Review: The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Spiderman is one of the most beloved of comic book characters, which goes to show by the fact that there has been five films on the webslinger. Backtrack two years ago and a director by the name of Marc Webb took the rebooted franchise adding his fresh witted sense of humor and ability to capture romance while also casting the best Spiderman to date in Andrew Garfield. Webb is a talented director who got his start on 500 Days of Summer and various different music vdeos. The reboot didn't do much to be different from the original Raimi trilogy, but between Webb's direction and Garfield's performance it seemed to have more promise. That promise had quickly turned to disappointment as Sony had a grander scheme in mind to create a massive universe with Oscorp at the fore-front of it all in an attempt to compete with what Marvel is doing with their characters. In the end, this decision not only is a strange one but it also leads to some crucial character development issues.
The plot takes place sometime after the first film where now Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) has been Spiderman for some time and been getting a lot better as the web slinging hero of New York. However, he still struggles with the promise he made to Detective Stacy (Denis Leary) that he would leave his daughter out of it knowing that Spiderman would develop plenty of enemies. However, due to his love for Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), he fully stay away and more often then not he realizes that she is what ground's him. New York is also divided as to whether he is a hero or not. Most of the normal folk believe him to be a hero but the media paints him out in a bad light. Peter on the other hand is graduating from high school, moving on with his life while his old friend from his childhood had reemerged. Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) had returned to New York to take over OsCorp since his father had passed away thanks to the family curse.
Meanwhile, Spiderman's biggest fan, Max Dillon (Jaime Foxx), has a stalker level obsession with the webhead that intensifies when Spiderman saves his life. Max also works at OsCorp as an electrical engineer of sorts who oversees the newly minted electrical power grid that OsCorp had implemented for the entire city. One of the circuits has an issue on his birthday and his boss Alastair Smythe (B.J. Novak) instructs him to fix it, which ends in a terrible accident where he falls into a tube filled with electrical eels. He comes back to life with incredible powers and a thirst for more power. However, he still just wants to be noticed and when he feels that Spiderman has turned his back on him he loses any kind of sanity that he had remaining. Spiderman will have to deal with the most powerful of foes that he has ever dealt with as well as plenty of other surprises.
The biggest problem with this film is how completely disjointed it is. Marc Webb obviously has a talent for filming intimate scenes that carry plenty of dramatic weight which fits better in a romantic comedy kind of film, which does not fit what you need in a comic book film. Often enough, this film feels like an independent romantic comedy then oddly flips into an action film in the final act. Another issue that I have with the film is that if you have seen the trailers then congratulations you have already seen the movie. It is something that happens all to often, but in this one in particular they give away the biggest scene of all in the trailer. It takes away any kind of tension that us viewers may have throughout a film. As for the characters, the decision to have Peter's parents be such an integral role to the plot robs some of what Spiderman is. Spiderman is such a great hero due to the fact that he is your everyday dorky kid that can be bullied but then something random happens turning him into one of the best heroes of all time. By adding in the story about his father working at OsCorp, it robs Spiderman of what makes him such a relatable character.
As for performances, the film is watchable thanks to Andrew Garfield's portrayal of Peter Parker and Spiderman. He also yet again has terrific chemistry with Emma Stone and even Sally Field. The best scenes in the film feature them. However, Dane DeHaan's turn as Harry Osborn is very impressive as well. He has this creepy vibe to him and an anger that you can feel bubbling up to the surface. Webb does an admirable job as the director but it is abundantly clear that his talents would be best used in a different genre.