First things first: Andrew Garfield (Peter Parker/Spidey) and his on-and-off-screen love interest Emma Stone (Gwen Stacy) are disgustingly cute together. And it totally works. In fact, their chemistry is key to this sequel to the 2012 reboot, especially for those who aren’t well-versed or deeply invested in the superhero/supervillain comic universe.
The sequel reveals more of Peter Parker’s personal backstory, including why his parents left him with his Aunt Mae (the eminently likeable Sally Field) when he was just a youngster. And it sets the foundation for Spidey’s future adventures. Yes, I’m willing to bet – a lot – that there will be a Spidey 3, 4 and maybe more – even if there wasn’t a post-credit tease!
In addition to their chemistry, Garfield and Stone bring a depth and range to their characters that can be kind of rare in the superhero movie genre. They feel more real and less campy than the perfectly fine-at-the-time Spiderman movies with Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst. Same goes for Dane DeHaan as Peter’s frenemy Harry Osborn/Green Goblin. He manages to be both creepy and sympathetic.
The movie has plenty of standard superhero movie stuff too. Lots of web slinging, explosions, innocent bystanders at risk. The main “plot” centers around Jamie Foxx as Max, a bitterly under-appreciated maintenance worker at Oscorp Industries, which has been running secret experiments involving animal-human hybrids. An industrial accident turns Max into Electro, a bad guy who feeds off of energy from New York City’s power grid and somewhat inexplicably has it out for Spiderman.
The movie drags a bit in the middle of its 2 hour, 20-minute runtime, so if you’re not a big fan of the genre to begin with, then it may not really work for ya. But it’s certainly worth seeing if you liked the last one and plan to see the next one(s). A note to the fanboys: From what I’ve heard, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is rather faithful to the comics, so those who know will know what that means. And that’s all I’ll say about THAT.
The 3D is okay, but you can live without it.