The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Director: Marc Webb
Writer: Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Jeff Pinkner
Based on: Stan Lee and Steve Ditko‘s comic
Sequel to: The Amazing Spider-Man
Cast: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Sally Field, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, Colm Feore, Felicity Jones, Paul Giamatti, Marton Csokas, B.J. Novak, Sarah Gadon
Peter (Andrew Garfield) enjoys his life, just having graduated from high school and dating the girl of his dreams, Gwen (Emma Stone). Oh, and of course fighting crime as Spider-Man. But the question of why his parents abandoned him still haunts Peter and his investigation only makes things more confusing. Plus, there is something going on at Oscorp that seems directly related.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is an extremely entertaining, funny film – but one that does have some major flaws. That makes the film a weird mixture of enjoyable and disappointing, though I’m leaning more towards enjoyable.
I still think that Andrew Garfield’s Peter Park is not enough of a dork, compared to the comics version. He talks a bit much but he is a person with enough swagger to walk onstage, surprise-kiss his girlfriend and make it look cool. That is not particularly dorky. But it is very entertaining and Garfield’s acting and especially his comedic talent is a huge part of what makes the film so wonderfully funny and adorable.
That’s also because he has great chemistry with both Emma Stone (well, he better since they are actually dating) and Dene DeHaan. Their relationships with Peter Parker give the film ground to stand on. Sally Field doesn’t get many scenes, but she steals the ones she’s in.
Precisely because those characters work so well together, it is apalling what the film does with the relationships. The back and forth between Peter and Gwen, can Peter risk Gwen by dating her, why doesn’t he listen to her when she says that the risks she takes are her choice etc – it was just exhausting. And I knew that Gwen dies in the comics but this would have been a good opprtunity to deviate from canon, especially because they had a perfect “Bus to Tulsa”-setup, and for once not fridge a woman. (At least Andrew Garfield does grief very well.)
Aunt May’s refusal to help with Peter’s research because of jealousy felt completely out of character and left me bewildered.
The appearance of the Green Goblin felt shoehorned into the entire film. If they had taken a little more time building up Peter’s and Harry’s relationship, and left the Green Goblin for the next film, it would have had more impact. And it would have made the entire sickness angle a little better – Harry goes from being so symptom-free he doesn’t even know he’s sick to dying in the next days in about two weeks. But when you have the Green Goblin and Electro and you even hint at the parallels between them, why the fuck don’t you explore them at all? That could have been an entire film, instead we get five minutes.
But even with those flaws the film is really entertaining. Admittedly, part of the entertainment comes from counting the daddy issues in a Kurtzman/Orci-script, but mostly it’s the charming leads, the awesome soundtrack and the excellent pacing that propel the film forward without a minute of boredom.