“Amazing Spider-Man 2” loses disappointing fight with the audience


Raider Times photo / Courtesy Sony Pictures Entertainment

Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx) and Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield) come face to face more than once in "The Amazing Spider-Man 2", which opens Friday, May 2.

“The Amazing Spider-Man 2” develops the iconic hero by setting loose two villains in New York City to take on Spider-Man. The film also expands on the Peter Parker side of Spider-Man, exploring his relationship with Gwen Stacy and his struggles to ascertain the truth about who his parents really were.

The complexity of the plot should make of an interesting addition to the Spider-Man franchise, but ultimately makes this movie “The Disappointing Spider-Man 2.”

Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is blissfully in love with his girlfriend, Gwen (Emma Stone), but cannot seem to escape the haunting image of Gwen’s father asking Peter to keep her away from Spider-Man’s world in the conclusion of this film’s prequel, “The Amazing Spider-Man.” As Peter faces tension in his relationship with Gwen, he experiences additional strife as he obsesses over his past.

Peter is trying to discover the truth about his parents and the work they were doing at Oscorp, which has been newly inherited by Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan). His troubles grow when Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx) experiences a terrible electrical accident while working at Oscorp and becomes the powerful Electro. 

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has to sacrifice quite a bit of time to get to know these new villains and their backstories.”

Spider-Man is hunted by Electro, who begins feasting on the city’s electricity to gain more power. Peter struggles to keep Gwen out of the inevitable danger that comes with being close to Spider-Man, while keeping New York City safe from Electro and confronting Harry, who incidentally turns himself into Green Goblin.

When comparing this to the original Spider-Man movie franchise, it’s difficult to imagine anyone else playing the iconic superhero. However, Andrew Garfield effortlessly captures the audience with his witty remarks and care-free attitude, which is a more accurate portrayal of the comic book Spider-Man compared with Tobey Maguire’s performance.

Another major difference between the two series is the timing and placement of characters. In the original series, Peter Parker’s main love interest was Mary Jane Watson and Gwen Stacy only showed up in the last movie, which was another inconsistency between the comics and the movies. The Gwen Stacy in “Spider-Man 3” was simply inserted to further strain Mary Jane’s and Peter’s relationship. However, in this movie, Gwen Stacy is correctly shown as the intelligent, resourceful, and modest character she was meant to be.

No Spider-Man would be complete without the complex, charismatic Harry Osborn. This version of Harry Osborn, played by DeHaan, is a more cynical, violent, and calculating character that will say or do anything to get what he wants. He makes the audience miss the adorable James Franco, but also provides an interesting and cynical twist to a well-known character.

“The Amazing Spider-Man 2” is rated PG-13 due to its action-adventure nature. The actions scenes are not too gruesome and the movie is appropriate for a younger audience. Although, be warned, the movie runs a bit long at 141 minutes.

Fans of the series who have seen “The Amazing Spider-Man” and enjoyed it will probably be delighted to know that this movie features better quality action scenes (though less frequent). For the romance lovers of the fan group, you will be excited to know that “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” is full of more cutesy moments between Peter and Gwen that will make your heart get all warm and tingly.

Although many are eagerly anticipating the sequel, it should be noted that with two major villains and every character (even Aunt May) having issues, there are frequent moments of convenience and rushed scenes. It’s understandable that character development is extremely vital, especially for a reboot, but it was too much, too fast.

Another shortcoming of the movie was the action scenes, or rather lack of them. There were about three grand fight scenes in “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” all falling short of the intense, enduring battle that was expected.

The issues with having two villains came early on in the movie when it became apparent that in order to provide the antagonists with any foundation, they had to sacrifice quite a bit of time to get to know these new characters and their backstories.

The majority of “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” was full of painful clichés that made the script overwhelmingly corny. What saved the movie was the respectable ending that was beautifully shot and exceptionally touching.

Additionally, seeing “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” in 3-D makes for an unappealingly jumbled mess of action shots. It is not worth the two instances of shattered glass flying at your face.

Fans of Spider-Man should probably see this film once, but, rest assured, you may not want to see it another time after that.

–May 2, 2014–