“The Amazing Spider-Man 2” is amazing when it comes to acting and characters, but when it comes to the amount of plot director Marc Webb tries to cover, it falls flat.
The web slinger (Andrew Garfield) returns with Gwen Stacey (Emma Stone) to take on the mentally unstable Electro (Jamie Foxx) and antagonist Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan).
Garfield, like Robert Downey Jr. in “Iron Man,” plays Peter Parker as a cocky hero, but reminds us he is human by emphasizing the pain he feels for his lost parents and the love he has for Gwen.
The film has comedic moments—especially because “Easy A” actress Stone plays such a crucial part in the film—but the antagonists in the film have backstories that leave viewers feeling sympathetic and wanting more.
Foxx plays Max Dillon, someone who is either completely ignored or looked at as an outcast . Audiences can’t help but feel bad for Dillon as he becomes Electro, but ironically at times they may forget Foxx’s performance.
It’s not because it’s a bad performance, but because most of time when Foxx is on screen, viewers are blasted with effects that while impressive are too much. The effects are accompanied by dub step playing in the background that at times adds to Electro’s schizophrenic nature is over stimulating.
To take away from the main villain more, Webb makes the same mistake “The Dark Knight” made by adding a second villain—in this case, the Green Goblin.
DeHaan’s performance as Harry Osborn is phenomenal as he makes audiences instantly feel for him by playing an unwanted son and man desperate to live. Unfortunately, his becoming the Goblin is forced and would’ve been better introduced in a third installment, especially because the actor would get more deserved screen time in a third film
The final distraction is the dedication to romance. The film focuses so much on the romance between Gwen and Peter that it feels like a Nicholas Sparks book at times. The chemistry between the two actors though makes the romantic subplot enjoyable to watch and the two more likeable.
The subplot isn’t even unnecessary because without Gwen Spider-Man would truly be lost. Stone’s performance as an independent love interest is a refreshing turn from the damsel in distress character of Mary Jane in the 2002 “Spider-Man” film.
Overall, the film has excellent ideas and the best casting of any Spider-Man film, but due to an overeager director, a film that should’ve been broken down into two movies descends into one hard-to-swallow-at-once film.