Monday, April 29, 2013

5 Reasons Why I Am Looking Forward To The Amazing Spider-Man 2

2013 will surely be a grand year for movies based on comic books and superheroes. This Friday, Iron Man will be making a triumphant return in attempts to stop the malevolent Mandarin. In July, Hugh Jackman will be whetting his claws as the Wolverine and Dave Lizewski will don the Kick Ass outfit once more. Chris Hemsworth wields the mighty hammer, Mjolnir against evil elves in November's Thor: The Dark World and let's not forget that in June, the Last Son of Krypton gets revamped in Zack Snyder and Christopher Nolan's reimagining of the classic American icon. Yes, 2013 will be packed to the brim with suspenseful thrillers and climatic battles between the forces of good and the forces of evil. But to be honest with you, it's next year's lineup of super hero flicks that I am most looking forward to. Bryan Singer's  X-Men: Days of Future Past might very well be the X-Men film I have longed for. It looks like they will be merging the mainstream X-Men universe with the universe established in X-Men: First Class and have Peter Dinklage portraying the main baddie. Anthony and Joe Russo, who brought us You, Me and Dupree will be bringing us the next installment in the Captain America series, Captain America: The Winter Soldier starring Chris Evans and Sebastian Stan, who reprise their roles as Steve Rogers aka Cap and Bucky Barnes aka The Winter Soldier respectively. In fall of 2014, the Marvel Cinematic Universe shows off some new faces in Guardians of the Galaxy, which very well might be the next Star Wars in it's own right. Zoe Saldana (Star Trek's Uhura and Avatar's Neytiri) is in talks to play the green skinned female alien Gamora (no, not the giant turtle with fangs that has rockets on his feet).

But the flick I am most excited for is the next installment in the Amazing Spider-Man film series. Although I wish they called it something other than The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (something like The Spectacular Spider-Man or The Web Slinger), I can't tell you how pumped I am for this sequel. Okay, maybe I will tell you. Here are 5 Reasons Why I Am Looking Forward To The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and why I think this follow up to last year's hit will be superior to it's predecessor.

5. The New Costume 

When I first saw the suit in the first Amazing Spider-Man, I fell in love with it. Although it was different from the traditional red and blue jumpsuit and had a different design, it had a certain appeal and showed just how different this new Spider-Man was going to be from the previous incarnation portrayed in Sam Raimi's trilogy. When I first saw the suit in the upcoming sequel, I initially had mixed feelings towards it. What I liked about ASM1's suit is that it looked like something a teenager in the real world would stitch together in a matter of hours. It had an organic look to it and it looked as if Peter constructed the costume from average everyday household items like sunglasses and old sneakers. This new suit however was very reminiscent to Tobey Maguire's suit in the Raimi trilogy and in my eyes looked like a Spider-Man costume you would buy at a costume shop. It didn't look like something Peter would stitch together on his own and really didn't have any unique qualities to it. That is until some set images (like the one above) emerged and I got a better look at the suit and all it had to offer. 

I must say, the suit has grown on me substantially and I now realize how it can fit in with the contemporary, gritty ASM universe. Perhaps the AMS1 suit was a prototype to the signature suit Peter would later construct or maybe, sometime between AMS1 and AMS2, Peter's first Spider-Man suit was destroyed, forcing Peter to sew together another one. I guess we won't find out why Peter changed suits until AMS2 hits theaters, but I think I can come out and say that I really like this new suit and how reminiscent of the old Spider-Man it is. Looking at the suit, it brings to mind Spider-Man of the 90s animated series as well as the Todd McFarlene Spidey with the huge, gaping eyes. It also has a nice texture to it with vibrant shiny black webbing and a bright, yet toned down red and blue that really makes this Spider-Man stand out from all the rest. The inclusion of the new ASM insignia is also a nice touch and the fact that his eyes have gone back to the traditional opaque white instead of the yellowish gold seen in the ASM1 suit. All I can say is that I'm really looking forward to seeing Spider-Man kick villainous butt in this new attire! 

4. Marc Webb and Andrew Garfield Are Returning 

The Amazing Spider-Man was hands down one of my favorite films of last year. What made it stand out from other superhero flicks of 2012 like The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises was that it didn't have a group of heroes fighting against aliens from another dimension or a guy who dressed up like a bat, got his back broken and went through a spiritual journey in a foreign prison. It focused on an average, ordinary, iPod loving, skateboarding teenager who had a very convoluted life. When he got bit by a spider, his life became even more convoluted and he had to learn that with a great power, the bearer must do good things with it and give the world hope so no one would have to feel the pain he had to endure day by day.  The Amazing Spider-Man captured the essence of the comic book hero perfectly and most of this was due to Marc Webb's brilliant directing skills and Andrew Garfield's magnificent acting.

