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The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Review

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It may not be "amazing," but we think it's still worth checking out. Come read our thoughts on Spidey's sequel!

Honestly, my expectations for the The Amazing Spider-Man 2 were pretty mixed. On one hand, I enjoyed the first a good deal and this one seems like it'll embrace more of a "popcorn fun" vibe. But on the other hand, it's trying to juggle a lot of material, so it's understandable that would generate some concern. While this does become a bit of an issue, it by no means ruins the overall experience. So no, this isn't another Spider-Man 3.

If you enjoyed the awkward and adorable chemistry between Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone in the first movie, then you'll be happy to know there's plenty more of it in this one. They share some legitimately charming moments and a lot of them made me crack a goofy smile or laugh out loud. You can't help but want to root for them, you know? But it's not just the lovable scenes they sell, either. Both are able to deliver in every scene, even if their dialogue may feel a little odd once or twice. Seeing as this movie also deals with Peter Parker trying to cope with the promise he made to Captain Stacy (no idea what I'm talking about? Watch the first movie), there's a major spotlight shined on the problems with their relationship. Sure, some of this may feel a little cheesy or silly for some, but I found myself really enjoying the focus on their situation and that's obviously due to their undeniable chemistry. Not only that, but it's interesting to see where they both stand on these issues and what it ultimately means for them. Like I said above, I love the connection these two characters have and this sequel does a great job bringing that front and center.

The action with Spider-Man's a blast. It's a bit disappointing they used so many good bits in the trailers, but honestly, watching it all unfold on the big screen was still hugely enjoyable and a real visual treat. What I really enjoyed were the little moments that highlighted Peter's spider sense. Yes, slow motion tends to be overused in some movies, but in this one, it's reserved for just the right spots and allows you to truly appreciate how Spidey's able to tackle some obstacles. Additionally, this movie goes above and beyond to present Spider-Man as a symbol of hope. When it comes to him saving people -- be it someone in the way of a deadly crash or a kid getting bullied -- there's plenty of Spidey proving he strives to be a true hero. Oh, and the scenes of Spider-Man swinging throughout the city? Pure eye candy and my only complaint about that is that I wish there was more of it! Director Marc Webb managed to incorporate some pretty clever shots in there, so it never became a dull experience and remained exciting as Spider-Man soared over New York's crowded streets.

So, how are Dane DeHaan and Jamie Foxx, you ask? Well, he may not be the deepest character around, but Foxx's Electro certainly is an entertaining one. He goes from feeling powerless and ignored to powerful and betrayed, so naturally, he wants to make everyone else suffer just like he did. Foxx is a talented dude, so it should come as no surprise he plays both sides very well. Personally, I would have loved to see his character get a little more attention, but it is what it is. As for DeHaan, I think he does a commendable job with the material he's given. He may not feel like the "Apex Goblin" (you're welcome, Chronicle fans), but I think he's a thoroughly engaging actor. The supporting cast is solid, too. Sally Field gets a little more focus this time around (rightfully so!), and she has one moment that will definitely hook onto your emotions. Paul Giamatti doesn't get much screentime, but the little he does have is absolutely enthralling. I couldn't help but chuckle as he made a certain exclamation later on in the movie. It's totally silly, but as a fan of his character, I loved it.

As expected, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has a good amount of fan service and takes some steps to establish the universe's future. There's quite a few name-drops and, even though we already know the path Sony will take with this franchise, it was still pretty satisfying to witness little hints about what lies ahead. There's at least one character introduced that makes me wonder if they'll play a major role in the next one. Sadly, my screening did not have a credits scene. Bummer, right?

The movie has its fair share of emotional moments, but there's one that really delivers. Some of you may see it coming, but it won't matter because this scene is executed incredibly well. Seriously, it's guaranteed to have your undivided attention and, even if you know what's coming, will likely have your jaw dropped.

