Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

"The Amazing Spider-Man 2": At Least As Many Villains As the Other Second Spider-Man Movie 

Wednesday, Apr 30 2014

The demands of developing a serialized franchise take precedence over coherent drama in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, a scatterbrained sequel that's so busy establishing future installments — and the dynamics that will drive them — that it functions as an awkward middle chapter without any stand-alone substance of its own. Picking up where its predecessor left off, director Marc Webb's sophomore superhero outing finds Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) continuing to investigate the secret research done by his late father (Campbell Scott). That sleuthing is complicated, however, by all manner of sketchily drawn conflicts involving his girlfriend Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), who's poised to leave NYC for London, as well as both a lonely-nerd-turned-electricity-monster dubbed Electro (Jamie Foxx) and Oscorp heir Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), who wants Spider-Man's blood to help stave off some sort of fatal mutant condition. Amid lens flare-drenched CGI action shot by Webb from multiple perspectives to convey a reasonably thrilling sense of his hero's web-slinging acrobatics, Peter and Harry's kindred daddy hang-ups are handled facilely, as is a third-act tragedy that's clumsily telegraphed from the outset. Meanwhile, Peter and Gwen share much cutesy stammering-dialogue banter, but their amour comes across as a contrived plot device rather than the passionate crux of this saga, which ultimately pays only token attention to issues of responsibility, guilt, and "hope" (the film's oft-repeated buzzword). Epitomized by production design that's all reflective-metal shiny and Spidey's cooler-than-thou wisecracking, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 affects a sleek, edgy attitude at the expense of anything hidden beneath.

About The Author

Nick Schager


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"