Directed by Marc Webb. Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, Colm Feore, Sally Field, Campbell Scott, Embeth Davidtz, Chris Cooper. Columbia.
Decent Films Ratings
|?Teens & Up|
Content advisory: Much intense comic-book violence and some frightening scenes; a number of fatalities; some cursing.
From a National Catholic Register review
By Steven D. Greydanus
The Amazing Spider-Man 2’s biggest liability is that it follows The Amazing Spider-Man. This sequel is so much better than its predecessor that I’ve gone from being merely disappointed with the 2012 reboot to being downright angry about it.
From the new film’s gripping opening scene, a flashback involving Peter Parker’s parents, it’s not entirely clear that the earlier film will be a liability. The Amazing Spider-Man suggested a mystery around the death of Peter’s parents, and the revelations here offer a new angle on Spider-Man’s origins, along with some nifty set pieces.
Best of all, the new film delivers on the potential of one of the strongest moments in the 2012 film: a terrific sequence on the Williamsburg Bridge that I called out in my review as “a better character moment than anything in the Raimi films.” (You can watch the scene on YouTube.)
What makes this scene memorable is the emotional connection Andrew Garfield’s newly minted hero establishes with a young boy in peril whose trust and cooperation he needs to rescue him. Peter keeps up a stream of reassuring banter, takes the time to notice the kid’s name (Jack) on a nametag, and so forth.
It’s a touching, human moment — but just one scene in a film that I argued largely botched the iconic character and his defining motivations. Now, a funny thing happens: Spider-Man becomes the guy from that scene. Or rather, he becomes a more experienced, confident version of that guy, someone that guy would plausibly become.