When The Amazing Spider-Man 2 works, it works well. When it doesn’t, however, the film disappoints.
Peter Parker is enjoying his role as Spider-Man, although the impact this has on his relationship with girlfriend Gwen Stacey is taking its toll. As Peter hopes to find out more about his parents, he has new antagonists to contend with…
With The Amazing Spider-Man 2, director Marc Webb attempts to blend a journey of discovery with a cartoonish comic book romp. There are parts of both aspects that are effective, but as an overall product the film is a letdown.
The narrative and pacing are a bit of a mess. The main focus of the plot appears to be Peter’s desire to discover more about his father, yet this is picked up and dropped without much thought throughout the film. The forward and back relationship with Gwen is highly reminiscent of the first franchise’s dynamic with Mary Jane. Nevertheless, there are some lovely scenes between Peter and Gwen.
Antagonists in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 are less well developed. The motivations attributed to these characters are dubious at best. There seems to be no genuine reason for a lot of what happens in the film. Given the genre, viewers will expect to suspend disbelief for the more fantastic elements of the movie. However, the antagonists here are given the flimsiest reason to carry out their actions.
This is what makes the film cartoonish. This is further compounded with the heavy use of CGI. Although the effects are good, it is inescapable that the images are computer-generated rather than live action. Camera work in the aerial shots are great, but a showdown between Spider-Man and Electro is pretty much all CGI.
Visuals are strong overall, and the soundtrack is superb. Chemistry between Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker and Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacey is a highlight of the film. Elsewhere, Dane DeHaan is not used effectively as Harry Osborn, while Jamie Foxx exhibits a limited range.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has some strong points, but the issues with its narrative are insurmountable. Hopefully the third instalment will be stronger in this respect.