This year coincidently marks the 10 year anniversary of the original Sam Raimi Spider-Man 2. So much has changed since then: the effects are better, the actors are (arguably) better, and the story is much more compelling. But with the good comes the bad.
Sony once again makes the mistake of having too many villains, a trait that ruined Spider-Man 3. Even at two and a half hours there just isn’t enough time to get attached to each character, to feel sorry for them, or to even get to hate them, because the movie doesn’t focus on one villain. When the plot lines come together at the end, it just seems rushed and tacked on. It is a huge contrast to the first ‘Amazing’ movie, where the only villain was the Lizard, and it spent half the movie building up his transformation.
The acting is amazing (pun intended). The one thing Sony got right with the reboot was making Peter Parker a believable teenager, and Andrew Garfield pulls this off spectacularly. He makes jokes, he’s awkward, he’s full of himself: the exact opposite of Tobey Maguire’s portrail of the web head.
The supporting actors were good too: Emma Stone and Andrew had great chemistry as Gwen and Peter. The rich CEO Harry Osborn, ( Dane DeHaan), is a great contrast to middle class Peter. The scenes of them hanging out at a park are probably the best quiet moments of the movie. Jamie Foxx starts off as a weak scientist who is Spider-Man’s biggest fan, but when he turns into Electro he is genuinely intimidating. His last fight scene is the highlight of the movie special effects wise.
The movie wasn’t bad, the plot just got too complicated. It starts out with Peter graduating high school, and branches off into a dozen subplots, most of which don’t play a major part in the film. As a sequel, the most important subplot from the first movie is completely ignored: finding Uncle Ben’s killer. Peter doesn’t even mention if he’s moved on from trying to find him, which would have been better than nothing.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 wasn’t so much as amazing as it was average. The effects are good, the acting is great, but the story gets too complex until it just collapses in on itself in the end. It’s a must see for any Spider-Man fan, but considering X-Men: Days of Future Past and Guardians of the Galaxy are the next Marvel movies, it seems this movie will get overshadowed by the competition. Which could lead to Spider-Man going back to Marvel and getting into an Avengers movie, which would truly be amazing.
Final Verdict: 7 out of 10 (Swing into theaters if you’re a fan, but expect to be underwhelmed)