Buzz: The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Sarah Markiewicz, Staff Writer

Ever since I was a child, I’ve had an obsession with the Spider-Man movies. I have always adored Sam Raimi’s original trilogy with Tobey Maguire, and unlike some, I was very entertained by Marc Webb’s reboot. This made me all the more apprehensive about seeing how the series would continue in “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.”

One of the most speculated aspects of the film was the inclusion of three villains, making it seem dauntingly familiar to “Spider-Man 3,” which has often been criticized for having too many major antagonists. With that said, I walked into the theater with ambiguous feelings on how this would play out, and how it would lead into the next film.

This segment begins when Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) and Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) graduate from high school and continue on with their everyday lives and relationship despite a few complications. Complications that include Peter’s guilt over seeing Gwen despite of her late father’s wishes, and a trio of new super villains. Although complications are there to make a story more interesting, much of it was spoiled by badly synchronized subplots.

Unlike the first “Amazing Spider-Man” movie, which was slow at times but linear nonetheless, the flow of the sequel did not quite match up. What made it even worse was that there were many scenes that could have been excluded or saved for later, which shows a lack of priority. Although there was considerable examination into what had happened to Peter’s parents, other elements such as Peter’s search for Uncle Ben’s murderer and the fate of Dr. Connors were barely mentioned.

However, this has little to do with the cast, or with the special effects. Before watching the film, it was my understanding that three of Spider-man’s foes would have major roles in the story. In reality it was Electro (Jamie Foxx) and Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) who have the most screen time, while Rhino (Paul Giamatti) has limited involvement in this film.

Above everything else, the two main villains were the ones who held my attention throughout most of the film. It was interesting to see Foxx’s character, a volatile social pariah who had once idolized Spider-Man, suddenly develop a psychopathic rage against him. Electro’s high-voltage rampages included the best special effects that I have ever seen attempted in a Spidey movie. At some points I had to squint due to my eyes’ sensitivity to strobe lights.

Then there was DeHaan, who played Osborn’s (a.k.a. the Green Goblin) role with a leering creepiness that grabbed my attention from the beginning. At first I was disappointed when I learned that there would be yet another cinematic portrayal of the Green Goblin, but DeHaan gave the role a fresh intensity that differs from those of Willem Dafoe or James Franco. Hopefully, more members of the Sinister Six will be included in future segments.

Another high note is that the romance between Peter and Gwen, which had been my favorite aspect of the first “Amazing Spider-Man movie,” was still cute and heart-warming despite the jumbled plot. However, at times it seemed that their interaction was rushed and incomplete, as well as overshadowed by unnecessary subplots. Again, I blame the storyline and not Garfield or Stone, who still make a gorgeous couple in real life.

Before I even walked into the theater, I had made a few major predictions about the movie, and I am proud to say that many of them were accurate. In the end, it all made for a decent movie, but if the filmmakers do not learn how to connect the tangled plot points, I expect that the next segment of the franchise is going to develop into a very distorted web.