The Amazing Spiderman 2 (2014) Review

A good Spiderman film is all about the action sequences. There are a lot of other elements that you have to get right but Spiderman is all about the fighting, explosions and cool set-pieces that stay with you way after you’ve left the cinema. Luckily, The Amazing Spiderman 2 has this in abundance.

In fact, this is the one element that blows not only the original but a whole host of other superhero movies out of the water. In a genre where the action set-pieces are getting bigger and bolder with every movie, Amazing 2 is setting the bar quite high.

The key is making Spiderman convincing. The way he moves, swings through the air and effortlessly dodges and then attacks the enemies is a difficult but essential aspect of the superhero. Marc Webb nailed this with the first movie but he outdid himself with the second. Not only has he got the movements and web-slinging perfect, he has added another, unique aspect that works much better – the slow-mo.

It’s the action sequences that make this such a successful version of Spiderman

Now I know that slow-motion is not a unique element to movies and that Raimi was using it in his Spiderman trilogy but here it’s been stepped up. A scene involving the villain Electro, a bandstand full of people and Spiderman’s attempt to stop him electrocuting them all is made all the much more impressive by slowing everything down and giving us “spidey-view.” It adds an extra element to the scene and to the hero that we haven’t got with Iron Man, Thor or Captain America.

I always stand-by the fact that the villain is key to any superhero movie and that doesn’t change here. Spiderman has two (and a half) villains. I worry when a movie has too many villains and Spiderman has already suffered from this with the third in Raimi’s trilogy but it just about works here.

Electro is a great, menacing villain for Spiderman

The key is to separate the key characters rather than have them gang-up on the hero. Electro is by far the better villain in the movie, mostly on spectacle. He is well realised here, with the blue, constantly moving and evolving look they have given Jamie Foxx for the part. He starts slightly too jokey and geeky but once he is fully transformed, he is a genuine, very menacing threat for our hero. The set-pieces that involve Spiderman versus Electro are the best yet.

Unfortunately, Amazing Spiderman 2 is starting to suffer from sequel set-up. That means that the movie dedicates far too much time to setting-up future movies rather than concentrating on this one. That’s where we get under-developed scenes with the other one (and a half) villains in the movie – with hints to their impact in the future films instead.

The story between Peter and Gwen doesn’t offer anything new

The story overall is the weakest part of the movie. Its focused mostly on the relationship between Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker and Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacey but it’s not offering anything we haven’t already seen. The idea of Peter promising Gwen’s father that he wouldn’t go involve her in his life translates to “my life is too dangerous for you” and we get the on-again, off-again that plagues many other superhero movies.

This can be somewhat overlooked because it’s acted so well and the chemistry between the two leads is fantastic. Add to that some able support from Sally Fields as Aunt May, alongside Foxx and Dane NeHaan as the main villains. You also forget the film’s issues when the action sequences are in full flow and seeing as that is what Spiderman is all about, it makes this the best version of the web-slinging hero we have had on-screen yet.

Overall, a strong sequel to a Spiderman movie I loved already. The cast is great, the villains are a proper match and the action sequences are the best we’ve seen in any superhero film, not just a Spiderman one. The story is the weakest element and it focuses too much on creating a wider franchise but once you see Spiderman swinging around New York, this can be forgiven.

Rating 4.5

(1 – Awful, 2 – Average, 3 – Good, 4 – Great, 5! – Must See)

Spiderman is all about the action sequences and that is this movies overall success

11 thoughts on “The Amazing Spiderman 2 (2014) Review

  1. Great review. I loved the film and thought the new lighter more comic book feel of the film made Spider-man finally feel like Spider-man.

    Very much looking forward to the next one, BRING ON SINISTER SIX! 😀

  2. Yes, the action sequences can be what make a super hero movie..but there has to be something to them that connects them and resonates with the audience. In the case of this Spidey fan, I feel like ASM2 let me down a bit. A lot of it is how little motivation the death of Uncle Ben serves in Peter’s decision to become Spidey and to continue being the webslinger. I get that the death of Captain Stacy and his promise to him drive him, but there needs to be more to the guilt that that…. And I felt like the story tried too hard to make us invest in the Peter and Harry friendship before it tears it all down.

    In my mind, the best Spidey movie (and best superhero movie of all time) is Spider-Man 2. It did everything it needed to do and them some..and it left me anxious for the next installment.

  3. Loved this. Spiderman had totally the right personality and attitude, like the way he spoke to the kid dressed as him.
    I did feel that there were one too many villains, and although I acknowledge that the last one in particular was really just a final scene and set-up for the next film, and I can get behind that, it did come so soon after the big battle with Electro (being our main focus) and the second villain, that it felt like it counted as part of the list.

    My only other real issue was that I felt that there were a few too many scenes with the young couple trying to work out how to move forward, although I do get why they wanted us to be so invested in their relationship, and the chemistry between the actors helped the scenes to not get too dull and repetitive.

    Neither point detracted from the fact that I really enjoyed the film overall, and for some reason have a real thing for this franchise now, I kept playing scenes over in my head for days after my viewing!

    1. Yeah, the film has been described as an “action, love story” which is a decent description I guess.

      I like this franchise but not too excited about trying to force it into a huge, Marvel style, wider universe. Sinister Six is a good idea but not as their own solo movie and only if they are actually facing Spiderman.

  4. I totally disagree, the action sequences to me weren’t convincing and looked like I was watching my friend play an Xbox game on a giant movie screen. Totally took me way out of the movie by it’s use of incredibly unconvincing CG. I also thought Electro was a terrible villain, he had basically no realistic motivation to hate Spider-man. The villains motivation’s were as flimsy as it gets. This for me was as bad as Spider-man 3…

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