Directed by Marc Webb
I'm just going to put it out there that I very much enjoyed the first Amazing Spider-man movie. I thought Andrew Garfield was pitch-perfect casting (even though I think he can (and should) do a lot better than a superhero film) and I kind of love Emma Stone as well, so it went over pretty well with me. The love story and the story of Peter finding himself as Spider-Man is what worked the best (it almost felt like the villain was an after-thought, to an extent). However, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 seemed to just throw everything that worked about the first film out the window.
The second film starts off with a huge car chase. In the midst of saving the day, he saves the life of a random civilian. He's an employee of OsCorp and his name is Max. After arriving late to graduation, he decides (again) to break up with Gwen, later that evening. He's still haunted by her father who made him swear to stay away from her. Meanwhile, old best friend Harry Osbourne arrives back in town. His father died shortly after he came back and he is now President of OsCorp. He finds out he's dying, and, after looking into what OsCorp has done with all it's research, he realizes Spider-Man is the single human trial of radioactive spiders and that he can self-heal. He begs Peter to bring Spider-Man to him, since he thinks Peter knows him (because Peter has been "photographing" him). Meanwhile, Max, our saved civilian from the beginning is obsessed with Spider-Man but soon has his own accident. Being electrocuted and then falling into a tank of electric eels, he becomes a being of electricity. Things get covered up, and whatever, but everyone just becomes bad guys and they all hate Spider-Man or whatever.
This movie was just not good. Like I mentioned, everything that worked well in the first film seemed to just not be included here. The opening fight scene (both of them) were riddled with ridiculousness, corny lines and stupid resolutions. As well, Peter and Gwen are too on-again, off-again to really connect, so there was basically no chemistry between them. Peter just couldn't make up his mind, which was also frustrating. However, the sarcasm and jabs Peter uses while fighting as Spider-Man make a lot more sense this time around. Last movie, he seemed a little insecure as Peter to be that confident as Spider-Man, but this time around it came off perfectly, and it brought something fun to the fight scenes.
As other people have mentioned, the appearance of Harry is incredibly random, and the film has so much other stuff going on that essentially no relationship is built between them to make it believable that they were best friends when they were younger, or that they're even friends now. Though I will say that the casting of Dane DeHaan was about one of the only good things this film did. DeHaan just always pulls off the bad boy so well, and this part was really great for him. Too bad the movie didn't give him enough time to develop or for us to really care about him at all.
All in all, this film had too much going on to really be anything. This film left me feeling blah and it really didn't go anything good or original. Even the score I found to be uninteresting and cliche. The Spider-Man theme was a little too "hero-y", and while I did enjoy the more electronic (almost dubstep) feel to the music when Electro came on screen, it was still an obvious choice. The visual effects were also very sub par and were definitely over-animated (especially Spider-Man swinging around the city. It's very obvious that Andrew Garfield is not actually in that suit). And so many of the lines were just plain corny, just so they can get their point across.
Everything felt like it was done half-heartedly, and everyone was just kind of sleepwalking through it. Everyone involved has a lot of potential as individual people, but I felt no one really brought their A-game here (from director to writers to score to actors) so the movie just suffered. I felt if they had limited the storyline to just involving Harry, this would've been a much better film. Cut out Electro entirely, and do what the first movie did and have Peter build a relationship with Harry, only to have it come crashing down. Had this been fleshed out and made into the main storyline (and the only villain), I feel like this would've actually been a really good film. The relationship building and fleshing out was what made the first film good, and it was what would've made this film really good. But sadly, the opportunity was missed.
I just wanted to keep this brief. Overall, the movie was one I felt like I've seen before, many times over. It was filled with things over superhero movies have done before it, and have mostly done better (with the exception of Spider-Man 3). It did manage to do a few things right (casting Dane DeHaan, the fun use of the Spider-Man theme song, and Spidey's wit and jokes) but it just wasn't enough to make the movie that worthwhile. It will suffice, I think, for fanboys/girls, but as a casual viewer, it just wasn't worth it. (And seriously, Andrew Garfield, please stop doing Spider-Man movies because you are fantastic and could be do way more amazing movies and please just do some other movies, I beg of you)