Movie #97 2021: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

Remember when I reviewed The Amazing Spider-Man? Me neither. Because it was over fifty movies ago. If you can use a bit of logic, I’m sure you can figure out that I wasn’t exactly enthused about diving back into the Spider-verse. (Let’s face it, no Spider-Man movie is ever going to top Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.)

If you go back a few years, you’ll remember a time before Tom Holland was our friendly neighbourhood web slinger. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is the sequel to Andrew Garfield’s first spidey movie – no shock there. In this instalment however, he comes face to face with Electro (Jamie Foxx), who is indeed full of shocks. Literally. Peter Parker’s old friend Harry Osborn also crawls out of the woodwork, providing him with some information he didn’t previously know about his past. Basically, this movie is plotless and I can’t really remember anything that happened within it other than one or two key dramatic moments.

Good start…

My first thought was actually “well this starts off with a bang!” And then I realised… I had no idea what the hell was going on amongst the onslaught of action. It’s just too much, and my brain was frazzled almost immediately.

Sadly, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a prime example of a superhero movie trying to include too many threads at once. There’s… I want to say four(?) storylines going on simultaneously with not enough focus dedicated to a single one of them, and it just comes off as a complete mess. This movie had 3 screenplay writers and 4 story writers – a clear cut case of too many cooks spoiling the broth, one might say.

So is there anything redeeming about this whole thing? Well, I’ll admit that the special effects really come into their own with this one. The sequence in Times Square especially is a brilliant spectacle thanks to the more modern CGI in play and you can absolutely tell that this is a relatively recent release. If only the story had been edited with as much precision and dedication as the visual effects were…

Andrew Garfield once again works well as Spidey, but the material he’s given is simply substandard and does his usually quick-witted, playful character a misjustice. If this was released in 2021, I’d immediately assume that it was a Zac Snyder shindig.

However, the sequence between Peter and Aunt May is wonderfully acted (especially by Sally Field) so it’s not all bad. They did do Jamie Foxx dirty though – I hope the MCU redeems him in the upcoming Spider-Man: No Way Home which he has been confirmed to be returning in. And don’t get me started on how unnecessary the Gwen Stacy thing is… Of course, I won’t go into that here for fear of someone coming across a 7-year old spoiler.

On the whole, it’s just too long (142 minutes? For what?), too convoluted… and yet still more entertaining than the first two Wolverine movies. Big meh.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is available to stream on Sky Cinema and Now TV in the UK.

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