Andrew Garfield continues his role as Peter Parker and his alter ego, the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Garfield gives a terrific performance, much like his role in the first movie. The film takes place not long after the events of “The Amazing Spider-Man.”
Parker is late to his graduation ceremony where his girlfriend, Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), is about to give her graduation speech. Parker is busy fulfilling his duties as Spider-Man, as he chases and takes down some criminals. In this lies the strongest point of the film, the action and stunts. Whereas Tobey Maguire in the original Spider-Man trilogy keeps his web-slinging down to the basics, Garfield’s Spider-Man does acrobatics in the air while making full use of his web-shooters.
After an awesome chase scene, audience members then have to endure several brutally long conversations between Parker and Stacy in which they discuss their relationship. The film is nearly two and a half hours long; if you were to cut out every scene where Parker and Stacy talk about their relationship, the film would probably be half that. What makes these scenes more awkward is that Parker keeps seeing the ghost of Captain Stacy (Dennis Leary), Gwen Stacy’s father who died in the first movie, who made Parker swear to stay away from Gwen or else harm would fall on her. The scenes where Parker sees Captain Stacy are supposed to serve as a reminder of the promise he made, but they happen so frequently that it unintentionally became funny.
DeHaan’s performance as Harry Osborn is one of the best parts of the movie. Instead of making him a power-hungry rich kid, audience members are sympathetic towards him. After his father Norman Osborn (Chris Cooper) dies of a disease that Harry himself inherited, he asks Spider-Man for some of his blood because he believes the spider venom can cure his sickness. Spider-Man refuses, which causes Osborn to seek out the help of Electro.
In contrast to Garfield and DeHaan’s great performances, Foxx’s Electro was less than stellar. Electro’s character starts off as a dorky technician at Oscorp, who is also Spider-Man’s biggest fanboy. When he gets his powers and turns into Electro, he gets way too serious way too fast. The best part of the 2004 movie “Spider-Man 2” was Alfred Molina’s portrayal of Doc Ock. While he becomes badass by the time he gets his powers, you can still see the man he was before that happened. Electro goes from zero to 90 in two seconds. Electro’s other big problem is the inconsistency of his powers. The first time he goes on a rampage it looks like a scene from the 2005 movie “War of the Worlds,” but then out of nowhere, Spider-Man stops him by spraying him with a fire-hose. Electro’s blue skin and ability to teleport in a flash of energy makes him seem like a discount version of Dr. Manhattan, minus the blue penis.
Although the movie contains some great characters, it tries to do way too much. The amount of sub-plots in the movie is insane. At one point you are trying to watch Osborn and Parker skipping rocks and the next you see Parker furiously looking through his father’s belongings to try and find the secrets of his past. Fans of Spider-Man may think this movie is pretty good due to the character development and the action scenes, but the makers of the movie tried to cram way too much into one film.
Written by: Jacob Yothment
+ Great special effects
+ Strong performances from Garfield and Dehaan
– TOO many sub-plots