Review of The Amazing Spider-Man 2



Article By: Dan Clark

After the debacle that was Spider-Man 3, Sony Movie Studios set out to remove the bitter taste it left by rebooting the franchise only ten years after it began.  Now only two films in it appears that sour taste has returned. Lessons learned from past mistakes have quickly been forgotten. Subtly and articulate storytelling have been sacrificed in favor of manipulative world building. There is such a fixation on setting up for the future that the present is nearly disregarded. Amazing Spider-Man 2  has a great deal of talent behind it, including actors who may even fit into their roles better than their predecessors. What it lacks is the discipline and patience needed to tell this story right.

That story picks up shortly after the conclusion of the last film. Peter Parker has fully ingratiated himself into his role as Spider-Man. For many he is a symbol of hope for his beloved city, while for others he is a menaamazing-spider-man-2-stills-spidey-as-a-firefighterce that should be stopped. Spider-Man may have figured out crime fighting, but Peter Parker is still struggling with his relationship with Gwen Stacey.  He fears his presence is a danger to her.  At the same time he cannot deny his feelings.

Director Marc Webb has shown he knows how to depict young love in a convincing manner.  The relationship between Peter Parker and Gwen Stacey is far more effective than the relationship between Peter and Mary Jane in the Raimi films.  For one, Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone have great natural chemistry.  Their dialog is messy and awkward as if they are both on the constant search for the right word to say. Gwen is also not made out to be a hapless soon to be damsel in distress. She has as much if not more control than her superhero counterpart. For all the films faults, it at least established a strong human element inside all the blockbuster fluff.

The majority of that fluff comes in the form of the two major villains. Many feared having multiple villains will lead to a story that is too overstuffed for its own good, and those fears were quickly realized. From the moment Jamie Fox’s character Max Dillon walks on-screen it is apparent we are getting a villain who is light on restraint.  Dillon is this socially inept scientist with a small grasp on reality. When he is not being taken advantage of he is being ignored. Things change for Dillon after an accident at OSCORP Labs transforms him into the supercharged villain Electro.  With his new-found power he sets off to make the world remember exactly who he has become.


Every fiber of Electro is filled with tired clichés and overblown stereotypes.  Dillon acts like a cross between Milton from Office Space  and a reject from Revenge of the Nerds. Electro feels like he came from the mind of mid 1990’s Joe Schumacher.  Some of the lines he was forced to spew out would be too ludicrous for a Saturday morning cartoon show. His motivations for turning evil were underdeveloped and rather nonsensical. Perhaps worst of all he took away time from a storyline that actually had potential.

Harry Osborne returns to New York City as his ailing father is nearing his final days. Peter, who was childhood friends with Harry, attempts to reconnect with him to help him during this difficult time, like Harry did when Peter’s parents abandoned him. Dane DeHaan fits into the role of Harry Osborn with much more ease than James Franco did. He has the rich kid bravado, but there is a cloud of inner turmoil that always surrounds him. The time he shares on-screen with Garfield is brief but effective. Again showing how the film knows how to establish the human element.

Maintaining that human element is where it has issues.  With so many subplots and side stories the narrative progression appeared to be on fast-forward.  Character development was forced to be broad and drastic. If something was not sped through it was forgotten. The coherency of the story became completely reliant upon traditional Spider-Man lore.  Harry Osborn becoming Green Goblin makes no sense in the context of this film, but we know the story already so why bother give reasoning behind his motivations to become a sadistic monster. Let’s just get to what we all know is a forgone conclusion. Opportunity was there to have a story with real weight and consequences.  Minus onSpider-man 2e key development that opportunity was wasted.

Most of those issues do not come off as a surprise. What was surprising was how overall forgettable most of the action was. Initially the action started off strong was a highly enjoyable chase sequences that feels like you are experiencing web slinging firsthand. It has that combination of comedic wit and high energy that we want with Spider-Man.  The rest of the action never reached that level. Certain aspects, like the use of Spider-Man’s spider sense or the use of speed ramping, added a little flair to otherwise mediocre sequences. Most of the battles between Spider-Man and Electro looked like CGI confetti thrown at the screen for no particular purpose.

Purpose was the one key component that Amazing Spider-Man 2   had on short supply.  Our worst fears are realized as a once glorious franchise has become just another addition to the over bloated and over produced summer blockbuster club. People look at what Marvel Studios did with The Avengers  and say, “We want that!” They want the fanfare, they want the hype, and of course they want the box office dollars. However, great comic book movies are not about building universes or connecting storylines. They are about supernatural beings dealing with real-life issues in humanistic ways—characters that have nuanced traits inside all those crazy getups. Amazing Spider-Man 2  has much of what makes a great comic book movie, it simply cannot get out of its own way to make it work.


 Final Rating:





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Dan Clark

A fan of all things comics, movies, books, and whatever else I can find that pass the time. Twitter: @DXO_Dan Instagram: Comic_concierge


  1. Completely agree with your review. Their might be a good movie in there somewhere, but everything good is just smothered with poorly developed, franchise set up, plot points. Avengers broke the internet. We might be waiting a long time for a film to come out that is not under Marvel Studios that takes its time.

    1. Thanks. I agree Avengers has become that doubled edge sword. After Dark Knight everyone wanted to be gritty and realistic, but no one could really pull it off. Now everyone wants to build a universe, but doesn’t want to do the work to get it done right.

  2. I get that you disliked it, but after JUST getting home from the theater… at the moment I type this… the movie was quite good. it was far Superior to the first ASM. Will give more spoilerific details in the MWIRE in depth ep.

    1. Agree, this is my favorite Spider-Man film so far to date. I agree that some choices with the villains are the films biggest weakness but its ability to step away from the now far too common desire to be ‘dark and gritty’ and add humor and wit and sarcasm to a character that should be all of those thing in Spider-man, the casting choices the characters, the acting, the character development, awesome visual choices and effects…make it a great superhero film in my book!

  3. I liked it a bit more than you did but I agree with most of your comments. I’ll save my comments for our Talking in Circles episode but its so true about Electro not having a good reason for turning evil. I kind of thought that in the theater, like “why exactly is he going bad here? Because they showed spidey on the jumbo-tron?” lol

    1. From someone like Dan who usually applauds subtlety I am very surprised he had a problem with this turn….apparently he wanted the reasons to smack us all in the face…the reasons are there, they are just subtle ;)

      1. Let’s not confuse subtleness with something that is ill-conceived. There is nothing subtle about Electro, Green Goblin, or the majority of this movie. Electo’s reasons are obviously there, they just are lacking in logic. The time square scene is proof a of that. He goes from having this idyllic view of Spider-Man to “I have to kill Spider-Man” rather briskly. Not to mention the reasoning behind it is such a basic overdone trope that is utterly ridiculous. As I mentioned I felt like I was back in the era of movies like Batman Forever.

        The reasons do smack you right in the face over and over. 99% of Electro’s childlike dialogue only existed to tell you what you were going to do. Yet his entire plot line like urgency or a point. So much so they had to add those two potential crashing jets to give that moment any real sense of actual danger.

        The character development was pathetically done. Characters changed because the script called for it, not because it earned those changes. Let’s also look at Harry Osborn. They treat his need for Spider-Man’s blood as an urgent matter, but it isn’t at all. Clearly his father lived a long life before the disease took hold, and you know why not try and test it before you shoot it into your body with the gigantic trillion dollar research center you run. Not to mention the look of The Green Goblin was laughable. Like seriously did they borrow the makeup for him from the Leprechaun movies, because I didn’t think something could be worse than the Power Ranger Green Goblin, but they found a way.

        1. I guess you can see what you would like to see…and we will have to agree to disagree. Thinking about writing my own review to fully show why this was the best Spider-Man film I’ve ever seen!

      2. I don’t feel like they made much sense. To me it came across like “oh spider-man you remember me? You’re so great. Sure I’ll go with you to talk. Wait they put your picture on all the screens instead of mine? You stole my thunder, you’re so selfish. I hate you and want to kill you now”

  4. Going to have to disagree with you big time on this one Dan. Wish you could have been on our MWIRE Weekly record cause honestly I think you got this one wrong, especially when it comes to character development. As I say in the podcast, part of me even feels that this film was better than Captain America 2!

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