Although it manages a few good moments and has some solid action sequences, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is nothing short of a bad movie. It is filled with unnecessary scenes, poor special effects, and a villain who’s only motive to destroy the city is because Spider-Man didn’t remember his name.
The film is further weighted down by a second villain who wants to destroy Spider-Man for not wanting to share his spidey blood and an ending that takes too long to end. The sequel never seems to have a chance to live up to the potential or leave you counting the days until you get to see Andrew Garfield’s version of everyone’s friendly neighborhood wall crawler again.
Once again directed by Marc Webb with screenplay chores handled by Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Jeff Pinkner, and James Vanderbilt, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 sees Garfield joined by Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, Colm Feore, Felicity Jones, Paul Giamatti, Sally Field, Embeth Davidtz, Campbell Scott, and Denis Leary.
Amazing Spider-Man 2’s mess of a plot kicks off with a flashback of Peter Parker’s parents being attacked in an airplane. The couple is on the run from Oscorp for destroying Richard Parker’s (Scott) genetic experiments. The plane crashes and they die. The film then jumps to Spider-Man chasing a hijacked Oscorp truck and taking enough time to crack some truly funny one-liners. He captures the villains and saves a bystander named Max (Foxx) – who is a diehard Spidey fan (in a plot device that seems stolen from Batman Forever). In a twist of fate, Max suffers an industrial accident at Oscorp and is turned into Electro.
Confused, Electro wanders New York City causing destruction until Spider-Man shows up to stop him. Electro’s fury grows when it is clear Spider-Man doesn’t remember his name or their first encounter. Luckily Spidey saves the day, and the film shifts to its second villain, Harry Osborn (DeHaan).
Harry is a childhood friend of Peter Parker who returns to New York City in time for his father’s death and to inherit his dad’s company, Oscorp – which is suffering a bit of bad PR thanks to the events of The Amazing Spider-Man. Harry discovers he is suffering from the same disease that killed his father and that Peter’s dad held the key to saving him. He also learns that the key to his health is currently flowing through Spider-Man’s veins. Given that Peter takes such great photos of Spider-Man, Harry asks Peter for an introduction that doesn’t go the way he hoped.
Without Spider-Man agreeing to donate his blood, Harry is forced to unlock the secret files of his father and use an untested formula based on Richard Parker’s work. He also decides to free Electro (who has been held at a secret place for Oscorp to work on him) to be his muscle to take down Spider-Man.
The film then shifts from one bad CGI-filled action sequence to the next as Spider-Man has to deal with both Electro and Osborn’s new Green Goblin bad guy. He also has to save Gwen Stacy from falling to her death.
The film’s ending is a set-up for the next installment in the franchise that will feature Spider-Man’s classic “Sinister Six” villains. After seeing Rhino (Giamatti) in the final moments of Amazing Spider-Man 2, I am not too sure it will live up to the potential those classic villains bring to the screen.
Although Amazing Spider-Man 2 is pulled down by bad CGI (Electro is one of the worst looking screen villains in a superhero film) and a bloated plot, the film has some good moments – mostly thanks to Garfield and the way he nails how funny Spider-Man is while stopping the bad guys. The actor has some great one-liners in the film, and keeps you caring about Spider-Man. His performance makes the later moments with Stone pay off.
On Blu-ray the picture looks incredible (even if it makes some of the action sequences feel like a bad video game), and comes loaded with bonus material that take you into the making of the movie and what it took to bring the character to life on the screen.
With its many problems, the sequel never seems to have a chance to live up to its potential or leave you counting the days until you get to see Andrew Garfield’s version of everyone’s friendly neighborhood wall crawler.