The Amazing Spider-Man 2 gets tangled in its own web

Generally speaking, superhero sequels are supposed to be better than their predecessors. Don’t believe me. Just watch X-Men 2, Spiderman 2, Superman 2, Batman Returns, and The Dark Knight,if you need proof. The main reason is that the first movie has to focus on introducing everything, while the second one can have fun with the characters. The first Amazing Spiderman did a decent job introducing all the characters. So that should mean Amazing Spiderman 2 should be better, right? Wrong. It’s another sad case of an inferior sequel, which is a shame, since it did have a lot of potential to be a pretty good movie.

So where does it all go wrong? Well, let’s start from the beginning. It opens with Spiderman/Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) fighting crime, as usual, making him late to his graduation. Upon arriving, we as an audience are treated to an incredibly lame and possibly one of the worst Stan Lee cameos in film. Seriously, they didn’t even try with this one. But, whatever. Peter meets up with his girlfriend Gwen (Emma Stone) and decides to break up with her due to her father’s dying wishes. This upsets them both and puts them in a “will they or won’t they” relationship for the rest of the movie.

In the meantime, a nobody, Max Dillon (Jamie Fox), is saved by Spiderman and becomes obsessed with the guy. He works at OsCorp, and one day while making repairs in the building, he falls into a tank of electric eels while holding some open electrical cords. So by the laws of comic books, this means he has to have some sort of villian-esque superpower. And he does! This little accident turns him into Electro and causes him to have electric blue skin and the ability to shock things and stuff (it’s never really made clear what the extent of his powers are, aside from blowing things up).

Andin the meantime, Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), Peter’s childhood friend, returns home to Manhattan to find his father dying of a genetic disease. He dies and Harry becomes head of his father’s $20 billion company, OsCorp. But a 20-year-old kid gaining that much power at once is not interesting enough, so Harry starts dying from the disease his father had (its genetic, who knew!). To try to save himself, he injects himself poison from the spider that bit Peter, turning into The Green Goblin.

And still in the meantime, Aleksey Systemic (Paul Giamatti) is caught trying to steel plutonium and is swiftly arrested. But don’t worry; Harry Osborn has a plan to get him out of jail to wreak chaos upon New York as The Rhino.

So, as I asked before, where does this all go wrong? It’s hard to pinpoint exactly, since there are so many plots going on at once. Oh, wait a minute, that’s exactly where it goes wrong. The multiple plots going on and lack of focus make it muddled and hard to get involved in. It starts out simple with Electro being established and Harry getting control of OsCorp. We’re treated to several wonderfully acted scenes of dialogue and several very well directed action scenes. It all flows nicely, leading up to a grand encounter between Electro and Spiderman in Times Square. Then, we start getting pileup after pileup of characters and plots. Harry and Electro were enough to support the movie, but the filmmakers decided to keep throwing characters and pitfalls at us instead of sticking with what they’ve got. It’s too much to take, slows the movie down almost to a stop, and collapses in under its own weight.

The fact that the movie has a runtime of almost two-and-a-half hours makes it hard to look past the excessiveness of the plot. The fact that it makes all the same mistakes that Spiderman 3 made seven years ago make is inexcusable. It’s a disappointing sequel, made even worse by the fact that two sequels have been guaranteed to be in the works.

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