Amazing Spiderman 2 Review: Swing Low, Sweet Spidey

Slight Spoilers for The Amazing Spiderman 2. Don’t worry, I don’t ruin the entire story.

Before I get started with this review, let me say that I love comics, Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Muthaf***a Foxx and movies in general.

But, now that that’s out of the way, I’m going to say this movie was not that great. It was better than the first Amazing Spiderman but that’ not saying much. The Peter Parker scenes here were fantastic as Garfield played up a more smarmy version. Here, he was cocky and knew who he was because he had it all: the powers, the girl, and he just graduated. The world was his oyster.

And then everything came crashing down.

I want this.

I want this.

The writers took the cheesy route this time. They had Peter and Gwen break up about 10 minutes into the film and effectively make the audience wait until the two get back together because this is a movie where crap like that happens. Dialogue was worse in this film. Peter said some pretty dumb things both in and out of the suit. It’s almost as if the writers wanted to catch the feel of the comics but also a daytime soap opera. Jokes landed flat but were often saved thanks in part to Garfield’s fine acting.

And the scenes between him and Stone, good lord those were just fantastic. Their real life relationship definitely bled into this movie. There was a point when I actually became jealous at Garfield because he had such a good rapport with Stone.

Jamie Foxx did an admirable job as Amazing Spiderman 2‘s main villain, Electro. Although, his transformation from meek and loserish Max Dillon to all powerful supervillain Electro could’ve been handled a lot more smoother. The score that accompanied the villain was fantastic. A mix of Dubstep, rock music, and whispering voices that tormented Dillon enhanced the alienation and anger that the man suffered through. Chronicle actor Dane Dehaan did a good job as well. His dark yet cocky Harry Osborn stole the scenes that he shared with Garfield’s Peter Parker.

Another problem that other critics have addressed is that this film has too many bad guys. Obviously, these cats haven’t read a comic book. Ever. In a comic, there could be more than 10 villains at any given moment. There were two main bad guys (Electro and, later, The Green Goblin) and one side villain meant to help set up future films (Paul Giamatti’s rarely used Rhino). I get what Sony is trying to do here but either you go all in with the bad guys or stay in a safe area because they kind of half-assed it here. They’re trying to set up future films – Amazing Spiderman 3 and 4 along with two spin offs about The Sinister Six and Venom – like Disney’s Marvel movies but it comes out as convoluted at best.

And don’t get me started on the “Richard Parker has something to do with Peter getting his powers” subplot. It was needless and bogged down the movie with scenes that could have been explained in five lines.

All in all, The Amazing Spiderman 2 improves on the original but it ultimately falters due to poor writing, bad direction and the plot holes that plague it. The actors are one of the only saving graces in the film. In the movies 2 hour and 20 minute run time, they could have done with less retreading of old waters and more exploration of Peter Parker and the world around him. If you want to see a good sequel to a Spiderman film, just go back and watch the first Spiderman 2.

Amazing Spiderman 2 is a very sequeluler movie. Go see it if you like flash more than you like substance.