Synopsis: Peter Parker runs the gauntlet as the mysterious company Oscorp sends up a slew of supervillains against him, impacting on his life.
When Sony decided to reboot Spider-Man so soon after the horrendous Spider-Man 3, I was honestly optimistic and realized that there would be an adjustment. From the first film I learned that I was not happy with Tobey Maguire’s portrayal of Peter Parker/Spider-Man after seeing Andrew Garfield’s portrayal of the character. Despite the film repetitiously retelling the origin, I enjoyed the first film for the potential of what was to come. Much like Batman Begins was the launching point for The Dark Knight, I had hoped that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 would elaborately develop the story for the Spider-Man of the future and unfortunately it did not.
There are notable highlights of the film which I will start with first. As previously stated, Andrew Garfield is truly an “Amazing Spider-Man.” Isolated away from the plot, he is an asset to the franchise and with a great script, he could be the character that is universally loved. His wit, acting range, and charisma are characteristics that set him apart from previous actors who played Spider-Man and gives the role an opportunity to flourish. Emma Stone supplements that charisma with her own talents as an actress and the two together have an undeniable chemistry that creates a truly dynamic love life for Peter Parker/Spider-Man.
The problem with this film is that it comes close to falling victim to similar issues that plagued Spider-Man 3. With any story your antagonist needs to be just as strong (if not stronger than) as your protagonist. In my opinion, Electro was a near complete disaster from beginning to end. His motives for his rivalry with Spider-Man were weak, Foxx’s portrayal was stale, and even though his character needed CGI, it was completely overdone which was distracting. As the film progressed, it felt like Spider-Man was fighting a power line rather than a super villain based on Electro’s lack of dialogue and over the top special FX. And while I was hoping for the other villains, as seen in the trailers, to pick up the pieces they were unable to aid due to a lack of screen time. This was disappointing because the limited amount of screen time they did have was entertaining from an action perspective being that the hand to hand combat was much more appealing than the CGI extravaganza with Electro.
While Electro was clearly an overload of CGI, there were other prevalent areas of CGI that supplemented the abilities of Spider-Man. While some would say they were repetitious, the slow motion effects throughout the film gave the audience a clear visual perspective of how Spider-Man sees his surroundings in combat. The slow motion capture was smooth and elaborate showing every detail of the battle which the audience would have missed otherwise because of the fast paced fighting.
Overall I would say that this film wasn’t bad but it did not live up to the potential that it had. There were too many components with not enough time focused on exploring those components. Peter was simultaneously dealing with the conflict of his father’s past, working on his relationship with Gwen, reestablishing his friendship with Harry, and then working in the duties of Spider-Man. Being that all of these components were mostly independent of each other, this made things feel rushed and cluttered and did not create a cohesive flow in the plot. Despite the flaws in the plot, I do love this portrayal of Spider-Man. Andrew Garfield gives a more well rounded portrayal incorporating humor, grief, and conflict which has not been seen before in previous Spider-Man films. I also enjoyed a lot of the action throughout the film, I just wish there was a more grounded approach and an increase in frequency. I’m hoping that the future of this franchise will bring more dynamic villains and maintain a better plot flow than this film.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 – 6 out of 10
Definitely not Amazing, but had it’s moments of entertainment…