Your Friendly Neighborhood Movie Blog
**WARNING: This review contains SPOILERS**
Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 tries to say more than it has to, and ultimately gets confused with itself. Top-notch action and character chemistry keep it from falling completely flat; however, like Iron Man 2, seems to be a helpful link to the franchise rather than a solid film.
The continuing adventures of Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield), aka Spider-Man, continue in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. After graduating high school, Peter deals with the struggles of his relationship with Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) growing apart as their lives start to expand. At the same time, Peter’s childhood friend Harry Osborn returns home upon the death of his father. As the heir of his father’s company, OsCorp, Harry becomes consumed with power and teams up with Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx); who, after a lab accident, becomes the energy-fueld villain Electro. Peter has to find a balance between his personal life and his time as Spider-Man, while facing multiple threats surrounding him.
It becomes apparent early on that there is way too much happening in this movie than there needs to be. All of a sudden you’re jumping from the first film- which focused solely on Lizard as the main villain, as well as the relationship between Peter and Gwen- to having three villains (Electro, Green Goblin and Rhino), as well as dealing with Peter’s personal life. And even though the film tried its best to lend a fair amount of time to each plot thread, a lot of it seemed to be jumbled together.
On a good note, the sequel had a more light-hearted feeling to it than the first one, with a lot more humor and fun action than the serious origin story. However it seemed that some of the characters were written in to be too silly and, honestly, sort of annoying. Paul Giamatti as Aleksei Sytsevich/Rhino, despite being in the movie for under five minutes, was relentlessly annoying, with a horribly fake Russian accent and the most cliche villain motivation.
Before becoming Electro, Jamie Foxx’s character Max Dillon is quite possibly even more poorly written than Giamatti’s character. Dillon was an seemingly-invisible worker at OsCorp who makes you feel sympathetic at first….until he starts talking to himself. Up until his accident, changing him into Electro, Max Dillon was constantly having conversations with himself and quickly became too annoying to pay attention to.
The best part about any of the characters was the chemistry between Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, the real-life couple who clearly lent their compatibility to the screen. You can tell a lot of their interactions were improvised based on their actual relationship. Garfield also worked well on screen with Dane DeHaan, as well as Sally Field who plays Aunt May. Even the brief interactions between DeHaan and Foxx were really fun to watch.
The end of TASM 2 teases characters and events that will most likely occur in the third film, as well as the upcoming Sinister Six movie. As in the trailer, we are shown the mechanical suits for Doc Ock, Vulture, and Rhino. We also meet a girl named Felicia in the movie, who is Harry Osborn’s assistant. For those who don’t know, Felicia is the character who goes on to become Black Cat. Some have speculated that Black Cat may end up a member of the Sin Six, though only time will tell who the official villain line-up will include.
Harry’s transformation into Goblin could have been a lot better, but again felt very rushed to help fit into the story. The final battle between Spidey and Electro had a really cool feeling to it, and even the brief fight between Spidey and Goblin made me want more in the next movie. As for Gwen’s death scene that many comic book fans assumed would happen since the film first started shooting; I think it was handled very well, especially the emotional crossroads that Peter dealt with afterwards.
Overall, TASM 2 is more of a link between the first and third movies than successful on its own (like the previously mentioned Iron Man 2). Trying to cram too much information into two and a half hours is tricky, and unfortunately wasn’t done correctly this time around. However I do think the best is yet to come, and I remain optimistic about Sony’s newest outing with the Spidey franchise.
My Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars