The Amazing Spider-Man 2

We’ve always known that Spider-Man’s most important battle has been within himself: the struggle between the ordinary obligations of Peter Parker and the extraordinary responsibilities of Spider-Man. But in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Peter Parker finds that a greater conflict lies ahead. It’s great to be Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield). For Peter Parker, there’s no feeling quite like swinging between skyscrapers, embracing being the hero, and spending time with Gwen (Emma Stone). But being Spider-Man comes at a price: only Spider-Man can protect his fellow New Yorkers from the formidable villains that threaten the city. With the emergence of Electro (Jamie Foxx), Peter must confront a foe far more powerful than he. And as his old friend, Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), returns, Peter comes to realize that all of his enemies have one thing in common: OsCorp.

My Thoughts: I want to like this movie more than I do. Spider-Man is one of my favorite superheroes, and I vastly prefer Andrew Garfield in the role to Tobey Maguire. The same goes for Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy over Kirsten Dunst’s Mary-Jane Watson. Beyond that, there’s a lot I like about The Amazing Spider-Man 2. I like the particular sense of humor Spider-Man has in this series. I love Peter’s interactions with Aunt May. Harry Osborn gets more of my sympathies here than in the Raimi films. Electro just looks amazing.

And yet…

This movie is somehow both overstuffed and lacking in screen time to flesh out everything it wants to tell. Tonally, it’s all over the map. The different plots going on in the film largely feel like they’re setting up for the next few films Sony has planned (both The Amazing Spider-Man 3 and The Sinister Six). Both Electro and the Green Goblin flip over perceived slights from Spider-Man, which is just too convenient. And while the final act is pretty much perfectly executed, there’s something about the final scene that feels incomplete. Again, that darn setup.

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