2014 has been a great year for movies. However, the much-anticipated Amazing Spider-Man 2 was a little more like ‘Ehhhh’mazing.

Marc Webb (previously known for his directorial work on Amazing Spider-Man 1, (500) Days of Summer, and a variety of music videos) was back behind the wheel as director for this second entry in the rebooted Spider-Man film franchise. With help from Avi Arad, who is well known for his work with numerous Marvel franchises, and given that the first Amazing Spider-Man was a solid film, I walked into this with much higher expectations, and was, ultimately, let down. Even with a powerhouse cast of celebrity couple Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, and Dane DeHaan amongst many others, it still just wasn’t quite enough to hold a candle to the flame of what a Spider-Man film should be. The plot is basically a build up for the highly-anticipated Sinister Six film that is slated for release late 2016, as our hero, Peter Parker (played again by Garfield), finds himself up against some of Spider-Man’s most familiar foes, Paul Giamatti’s Rhino, Jamie Foxx’s Electro, and Dane DeHaan’s Green Goblin, throughout the very long-winded course of the plot. Aside from the lengthy character development, , HoweverAmazing 2’s clear ambitions were set on the development of Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy’s relationship. While it is arguable that the Peter and Gwen scenes were the highlights of this movie, and some certainly were, I have to say that the amount of screen-time they got was far too drawn out, making the film feel much longer than it should have. Peter is certainly allowed to have his love interests outside of the suit, but the film had me at points questioning if I saw a romantic comedy or a Spider-Man movie. The movie does do a very good job at leading up to the upcoming Sinister Six, and you’ll see why upon watching. However, the length of the film should’ve been cut much shorter, or even better, altered to put more focus on the other two villains that are in the movie, and less of Electro and the relationship between Peter and Gwen.

The cast of this film is really what stands out to me. Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Paul Giamatti, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, and the rest of the gang all put on stellar performances. If I were to make any gripes at all, it would be that Jamie Foxx did seem, at points, a little bit out of character as Maxwell Dillon before him obtaining his power as Electro. That’s not to say that Foxx didn’t put on a good performance. He is a very talented actor, and I think he did a solid job, but there were notably some areas where he seemed more like Jamie Foxx than Max Dillon. The chemistry between Garfield and Stone really shows on-screen in Peter and Gwen’s relationship. It allows for a much more heartfelt romance between them and is more captivating to viewers because of that chemistry being there. Sadly, the story allowed for a little too much inconvenient and unfitting screen-time for both their relationship and in Electro’s character development. It could certainly be argued that the excess screen-time is why the character-actor personality conflict began to show in Foxx’s case. While I didn’t personally like the casting choice as DeHaan as Harry Osborne, I can certainly say he portrays the role of the Green Goblin very well, and I’m excited to see his return, amongst others, in the Sinister Six. Amazing Spider-Man 2 really excels in the areas that it does very much due to the incredible cast.

The soundtrack, score, and effects in this film are decent. The soundtrack is fitting for the movie and incorporates some familiar radio hits from recent time to reach out to a younger crowd, as well as a crowd with more of a mainstream taste. One piece of music in this film that really frustrated me was an EDM song that is played during a battle between Spider-Man and Electro. The beat of the song is synced with the hits Spidey takes in the battle. This just came off as very cliche and turned what could’ve been a solid fight scene, turned into one of my least favorite moments. The score is very good and feels very ‘Spider-Manish.’ The musical pieces played during climactic battles, and overall-climactic scenes feel like they were hand-crafted for the film, which the exception of the moment as mentioned above. The effects in this movie are very appealing to the eyes. From watching Spider-Man dive from the sky towards the streets of New York to looking at a very fast-paced, action-packed battle between Spidey and Green Goblin, the effects are damn near stunning in this movie. While I understand the emphasis that slow motion can visually add to a scene of a film, the slow motion in Amazing Spider-Man 2 was very overdone. There was slow motion incorporated into just about every single fight scene in the movie, and it was very, very unnecessary. It didn’t ruin the scenes, but it did hinder their potential and added to the lengthy feel of the overall film. There have certainly been better scores and effects to films of this nature, but in this case, they didn’t feel out of place, and they did enhance the experience.

Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a decent movie. While it certainly doesn’t make the top of any Marvel or superhero film lists, it is at least worth a watch if you’re a fan of the Spider-Man franchise or superhero movies in general. While it does have a great cast list and an enjoyable score, there are many disappointments in the length and excess plot development that hold this film back from living up to the expectations set by both the first Amazing Spider-Man and the Spider-Man franchise as a whole. The story is far too driven by the combination of Electro and the relationship (Peter and Gwen’s) developments that it makes the overall experience feel longer than . However, this doesn’t take away from the fact that it is a Spider-Man film, and should be watched at least once by both hardcore and casual fans, especially if you’re excited for the Sinister Six film that this movie builds up for. I feel like this film had much more potential than what it delivered, but given the gap between now and the Sinister Six in 2016, we have to take what we can get.

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Amazing Spider-Man 2

  • Fun Factor
    65%
  • Plot
    50%
  • Cast
    80%
  • Soundtrack
    60%