1 The Mickey Mindset: Film Review: The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Friday, May 2, 2014

Film Review: The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Although The Amazing Spider-Man 2 isn't a Disney-released Marvel Studios film, we thought it would be interesting to highlight the differences in Sony's filmmaking with Marvel as compared to Disney's.

Ryan Dosier - Last night I trudged along to the theater to see Sony's latest contract-keeping Spider-Man feature, The Amazing Spider-Man 2.  I'll be the first to admit that I didn't love the first film in Marc Webb's series, but I didn't hate it either. That is most certainly not the case with The Amazing Spider-Man 2, because I despised it. The film is a clunky, convoluted, and (dare I say it) boring chore. I left the theater not feeling at all impressed and left with nothing but frustration at the amount of wasted potential that was flopped on the screen.

The plot of the film is one of the most all-over-the-place and disjointed I've seen in a superhero flick. The movie tries to cram in Peter and Gwen's will they/won't they romance, Peter's relationship with Harry Osborn, Peter's relationship with his Aunt May, Peter's relationship with his dead parents, Harry's sudden and fatal disease, Gwen's acceptance into Oxford, Jamie Foxx turning from a nerd into a super villain, and New York's acceptance of Spider-Man. Plus a bunch of other things I'm probably forgetting. It's unbelievable and it doesn't work. At all.

Of all the terrible things in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, the greatest offense has to be the terrible performances delivered by really talented actors. Dane DeHaan (Chronicle) is the worst of the cast as Harry Osborn, which is terrible because Dane DeHaan is a very impressive young actor. His dialogue is ridiculous (although almost all of the dialogue in this thing is), he chews his way through scenes in the worst way, and he has the most unbelievable character arc. My biggest issue with the film is that Harry is just dropped into the middle of the story with the most heavy-handed expositional scene I've ever seen and then we're just supposed to believe that he and Peter are best friends after one exchange... even though we've never seen this character before. Ugh.

Jamie Foxx, Emma Stone, Chris Cooper, Paul Giammatti, and Sally Field are other actors who suffer immensely due to a disjointed script and poor direction. Jamie Foxx has some lines that are truly laughable ("It's my birthday. Time to light my candles.") and his performance is stoic and unmemorable. Chris Cooper and Giamatti are relegated to glorified cameos. Sally Field's randomly thrown in to dish out sage advice and Emma Stone is a plot device and nothing more, which is despicable.

The effects and fight sequences in the film are paradoxical. For every great thing, there's a laughably stupid thing. There's a huge battle sequence early on in Times Square that was really, really well done... but Jamie Foxx's Electro looks idiotic. There's wonderful montage moments of Spider-Man protecting the city... and then Green Goblin shows up and looks and acts so foolish that it derails what was left of the film. It's endlessly frustrating because Marvel's other, non-Sony films have shown us that it can be better.

As you've probably realized by now, I haven't mentioned Andrew Garfield yet. That's because he is far and away the best part of this film. In fact, Garfield is really, really good. He's snappy, brilliant, and embodies Peter Parker and Spider-Man better than anyone else could. Garfield is such a fine, fine actor and he is the only reason The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is even passable. Garfield is as smart and charming as ever in the film and it's an incredible shame that he (and the Peter Parker/Spider-Man he embodies) is saddled with such a mess of a movie.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 loses all the wit and charm of the first movie and replaces it with seven plots going on at once. There were a whopping four writers attached to the screenplay, and it shows in the most terrible way. The film is two and a half hours long and yet nothing really happens until the last 30 minutes. No intrigue, no real danger, nothing interesting. Spider-Man is one of the greatest superheroes of all time and he deserves so much better than what he's given here. This will probably be the last film in Sony's Spider-Man series I see in theaters.


  1. I wonder how better it would be if Marvel (Disney) themeselves did a Spider-Man film.

  2. Bad script, poor dialogue, yet ‘amazing’ visuals strengthened with solid acting, The Amazing Spider Man 2 lives down expectations with a scattershot storyline, an overabundance of villains, and a pace far to fast for viewers to enjoy.