In 2012, movie audiences were introduced to a brand new Spider-man. This Peter Parker, played by the lovable Andrew Garfield, came ten years after Tobey Maguire’s notable take on the superhero. That film was fresh, funny, and entertaining. Unfortunately, the second film in the rebooted franchise almost completely misses the mark.
Along with Garfield, the film stars Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, and Sally Field. It was directed by Mark Webb. There are so many (unnecessary) plots in "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" that it is hard to condense it into one coherent story line but here goes. In the film, Peter (Garfield) and his girlfriend Gwen Stacy (Stone) finally graduate from high school. However, Peter still feels guilty over his role in the death of Gwen's father and this causes the pair to break up. Meanwhile, Peter continues to fight crime as Spider-Man and earns the adoration of a nerdy and lonely electrician who works at OsCorp Industries, named Max Dillon (Foxx). Peter also reunites with his old childhood friend Harry Osborn (DeHaan) who is now in charge of OsCorp after the death of his father. Lastly, Peter tries to learn more about his parents and their deaths. Sally Field is mixed in there somewhere as Peter's loving aunt. She doesn't have much to do but she still does a wonderful job in one moving scene with Peter towards the end of the film.
One main problem with the film, besides the many, many plots is that there are way too many villains. Jamie Foxx does manage to make the viewer sympathize with Dillon's plight and his character seems to craftily serve as a metaphor for the need for modern Americans to be more that just "forgotten, nobody's". However, once Dillon becomes Electro, he's little more than a servant for Harry Osborn. Hard to not to feel for Jamie Foxx being regulated to background in the second act. DeHaan is believable as a villain as well but his connection to Peter Parker is so rushed that perhaps it would have been better to save his storyline for the next film.
Secondly, the script is terrible. Poor Andrew Garfield is forced to say some pretty corny and awkward lines. Furthermore, his Spider-Man who was written as a funny and snarky teenager in the first film is just mean and slightly obnoxious in this film. Frankly, the movie is only saved because the actors and acting is fantastic. Also Garfield and Stone have amazing chemistry. This reviewer would rather watch a whole film with just those two than sit through another "Spider-Man" film if it will end up like this one. Better luck next time guys. It is playing in Hartford here.