The Movie Where Gwen Stacy Died

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With great power comes great enemies. Or is it the other way around?

Before anything else, I want to say that I have been a huge Spider-Man fan ever since I was a kid. ABS-CBN was famous for carrying Spider-Man: The Animated Series with its cool take on the webhead’s official theme in their Friday night programming. But I actually liked the webslinger even before that in his show, Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends. However, I will try to be as objective as I can in my review of the recent summer blockbuster.

I really loved The Amazing Spider-Man 2! Marc Webb and company did a great job in continuing the reboot while setting up the next movie. The plotholes aren’t bothersome unlike some other movie adaptations, the romance just right with the Andrew-Emma tandem shining more than the previous movie, the fight scenes enough as the webcrawler is smart and methodical in his battles, and the dialogue brilliant with enough quotable quotes for social media freaks to tweet on Twitter or post on Facebook. I especially love Gwen Stacy’s graduation speech. It was a foreshadowing of what was to come which was her apparent demise.

Peter Parker’s character faced challenges unlike any he has encountered before. First, his ongoing search for more information about the deaths of his parents finally led him to some answers. He was at a lost but a breakthrough happened and he eventually saw what made his father and mother leave him in the care of his aunt and uncle. This is refreshing for me as the animated series which was released in 1994, as far as I know, didn’t contain even one tiny detail about Peter’s parents. Maybe I missed it but I’ve been in the dark about this part of Spider-Man’s past for a long time which was not helped at all by my lack of reading the comics. With the loose end neatly tied up, he can now focus on being the hero his city needs. That is until he lost Gwen. More on that later.

When it came out that Electro was going to be the main villain in the sequel, I was a bit skeptical about how it would turn out. But Jamie Foxx did an awesome job playing Max Dillon, Spider-Man’s self-confessed #1 fan. I don’t know what happened in the original story but the movie plot was genius! I know it’s not that unique as even Mr. Incredible already showed us in The Incredibles but the way they did it was a great balance of creating a very relatable guy who transforms into the protagonist’s worst nightmare literally overnight. His defeat thanks to Gwen’s recall of secondary science made audiences feel sad and relieved at the same time. Here was another Dr. Jekyll – Mr. Hyde who bit the dust because they made the wrong choice. Some would argue that he had no other options but I don’t believe that. You always have a hand at what’s going to happen to you.

Of course, the biggest trial in our teenage superhero’s life (at least in this movie) was his girlfriend’s untimely demise. I didn’t like the part where Peter decided to end their relationship (again it seemed) right after graduation just because he kept seeing Captain Stacy hallucinations. While I am no expert on fighting off ghosts, I don’t think he took the right approach to his problem as it would have already worked before. The only logical solution was to move to another city which Spider-Man cannot do. He is its protector and he needs to realize the fact that he and the lives of those he loves will always be in danger. Seeing Emma Stone in the white coat and purple skirt gave me goosebumps as I knew what was going to transpire. It didn’t help that we were watching the IMAX version although I have to admit that the graphics were superb. As expected, Spider-Man refuses to come out after Gwen’s death and crime in the city goes back to the way it was before Spidey made his first appearance. The little kid he saved early in the film suits up and attempts to thwart the Rhino’s attack. This brave gesture wakes the hero inside Peter Parker and he goes back to doing what he was meant to do – make bad guys regret being bad.

There were a lot of hints of what might occur in the upcoming movies. Vulture’s wings, Dr. Octopus’ mechanical arms, Shocker’s costume, Mysterio’s outline in the moon and clouds, Felicia Hardy (AKA The Black Cat), Dr. Kafka (AKA The Chameleon), the mystery guy whom Harry Osborn talked to (possibly Mysterio but probably not). I’m getting excited just by talking about all of it! The Sinister Six is confirmed for the franchise and I’m curious as to how they’re going to achieve Avengers-level just with Spider-Man. Personally, I am looking forward to seeing Venom and Carnage in the succeeding films. But my verdict is that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is worth watching and re-watching over and over again. Fans of the Marvel flagship character deserve this kind of movie treatment while regular moviegoers will be happy to see this movie adaptation that has a great storyline, lovable characters and awesome graphics.

Let me end by quoting Peter Parker:

I like to think Spider-Man gives people hope.

Yes, you do, Spider-Man. Yes, you do.

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