*Warning: The following review contains many important spoilers in the plot of The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Read at your own risk.*
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 opened on May 2 with general approval from most audiences, and proves that the success of The Amazing Spider-Man wasn’t just a fluke. Andrew Garfield still plays a witty, sincere, and relatable Peter Parker, and Emma Stone still plays the intelligent and lovable Gwen Stacy, and in combination with a good script and good director, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 brings in an equal number of laughs, gasps, and heart-lurching turns.
The returning cast is strong and easily slip back into their roles, now that the characters are graduating high school and moving on.
The new characters bring in a little more shock.
Jaime Foxx makes his first appearance in the film as the quiet wallflower Max Dillon, later super-villain Electro. Intelligent, but not sociable, Foxx isn’t recognizable as himself under the glasses and shy movements, and later, turning blue just emphasized how well Foxx can turn from admiring to resentful.
Dane DeHaan as Harry Osborn, childhood friend of Peter Parker, really tries to make the role work, and for the most part, pulls off the desperate anger, but DeHaan was dealt a bad hand from the beginning. After following up James Franco, who played Harry Osborn in the original Spider-Man films with Tobey Maguire, DeHaan can’t play debonair yet obsessive version of Osborn. DeHaan is instead handed a weak, dying, desperate, and cold character.
What also seemed like a poor decision on the writers’ part was Harry Osborn’s story. Instead of sticking with familiar “father was the Green Goblin, and he became the new Green Goblin to avenge his death” story, the writers made him the one and only of the name, with a questionable probability to how the technology and treatments would have actually helped him survive his deteriorating state. By taking away all of Harry Osborn’s friends (Peter, and in turn, taking away Peter’s friends) removes his humanity and his transition to Green Goblin insignificant.
During the movie, we see growth in Andrew Garfield’s acting. While the death of Gwen Stacy is more of a jaw-dropper than heartbreaking for non-comic book readers, there’s no doubt that Garfield can pull off an emotional and touching
What might be on accident, yet existent, similarities between franchise-killer Spider-Man 3 and The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
One of the last battle scenes, between Green Goblin and Spider-Man was somewhat reminiscent of the fight in the clock tower between the Symbiote suit and Spider-Man in the church tower and construction site from Spider-Man 3.
The writers also tried to play on continuity from the original films that shouldn’t have existed- the glider and bombs of Green Goblin show up without being introduced earlier in this film. They look so similar to the original films’ that it should be assumed that the writers expected people to watch the original films or read the comics to know what they were.
The writers of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 tried to throw in too many secondary and tertiary antagonists as well, similar to Spider-Man 3. In this case, the movie wasn’t too busy, but caused for the lead into the next movie with Green Goblin to be weak and forced.
Despite the negative aspects of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, the actors, script, and director come together to bring another great superhero movie to the screen.