I have no doubt this will carry on into the second Spider-Man flick. Marc Webb has the perfect balance of humor and seriousness in all of his films and when it comes to Spider-Man, he knows just how to pull off gags and jarring moments and time them perfectly. Like the films Marvel and Disney have brought forward, Webb's Spider-Man had moments that made you gasp and moments that made you roll on the floor laughing and his ability to get you sucked into each individual scene really adds to the scope and magic of the Spider-Man reboot. Another contributing factor is Andrew Garfield, who portrays Peter Parker/Spider-Man as a simple, yet determined high schooler who, like a lot of us, had trouble fitting in. Although Garfield is almost 30 years old, he looks very much like a high schooler and with a set of glasses and common teen clothing, he looks like the typical teen you would find sitting in the back of your chemistry class. Garfield's mannerisms, sarcasm and wit also make him diverse from previous Spider-Men and he plays Peter as a weird, outspoken, curious young adult with his head in the clouds and eyes towards his goals and dreams. That my friends is what a lot of us are like or what a lot of us were like at a time, odd minded individuals with "impossible" dreams and fantasies. Garfield's Spidey shows that with a little brain power and might, the impossible is possible after all. 

3. Jamie Foxx's Electro

Holy jeez, when I found out that Electro was going to be in the second Spider-Man and that he would be portrayed by Jamie Foxx, I nearly fainted with excitement. Electro is one of my very favorite Spider-Man foes and Jamie Foxx is a fantastic actor with a gift for giving odd, yet grandiose performances. I knew from the very start that he wouldn't be wearing his classic yellow and green outfit with the lightning bolt mask, but I never expected him to look the way he looked in the above image. It's terrifying and awesome at the same time. You can really tell that Foxx's character, Max Dillon has gone through heck and had his entire body turned into an electric blanket. It kinda looks like a Na'vi from Avatar or a Frost Giant from Thor, but I really like it and it's fitting for the darker ASM universe. From the looks of it, it appears that some lights have been built into Electro's hoody which will be giving him a luminous, glowing effect. And Foxx's eyes look entirely black as if all the light and goodness has been drained from him, turning him into a heartless, merciless adversary that will probably turn Spider-Man into Spider-Toast. 

I really liked Jamie Foxx's performance in Ray and although I haven't seen Django Unchained, I have heard nothing but good things about his performance in that film as well. I think Jamie Foxx will hit it out of the ballpark while playing Max Dillon/Electro, giving an edge to the character we had never seen before in the comics or the various TV show incarnations. He's also blue, he'll give Papa Smurf a run for his money! 

2. Familiar Characters, New Faces

In The Amazing Spider-Man 2, we will be seeing characters we have seen before in previous Spider-Man films, but will new actors in their shoes. Dane Dehaan will be playing Harry Osborn, who was played in the Raimi trilogy by James Franco. It looks like he will be playing a much darker, more edgy Harry Osborn and from the synopsis of the upcoming film, he will be playing into Peter Parker's past. The beautiful Shailene Woodley will be playing Mary Jane Watson, played petulantly in Raimi's trilogy by Kirsten Dunst (YOU DON'T SUPPORT ME!). I hope Woodley will portray Mary Jane as less of a whiny, screeching bimbo and more of a gallant, benevolent heroine, very similar to Gwen Stacy in the first film. Then we have Chris Cooper playing the man who will become the greatest of Spidey's foes, Norman Osborn, played maniacally by William Dafoe in 2002's Spider-Man. It is unknown whether Cooper's Osborn will become the Green Goblin at the very end of this film or the beginning of the next film, but I think it's safe to say that we will see him consume the goblin serum somewhere down the road and see his physical transformation into the green skinned menace with the glider. Hopefully, they have a different costume for his Green Goblin. I didn't really mind Dafoe's often ridiculed Green Goblin costume in Raimi's first film, but it would be nice to see Gobby have more of a realistic look and more frightening appearance. 

Actors reprising their roles from the previous film are Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy, Sally Field as Aunt May and Martin Sheen as the possible ghost of Uncle Ben. It is unclear whether Rhys Ifans or Irrfan Khan will make cameos as their respective characters, but whose to say that they won't find a way to make a brief appearance. Dr. Curt Connors is still alive after all and has many secrets regarding Peter's past. 

1. Diving deeper into the characters' souls

Movie sequels are often said to live in the shadows of their predecessors, but several sequels have been declared superior and much deeper than the first films. I have a feeling The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will be one of those films, much like how Spider-Man 2 was much more character driven and deeper than the first film. Sequels often go deeper into the characters' souls and we see sides of them we have never seen before as the characters are put into unexpected events and perils. I think we will see Andrew Garfield's Peter Parker go to a level we have never seen him achieve and we will see his character grow even further as he faces his biggest challenge yet. We will also find out more about his mysterious parents and why he became Spider-Man to begin with. Was it all set up? Is it all a trick? Only time will tell as the new Spider-Man universe unfolds. 

It is also debated whether Gwen Stacy will meet her inevitable demise in this upcoming film. Her death in the comics was one of the biggest shockers in comic book history and to carry it out onto the silver screen would be a massive task. As I said before, only time will tell. One thing's for sure. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will introduce new characters as well as reintroduce old ones, introduce a new plot and new twists and turns, unravel mysteries never before unraveled and drive the story even further with many jaw droppers and horrifying occurrences. Let's hope this is a sequel worthy of being in the same realm as the first and let's hope that our love for Spider-Man rages on as this blockbuster makes it's way to the cinemas. It will be a great experience nonetheless and hopefully be one of my favorite movies about my very favorite hero. The first was great, so let's hope the second is great as well. 

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