One small issue the first movie had was Peter taking off his mask an unnecessary amount of times and far too many people learning about his identity. Thankfully, that's not the case this time around. In fact, there was only one moment where I wanted to say, "PUT ON THE MASK, MAN! PEOPLE HAVE HIGH QUALITY CAMERAS NOWADAYS!" but honestly, it worked for the bit so it's really not that big of a deal.

While I did enjoy the finale with Electro, they unfortunately decided to add an extra element to it -- one that takes place a good deal away from the two main characters. The goal was to give extra weight to the scenario and make it feel more dire, but instead this felt totally generic and took away from the more compelling material (aka Spider-Man vs. Electro). I know why this was added, but honestly, it felt totally unnecessary and added one of those generic countdowns to the scene.

I can usually tolerate shaky camera work, but it was virtually unbearable during a brawl in the opening scene. Even when it would momentarily cut away from the action, it felt like the camera was being held during an earthquake. Thankfully, this isn't an issue for the rest of the movie, but if you're seeing it on IMAX, prepare for some visually frustrating shots in the beginning.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 juggles quite a few different stories, and while the material with Harry Osborn is good, the transition to Green Goblin and what happens next feels a little rushed. I mean, I totally understand why they make him put on the armor and hop on the glider, and how his battle concludes is great, but Harry becoming the "final boss" felt awkwardly put in there and his appearance just feels very conveniently timed. Don't get me wrong: this duo has a more organic connection than the villains in Spider-Man 3, but you can tell the film has a little more on its plate than it needs. And don't worry, Rhino isn't crammed into the mix, either. His role really is minimal and, if anything, helps tease the movie universe's future. Really, don't go in expecting some big brawl with the brute or else you'll be disappointed. Lastly, the doctor working in Ravencroft came off as way too silly and ended up feeling more like a distraction. If this character was toned down a bit, those scenes could have felt more gripping and impactful.

Sure, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 feels a little bloated, but it makes up for that with some very fun sequences, strong humor, solid performances, and some legitimately emotional developments. Basically, it's a popcorn flick with a whole lot of heart. All in all, I had a really good time with Webb's second Spider-Man movie and I'm definitely excited to see what they'll hit us with next.

105 Comments
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Posted by longbowhunter

Good review. I thought the first one was pretty good. For some reason I can't get jazzed about this.

Posted by Wolverine08

I'm hyped.

Posted by TheAcidSkull

4? That's good news :)

Edited by Krypton-115

Good review man, I totally loved the first movie, and I'm seeing this one on Sunday, I'm totally hyped!

Posted by AbdullahZubair

i'm more excited for these spiderman movies than the actual marvel cinematic universe

Edited by sora_thekey

I had very minor issues with this film, but enjoyed it a whole lot. It's probably my love for Gwen Stacy that's talking but I liked this so much more than any of the past 4 Spidey films.

Posted by Ninjablade09

Good review. Man Thursday can't come fast enough.

Posted by Hellos

I'm curious to see how this film pans out myself, thanks for a few bread crumbs K4tz to hold me over till its release here.

Posted by The Stegman

I gave it 3 and a half stars. But if I had to round it, it'll probably be a four.

Posted by Squalleon

Kudos @k4tzm4n I loved this review, it is no analytical and all the points are logical. I haven't seen the movie yet, here it starts 1 of mMy but your review is spot on on what I expected.

Posted by jwalser3

Can't wait to see it, it seems fun.

Posted by TheAmazingImmortalMan

I'm so watching this......

Posted by Nahuel

Good review! I was planning on watching this movie anyway. And the best part: I haven't seen en trailer, so I'll enjoy everything for the first time!

Posted by InFamous_Wolf

Good review. Also loved the Chronicle reference. its one of my favorite movies. Anyway I'm really hyped for this movie, can't wait.

Posted by comicbookfan93

This review perfectly summed up my feelings for the film

I wish more superhero movies would use characters the way this used rhino

Edited by EscGamer

Just what I expected to get out of this movie even though I haven't seen it. My only disappointment is that Rhino doesn't get a full brawl scene :(

Edited by Fallschirmjager

I will also end up giving it a 4 I believe. I loved almost every part of it and I didn't feel like Harry/Goblin was rushed at all.

My problem is the music. (hoping maybe its better in theaters...)

Otherwise spot on with everything. Great addition to the CBM genre imo.

Posted by angelalfonso

i saw the movie on wednesday, and it's great, I wish they would have developed more on the relation Peter- Harry.

it didn't fulfill all my expectation, but never the less it's a great movie.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

Great movie IMO

Posted by TheAcidSkull

I will also end up giving it a 4 I believe. I loved almost every part of it and I didn't feel like Harry/Goblin was rushed at all.

My problem is the music. (hoping maybe its better in theaters...)

Otherwise spot on with everything.

That good? You'd take away 1 star for music? O_o

Edited by Fallschirmjager

@theacidskull said:

@fallschirmjager said:

I will also end up giving it a 4 I believe. I loved almost every part of it and I didn't feel like Harry/Goblin was rushed at all.

My problem is the music. (hoping maybe its better in theaters...)

Otherwise spot on with everything.

That good? You'd take away 1 star for music? O_o

I love music. I listen to music almost every second that I'm not required to listen to something else.

Music is crucial to a film. Its sets the atmosphere, helps deliver the emotion...everything. You would be amazed how shallow a film is without its music.

And the music is shit. I mean they actually went through with putting the dubstep in the movie (I hoped it was trailer only). MY GOD. And that's just the beginning. I don't even know the name of the song/artist (know its kind of a popular song though) that gets put it in the middle of it too. Its like a pop song or some crap...HORRIBLE. I literally said "WTF" aloud several times.

I wouldn't hesitate to rank it among the top 5 best CBM's if not for the music. Some of it was good yes, but you can tell the movie went through multiple composers because the score was so schizophrenic.

Again...I'm not writing my review in full until after I watch it in theaters (the cam was bad) but I can't give something a 5/5 if I hate something as crucial as the music.

Posted by DaltonMunnal

@theacidskull said:

@fallschirmjager said:

I will also end up giving it a 4 I believe. I loved almost every part of it and I didn't feel like Harry/Goblin was rushed at all.

My problem is the music. (hoping maybe its better in theaters...)

Otherwise spot on with everything.

That good? You'd take away 1 star for music? O_o

I love music. I listen to music almost every second that I'm not required to listen to something else.

Music is crucial to a film. Its sets the atmosphere, helps deliver the emotion...everything. You would be amazed how shallow a film is without its music.

And the music is shit. I mean they actually went through with putting the dubstep in the movie (I hoped it was trailer only). MY GOD. And that's just the beginning. I don't even know the name of the song/artist (know its kind of a popular song though) that gets put it in the middle of it too. Its like a pop song or some crap...HORRIBLE. I literally said "WTF" aloud several times.

I wouldn't hesitate to rank it among the top 5 best CBM's if not for the music. Some of it was good yes, but you can tell the movie went through multiple composers because the score was so schizophrenic.

Again...I'm not writing my review in full until after I watch it in theaters (the cam was bad) but I can't give something a 5/5 if I hate something as crucial as the music.

This makes me concerned for the near future of comic book film score, seeing as this was a Hans Zimmer score.

Edited by Fallschirmjager

@daltonmunnal said:

@fallschirmjager said:

@theacidskull said:

@fallschirmjager said:

I will also end up giving it a 4 I believe. I loved almost every part of it and I didn't feel like Harry/Goblin was rushed at all.

My problem is the music. (hoping maybe its better in theaters...)

Otherwise spot on with everything.

That good? You'd take away 1 star for music? O_o

I love music. I listen to music almost every second that I'm not required to listen to something else.

Music is crucial to a film. Its sets the atmosphere, helps deliver the emotion...everything. You would be amazed how shallow a film is without its music.

And the music is shit. I mean they actually went through with putting the dubstep in the movie (I hoped it was trailer only). MY GOD. And that's just the beginning. I don't even know the name of the song/artist (know its kind of a popular song though) that gets put it in the middle of it too. Its like a pop song or some crap...HORRIBLE. I literally said "WTF" aloud several times.

I wouldn't hesitate to rank it among the top 5 best CBM's if not for the music. Some of it was good yes, but you can tell the movie went through multiple composers because the score was so schizophrenic.

Again...I'm not writing my review in full until after I watch it in theaters (the cam was bad) but I can't give something a 5/5 if I hate something as crucial as the music.

This makes me concerned for the near future of comic book film score, seeing as this was a Hans Zimmer score.

Multiple people worked on it. Zimmer took over for some other dude late in the project. The score clearly sounds like it was worked on by two people with different visions at time.

I don't know the details obviously, but that's what it sounds like to me.

Edited by k4tzm4n

Can't quote everyone right now, but thanks for all the compliments!

@fallschirmjager said:

@theacidskull said:

@fallschirmjager said:

I will also end up giving it a 4 I believe. I loved almost every part of it and I didn't feel like Harry/Goblin was rushed at all.

My problem is the music. (hoping maybe its better in theaters...)

Otherwise spot on with everything.

That good? You'd take away 1 star for music? O_o

I love music. I listen to music almost every second that I'm not required to listen to something else.

Music is crucial to a film. Its sets the atmosphere, helps deliver the emotion...everything. You would be amazed how shallow a film is without its music.

And the music is shit. I mean they actually went through with putting the dubstep in the movie (I hoped it was trailer only). MY GOD. And that's just the beginning. I don't even know the name of the song/artist (know its kind of a popular song though) that gets put it in the middle of it too. Its like a pop song or some crap...HORRIBLE. I literally said "WTF" aloud several times.

I wouldn't hesitate to rank it among the top 5 best CBM's if not for the music. Some of it was good yes, but you can tell the movie went through multiple composers because the score was so schizophrenic.

Again...I'm not writing my review in full until after I watch it in theaters (the cam was bad) but I can't give something a 5/5 if I hate something as crucial as the music.

I understand where you're coming from, but it didn't bother me. Yes, I thought using the one pop song was a little corny, but despite not personally liking it, it at least fit the scene. As for "Electrostep," I actually enjoyed it -- added a little more "energy" to his presence. And I thought Zimmer's material wasn't nearly as good as his other work (seriously, Man of Steel and The Dark Knight Rises blows this out of the water), but he managed to fit a decent score in for the more "inspirational" scenes. But hey, to each their own. Now I'm just a little disappointed that I didn't cover this in the review!

Edited by marvel_dc_heroes_villains

For me the films was a solid three. The action was good, and I agree with Greg when he says that slow-mo was actually done right here (saw it in cinemas, thanks to early UK release). Spider-Man is as cartoony a hero as they come in his mannerisms, and Garfield does a fine job, not only as Peter Parker (who is probably the best out of costume superhero this side of Tony Stark) but also when in the costume, just in his body language. Obviously, the web-slinging is a joy, the use of momentum is brilliant and it is cinematically unique. The chemistry between him and Emma Stone is also undeniably good and the supporting cast was generally impressive, with the exception of the entirely superfluous campy German prison guard. Making Electro a city-wide menace by playing up his full potential was also welcome. Finally, the ending was actually great. Whilst I knew Gwen was doomed, it was still a ballsy move for a genre that is obsessed with keeping everyone alive (Age of Ultron better kill off someone major, otherwise, the stakes are too low).

However, there were some definite issues. For one, Peter and Gwen interactions aside, the dialogue was not that great and the exposition was clunkily done. There were also bits that should have definitely been cut, such as the unnecessary extra tension of the planes in blackout that felt like it had accidentally been edited into the wrong movie. I also refuse to believe that Richard Parker's secret was hidden in a train that literally rises from the ground. I can buy that radioactive spiders hold inherent powers and that a man can become living electricity, but for some reason that bit completely turned me off. I also agree with some of the above comments that the music was rather naff. The Electrostep was bizarre and the montage to the pop song was cheesy at best. Another thing that annoyed me was the scene where Spidey visits Harry just to tell him he can't have his blood. Yes, it ups the villain ante, but there is no plot justification for why he show up in the first place, rather than ignore the request that he was going to turn down anyway.

Posted by TazzMission

I had very minor issues with this film, but enjoyed it a whole lot. It's probably my love for Gwen Stacy that's talking but I liked this so much more than any of the past 4 Spidey films.

i saw this early a few days ago online since it isnt in the us yet. personally i thought it was good. to me asm2 filled in a lot of what the first one missed in regards to fights and i liked the first one.. imo i think there pretty equal so far and i cant say 1 or 2 is better than the other. i like what there doing and this is the spiderman i want and its totally fresher than the 2 rami films ( 3 dosent exist in my head)

whats good about this film is if nobody saw the first one they can jump right into the sequel simply because they showed what shouldve been showed in the first picture.

i like webbs take and im really interested to see who replaces him when his contract is up after the 3rd installment

Edited by Fallschirmjager

@k4tzm4n: Like I said, I know he came on late to replace some dude and I doubt at that stage they'd delay the whole project just for music but it seems to conflict itself.

I didn't like the dubstep. Not. One. Bit. *joker voice*

But yes...not like he loses credibility all of a sudden.

Posted by Bezza

Well I loved it and would give it a 5, but I'm probably biased as I love Spiderman and his films. Actually I'd say that as piece of film making with a story, Cap 2 probably shades it, but as whizz bang entertainment with action, fun and tears, ASM2 is epic!

Posted by corpsecraft

Considering they gave a turd like Man of Steel 5/5, this 4/5 review comes as a condemnation.

Posted by Dedpool

Read a few bad reviews (not that I ever listen) glad to see this one is positive but sees the films faults. Great review, and hit many of the sentiments I have about this new franchise.

Edited by k4tzm4n

@marvel_dc_heroes_villains: Looks like we're on the same page for quite a few things. I also found myself questioning the logic behind your second spoiler tab, but it didn't bother me that much, honestly. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

@corpsecraft said:

Considering they gave a turd like Man of Steel 5/5, this 4/5 review comes as a condemnation.

Much rational.

So fair.

Very logical comparison.

@fallschirmjager said:

@k4tzm4n: Like I said, I know he came on late to replace some dude and I doubt at that stage they'd delay the whole project just for music but it seems to conflict itself.

I didn't like the dubstep. Not. One. Bit. *joker voice*

But yes...not like he loses credibility all of a sudden.

I hear ya, man.

@dedpool said:

Read a few bad reviews (not that I ever listen) glad to see this one is positive but sees the films faults. Great review, and hit many of the sentiments I have about this new franchise.

Thanks!

Edited by silent_bomber

I liked the Electro-Step, no problems with the music here

Posted by sora_thekey

@tazzmission: Your statement is accurate in every sense... Just to add to that, this is the first time I enjoy the 3D on a super hero film. Just FYI.

I saw it in the theaters 'cause I'm in Mexico, and our theaters down here have 4D. Which was awesome as the lightning from Electro made it into the room with us and the seats would move in parallel (obviously not in the violent way Spidey does) with most of the camera movements.

Posted by Jayso4201

I'm trying not to read too much of what's going on. I just hope they don't kill off Gwen too early, build it up. Introduce MJ first. I just always thought it was weird how like as soon as Gwen died he immediately took up with MJ.

Posted by marvel_dc_heroes_villains

@k4tzm4n: Thanks for the reply. Yeah, the train scene wasn't a huge issue, it just felt like it would have been more suited to a film like National Treasure or something. Anyways, great review (whisper it; you're the best writer on the site).

Edited by k4tzm4n

I liked the Electro-Step, no problems with the music here

I enjoyed it as well, SB. That said, I do understand if others don't. Subjectivity and all that, you know?

@k4tzm4n: Thanks for the reply. Yeah, the train scene wasn't a huge issue, it just felt like it would have been more suited to a film like National Treasure or something. Anyways, great review (whisper it; you're the best writer on the site).

Actually, that's a totally fair comparison! Now I'm thinking of an alternate universe where Cage was cast as Peter's father...

Ha, thank you!

Edited by DiamondChatman12

I love that movie ii want to watch it

Posted by CaptainHoopla

As long as it's not mentioned with Green Lantern and Wolverine Origins, then it will be enjoyable for me. I don't expect all of these comic movies to be cinematic masterpieces. Hail Hydra!

Posted by PunyParker

So it's "nice" i guess.....

Online
Posted by Sleepbutnodream15

Outside of the lighter tone and Spider-Man/Peter Parker being a little bit more like the comic book version, I thought the first one was terrible. Especially considering the Sam Raimi's series began and ended so recently, it's hard not to compare 'Amazing' to that. The first two of Raimi's Spider-Man movies were actually good.

Posted by Crackdown

I certainly thought it was amazing, and the final half hour really kept me on the edge of my seat, with emotions running high

Posted by M3th

@longbowhunter: THat's funny because I am on tHe opposite side. I did not enjoy tHe first movie tHat mucH but I'm excited for tHis one.

-ABstract4$$#073-

Posted by doombot890

Good review and you described my feelings on how the Goblin 'begins' perfectly. I wanted it to last a bit longer I wanted to savour that transformation especially because of how well he played Harry.

Posted by longbowhunter

@m3th said:

@longbowhunter: THat's funny because I am on tHe opposite side. I did not enjoy tHe first movie tHat mucH but I'm excited for tHis one.

-ABstract4$$#073-

Right on. I hope I'm wrong and the movie is really good. I am looking forward to seeing Paul Giamatti as the Rhino.

Posted by Master_Thief

MARVEL TAKE NOTES AND KILL A MAJOR CHARACTER IN YOUR MOVIES

Also i love watching the spiderman movies wayyyyyy better than any other marvel movie out there. Can't wait for AMS3 and 4 and Venom and Sinister Six

Posted by Redskull490
Edited by johnny_blaze

4 out of 5? I call bull. It deserved 10 stars.

Posted by k4tzm4n

4 out of 5? I call bullshit. It deserved 10 stars.

no animated GIF

MARVEL TAKE NOTES AND KILL A MAJOR CHARACTER IN YOUR MOVIES

Also i love watching the spiderman movies wayyyyyy better than any other marvel movie out there. Can't wait for AMS3 and 4 and Venom and Sinister Six

I don't agree they need to do that, but have you noticed every movie in Phase 3 has pulled a "fake out death"? And, I don't know about you, but they never felt very convincing, either.

Good review and you described my feelings on how the Goblin 'begins' perfectly. I wanted it to last a bit longer I wanted to savour that transformation especially because of how well he played Harry.

Thanks!

As long as it's not mentioned with Green Lantern and Wolverine Origins, then it will be enjoyable for me. I don't expect all of these comic movies to be cinematic masterpieces. Hail Hydra!

I know movies are subjective and all that, but no, it obliterates those movies.

Posted by Manwhohaseverything

Haven't seen it yet, and probably won't for a few weeks. I will note that I'm maybe the only one that's a fan of Pete taking the mask off and it always bothered me that he doesn't do it more often in the comics. Why? Simple reason. That mask HAS to be hot and stuffy. I can't imagine that breathing in that darn things is easy. Goggles or no goggles, I don't even think it'd be easy to see out of. I love the costume visually, but like Batman's I wonder about how practical it is.

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