The Amazing Spider-Man 2

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 starring Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone

The second instalment of the new Amazing Spider-Man series has a lot to live up. After only ten years since the last sequel to a Spider-Man origin story, this one has a duty to justify whether it was worth it to reboot the series in the first place.

See review for The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has a lot going on. In this film, Andrew Garfield, who stars as the web-slinging hero, is slightly older, maybe wiser but has contributed to bettering the safety of Manhattan through vigilantism. He’s also graduating college along with girlfriend Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), as Peter Parker of course. In amidst all this, Peter is still trying to make sense of his parents’ abandonment when he was a child; has reached out to his childhood best friend Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) after his own father (Chris Cooper) passes away; and is battling the token bad guy.

Yet, despite all of the sub-plots, the majority of the film’s attention is placed on Peter’s relationship with Gwen.

“It’s…complicated.”

Not really.

As a result of their on-again off-again relationship, the film takes quite some time to actually get going. On one hand, the buildup of Electro’s (Jamie Foxx) backstory needs time but not before a brief connection is made between him and both Spider-Man and Gwen, dragging the story down.

When Electro is finally let loose, his character is thin and falls flat. As was one of the primary problems of the first film, ease and convenience took over in his creation. Electro is poorly explained and delivered. It’s becoming clearer that the focus of the story isn’t on Spider-Man’s rivalry with Electro. It’s not even really on Spider-Man anyway.

Andrew Garfield spends more time out of Spider-Man’s suit than in it. Maybe the spandex is too uncomfortable the writers chose to create a heavier emphasis on Peter Parker instead. This would be justified if Peter was less emo and more into solving the mystery surrounding his parents.

The character of Harry Osborn possesses a much more interesting narrative but instead serves as a side-story building up to the third movie. Fair enough. But that makes it two-for-two for Spider-Man films that are distracted by setting the stage for future movies rather than focusing on the one at hand.

As mentioned, there’s a lot going on. As such, this film is disjointed. There’s simply too much going on but not enough focus to fully fulfill any individual sub-plot and satisfyingly deliver a full story. It feels both rushed and drags at the same time. Explanations are poor and anticlimactic. And we’re sometimes left wondering whether this is a superhero action movie or a romantic drama. Is Gwen Stacy the Yoko Ono of this Spider-Man movie?
Two Stars

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