The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

amazing spider-man 2 poster 2014 movie
7.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Green Goblin is better, New York City setting

Electro, Rhino

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Studio:  Columbia Pictures

Genre(s):  Comic Book/Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s):  April 16, 2014 (International)/May 2, 2014 (US)

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

amazing spider-man electro jamie foxx time square

They will see me…in all my Smurfy glory!!!

Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) seems to have it all.  In addition to graduating high school, he has a loving aunt May (Sally Field) and a girlfriend Gwen (Emma Stone) who understands his responsibilities.  Unfortunately, Peter is haunted by his past.  The death of Gwen’s father Captain Stacy (Denis Leary) is a constant reminder to him of his promise to protect Gwen.  Also, Peter is still questioning why his parents (Campbell Scott and Embeth Davidtz) abandon him at such a young age.  When Spider-Man saves the life of a named Max Dillion (Jamie Foxx) and Peter Parker’s childhood friend Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) returns, a series of events are set into motion that will change Peter’s life forever.

Directed by Marc Webb, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a follow-up to the hit blockbuster relaunch of the Spider-Man series which began in The Amazing Spider-Man in 2012.  The movie was released in 3D and 2D with an IMAX release as well.  The film received mixed reviews but big numbers.

amazing spider-man vs electro jamie foxx andrew garfield

Lots of posing…

When The Amazing Spider-Man was made, it did some things to fix problems in the first Sam Raimi trilogy of Spider-Man but also had its own weaknesses.  The sequel does some improvement on the first film but also suffers from some of the weaknesses of both series.

All the Spider-Man films suffer from severe imbalance of action.  This is actually the longest of the Spider-Man films at the point it was released (though it doesn’t feel like it).  The first series focused too much on the mopey life of Peter Parker who was always portrayed as a sad-sack in comics.  This series does a better job keeping Peter from being too mopey, but substitutes it for cliché teen angst.  It would work better if Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone were teens.

The movie also takes big (and weird) logic jumps.  The whole backstory with Peter’s parents just doesn’t work (it didn’t work in the comic either) and the hidden lab under a train station?  When did Mr. Parker have time to construct that…much less the great internet connection in their plane (which I’m thinking no matter how rich you were ten or so years ago when it happened wouldn’t have been possible).  Then you get Harry and Peter who are “best friends”…yet haven’t seen each other since they were little kids.

amazing spider-man green goblin harry osborn dane dehaan

A little Crest and a power toothbrush and you’re good, Harry

The movie takes a bit to get going.  While Electro is poorly used and a bit too goofy for a series that goes for a bit more realism, Max Dillon seems over the top and too comic booky.  I will say I felt that the Dane DeHaan version of the Green Goblin was better than James Franco.  The battle with the Green Goblin in the clock was strong and fixes the weak Mary Jane ending of Spider-Man (2002).  Rhino however…ugh.  It doesn’t make much sense to have a mechanical Rhino when you have a real Lizard and Electro…just make him really bound into his costume like the comic.

Garfield’s Peter Parker really enjoys being Spider-Man, and that is an improvement over Toby Maguire.  He and Emma Stone make a good couple (and they were together in real life at this time) and there is real chemistry.  Dane DeHaan reminds me of Leonardo DiCaprio when he was young, but Jamie Foxx is way too over the top for the movie (he reminds me of a combination of Jim Carrey in Batman Forever and Arnold Schwarzenegger in Batman and Robin).  Sally Field is better than the tottering Rosemary Harris (who was more accurate to the original comic version).  Paul Giamatti doesn’t show his acting skill in his role as Rhino and is pretty weak.  It was also unknown if Felicity Jones would become the Black Cat in a future film, but since the film did not pan out, it never happened.

amazing spider-man 2 gwen stacy death emma stone

My dad was right, Peter…You suck!!!

The movie does look really good.  Spider-Man seems much more lifelike in the film than in many of the previous entries, and the movie benefits from being one of the biggest films ever shot in New York City.  The movie does hurt itself with the poorly designed Electro (I realize the green and yellow spandex probably wouldn’t have worked) and the horrible Rhino.  I’m ok with Green Goblin who looks worlds above Willem Defoe.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 I think is on par with The Amazing Spider-Man and a bit overly hated.  The movie when released in the theater features a completely untied post-credit sequence involving rival studio’s X-Men franchise…it was part of an agreement for Webb to direct the film since Webb was licensed to Fox.  Sony had big plans for Amazing Spider-Man and had plans for two more sequels plus at least two spin-offs involving Venom (which did happen) and the Sinister Six (which did not), but the so-so numbers on this film did in Garfield’s Spider-Man…though he did make a return in Spider-Man:  No Way Home in 2021.

Related Links:

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

Spider-Man (2002)

Spider-Man 2 (2004)

Spider-Man 3 (2007)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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