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‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ mixes solid action with uninspired story

May 8, 2014

The high-flying web slinger is back in theaters with “The Amazing Spider- Man 2,” though it might not be as amazing as the title describes.

Movie poster for The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
"The Amazing Spider-Man 2" continues the superhero adventures of Peter Parker.

Peter Parker has been living it up as Spider-Man. He stops all crime, is loved by all and is loved most of all by his girlfriend Gwen Stacy. All seems fine in the city that never sleeps until Peter saves one man. This man, Max Dillon, has craved all his life to be known and recognized, and after a freak accident turns him into an electrical monstrosity, he may have that chance.

But after Max destroys a whole New York block, Spider-Man has a new enemy to face. To make matters worse, Peter’s old friend Harry Osborn is back in town and is not doing well himself. Peter will need to gather whatever courage he has left and take full responsibility for the destruction and chaos that will ensue from this new villain he faces, and the secrets that follow.

I had high hopes for “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” to be, if nothing else, an enjoyable film, just as any other Marvel film today. And while I did get that overall fulfilling feeling you get from other Marvel flicks, I was surprised to find that “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” had some glaring problems.

First, the good parts: “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” sports some good direction. At no point did I feel disoriented, and this shows best during its action-driven parts. Fights happen a lot in this film and each is competently done and entertaining.

Second, the acting: Andrew Garfield of course returns as Spidey, however I felt that this time around his acting ability was finally realized for the character. I truly felt that Garfield became the ideal Spider-Man we all know and love this time around. He is energetic, cracks jokes all the time and deals with his problems as any teen would.

Along with Garfield’s performance, every other actor does a good job; Emma Stone is just as supporting as she was in the first film, and even Jamie Foxx does all right playing the nerdy but intimidating Max Dillon, later the villain Electro. There even get to be some truly sad and touching moments between some characters, particularly Peter and Aunt May. Just do not be surprised by one extremely campy performance by an actor who only comes into play with a Rhino suit near the tail end of the film.

Now to talk about the bad parts of the film: while it does have some good performances and competent direction, the writing is a bit lackluster. Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy have a much more confusing relationship this time around that makes me question the point of their lover spats. Even some dialogue and the phrases spoken by characters do not make a whole lot of sense. I found some lines of dialogue to be head-scratchingly weird.

“The Amazing Spider-Man 2” also suffers from some inconsistent scenes, way too stereotypical situations and characters, an overload on villains and it is that same overload that takes away a lot from the ending of the film and makes it feel rushed.

“The Amazing Spider-Man 2” really proves to be one heck of a mixed bag.

On the one hand there is good action and some great character interactions, but on the other hand is a hokey plot that will make you ask “why.” I think I will leave it to you, the readers, to decide if you can sacrifice a bit of plot for great action in seeing “The

Ryan Funes is a lover of all things movie, TV, video games and stories and wants to become a television writer someday. In his spare time he enjoys hanging with friends, tapping into his imagination, and watching cartoons of all kinds.