Thursday, August 25 , 2016, 3:05 am | Fair with Haze 62º

  • Follow Noozhawk on LinkedIn
  • Follow Noozhawk on Pinterest
  • Follow Noozhawk on YouTube
 
 
 
 

Cinema in Focus: ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’

2 Stars — Entertaining

When Marvel Comics' Stan Lee and Steve Kitko created the character of Spider-Man in 1962, they captured the imagination of a generation. Since the Marvel Universe has been brought to film by Marvel Entertainment, a new generation has been bitten.

Arguably the character with the most engaging bite is the charming teenager, Spider-Man. However, in this most recent series of films, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is a high-school graduate who is facing the uncertainty such a transition creates, even for the man with spider-sense.

Directed once again by Marc Webb, who also directed The Amazing Spider-Man, the screenwriters have morphed from James Vanderbilt and Alvin Sargent to Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, although Vanderbilt did contribute to the story. Primarily an action film with the impulsivity and insecurity of teen love, the plot thickens as Peter discovers the truth about his father, Richard (Campbell Scott), and mother, Mary (Embeth Davidtz).

Although this film does not explain how the modified spiders of his father's lab bit Peter and transformed him, it does present a more complete narrative about his father's involvement. One complaint for the Marvel Universe is that it is helpful if not necessary to see all the films in the serial stories they present.

Peter's love interest is Gwen Stacy, who is once again played by Emma Stone. Knowing that Peter is Spider-Man is both a blessing and a curse for their romance. Understandably, it is difficult to be the enemy of all criminals while trying to maintain a normal life and relationship.

The rest of the cast includes Peter's Aunt May (Sally Field) and Gwen's father, Capt. Stacy (Denis Leary), along with Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx), who plays a menacing Electro, and Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), who is a troubled Green Goblin. There are also the evil executives of the Osborn Oscorp and other minor villains who require the quick moves of a spider to defeat.

Weaving romance with action, the film is fairly predictable but entertaining. As a visual comic book, it is not intended to be deeply informing on the human condition, but it does resonate with our insecurities and fears as well as our desire to be courageous, respected, known and loved. Although not explored with depth, it is this exploration of the human condition that all science fiction provides.

With two more Amazing Spider-Man films in the works, we look forward to viewing the next chapters in the tale.

Discussion

» Most teenagers in high school see themselves as being different from others and fearful of love. How did you find your way through these common experiences?

» What happens at the end of the film obviously sets us up for the next chapter. Do you prefer films that are a part of a series, or do you think that each film needs to be a stand-alone tale?

» The character of Electro develops out of experiences that left him feeling ignored and powerless while living with a seething anger, and then he becomes powerful and seen by all. However, he uses this new power to express his anger, which is the opposite of Parker, who uses his power to help others. If you were suddenly given the power to express your inner self, would you express anger or compassion? Why do you answer as you do?

— Cinema in Focus is a social and spiritual movie commentary. Hal Conklin is a former mayor of Santa Barbara and Denny Wayman is pastor of Free Methodist Church, 1435 Cliff Drive. For more reviews, visit www.cinemainfocus.com, or follow them on Twitter: @CinemaInFocus. The opinions expressed are their own.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk's intent is not to limit the discussion of our stories but to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and must be free of profanity and abusive language and attacks.

By posting on Noozhawk, you:

» Agree to be respectful. Noozhawk encourages intelligent and impassioned discussion and debate, but now has a zero-tolerance policy for those who cannot express their opinions in a civil manner.

» Agree not to use Noozhawk’s forums for personal attacks. This includes any sort of personal attack — including, but not limited to, the people in our stories, the journalists who create these stories, fellow readers who comment on our stories, or anyone else in our community.

» Agree not to post on Noozhawk any comments that can be construed as libelous, defamatory, obscene, profane, vulgar, harmful, threatening, tortious, harassing, abusive, hateful, sexist, racially or ethnically objectionable, or that are invasive of another’s privacy.

» Agree not to post in a manner than emulates, purports or pretends to be someone else. Under no circumstances are readers posting to Noozhawk to knowingly use the name or identity of another person, whether that is another reader on this site, a public figure, celebrity, elected official or fictitious character. This also means readers will not knowingly give out any personal information of other members of these forums.

» Agree not to solicit others. You agree you will not use Noozhawk’s forums to solicit and/or advertise for personal blogs and websites, without Noozhawk’s express written approval.

Noozhawk’s management and editors, in our sole discretion, retain the right to remove individual posts or to revoke the access privileges of anyone who we believe has violated any of these terms or any other term of this agreement; however, we are under no obligation to do so.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.



Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >