Running Time: 2 hours 22 minutes
Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is at a crossroads. The more time he spends as Spider-Man, the more he sees that the dangers he is trying to save the world from, may eventually threaten those who are closest to him. The focal point of his concern is his girlfriend Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) who’s dying father made Peter promise to stay out of her life in order to protect her. The guilt of failing to keep his promise is emotionally draining Peter while his duties as Spider-Man are physically exhausting him.
Peter’s childhood friend Harry Osborne (Dane DeHaan) further complicates matters when he returns to run Oscorp after the death of his father. Upon learning that he has inherited his father’s incurable disease, Harry believes that the only thing that can cure him are the healing properties that can only be found in Spider-Man’s blood. In his desperation, he enlists the help of a former Oscorp employee (Jamie Foxx) who has been gifted with incredible control of electricity after an industrial accident. They plan to black out the city in an attempt to draw Spider-Man into a battle he can’t possibly win. Knowing the odds are against him, Peter throws himself into a fight where even in victory, he may lose everything.
Among the Marvel superheroes, Spider-Man both literally and figuratively stands alone. He may be the most isolated, and therefore most vulnerable, hero of his kind. Unlike the mutants in X-Men, he was not born with his abilities and hasn’t had a lifetime to come to grips with them, and unlike The Avengers, he had the responsibility of being a hero thrust onto him while he was still in high school and not as a fully developed adult. He doesn’t have a mentor or even a father figure to guide him as he has to weigh life and death decisions while he is still figuring out the path his own life should take. Director Marc Webb and Andrew Garfield have successfully balanced Peter Parker with Spider-Man and showed how heavy the weight is that he is forced to shoulder, while using just enough humor to keep it from getting too heavy for the audience.
There are momentous happenings in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but it is hard to shake the feeling that much of it was a staging ground for future storylines and spin-off films. The lingering shots of Dr. Octopus’ arms and The Vulture’s wings in Oscorp storage as well as one of the film’s final scenes which appeared to be a shout out to the recently announced Sinister Six movie, may make some moviegoers feel like they just watched a 2 ½ hour trailer for another film. If the movie didn’t have Garfield and Stone’s magical chemistry to lean on it would have been a far less enjoyable, but the two of them elevate every single scene they share. Add Jamie Foxx’s great turn as Electro and the brilliant Dane DeHaan and you manage to get a pretty good movie out of average material. B