"The Amazing Spider-Man 2" Film Review
By: Nathaniel Simpson
There was a major problem with Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man 3", and that was the inclusion of too many villains at once. Their stories are told throughout the course of the film, trying to intertwine all the stories at once. I would say that Marc Webb's "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" does the complete opposite, giving us too little screen time for our villains and their personalities. They are trying to introduce three major villains, as well as dealing with Peter Parker's (Andrew Garfield) troubles in his everyday life. It seems like it's too much at once, as well as being not enough at the same time.
Peter has finally graduated from high school, which gives him more time to focus on his superhero career as Spider-Man, New York's web-crawling savior. He finally thinks he can live the life he wants, alongside his supportive girlfriend, Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone). However, when they split up, Peter is forced to live a life without her, still having hope that he can win her back.
When OSCORP worker, Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx) falls into an electric pool, he is then given superpowers that grant him the control of electricity. He just wants to be seen by his peers, but he is ridiculed and made the fool. He is then targeted by everyone in New York, prompting Spider-Man to take him down.
At the same time, Peter's old friend, Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), has returned to New York, ready to take over his father's business after his death. However, after he is diagnosed with a life threatening illness, he asks Spider-Man (unbeknownst to him that it is his only friend in the suit) for some of his blood to cure him. When Peter declines, Harry figures he must take matters into his own hands, forcing him to become the terrifying Green Goblin.
Like in the previous installment, Garfield does a great job of portraying the character of Peter Parker, as well as giving a better performance in his superhero gear. He seems more confident in the Spider-Man tights in this film, and gives off a completely different vibe that he had in the first entry of his Spider-Man films.
At the same time, his chemistry with Stone (it's important to note that the two actors had a romantic relationship at the time of filming) is spot on, and this is the best Spider-Man relationship we had at the time of the film's release. They compliment each other so perfectly, and they just make a very cute couple. Their interactions with one another leads the viewer to fall in love with their chemistry and romance, which ultimately rips the heart out of the viewer at the end of the film.
One of the things that ultimately kills this film, in a way, are its villains. Foxx's character is a very annoying, nasally nerd that keeps complaining how no one remembers his birthday for about ten minutes of the film. From there, the only way he is a threat is if someone tells him he's important. He seems like a loser, which doesn't make for a very good villain.
In addition to Electro, we also have DeHaan's Goblin, which in my opinion, is one of the worst villains so far in any Spider-Man film. I just think casting DeHaan as this character was the worst decision made throughout production. He is annoying and whiny, using his childlike impulses and attitude affect his decisions throughout the film. The film ultimately tries to get the viewer to sympathize with him, but fails by giving us this horrible character.
I think a big reason these characters aren't developed as much is due to the fact that they receive very little screen time. We spend so much time on unimportant scenes, and rushing the crucial moments of the film. The character development just isn't there, which hurts the movie greatly. I honestly think if they spent a lot more time on their characters, as well as their plot structure and timing, this could have been a very good Spider-Man film. It's a pity it's not.