Early Reactions to THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 [Updated]

     April 8, 2014


Given the sheer magnitude of Sony’s marketing, it may feel like we’ve already seen The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but in fact the film had its first public screening just a few hours ago.  As such, the first reactions to director Marc Webb’s superhero sequel are now online and the verdict is…kind of all over the place.  Some were over the moon about the pic, some more reserved, and others downright negative.  The one agreeable factor seems to be the film’s unevenness, as even those who ultimately enjoyed the effort admitted that it was a bit scattershot.  That’s the risk you run when you up the ante in the villain department and inflate the scope of the film (which is also in service to expanding the Spider-Man universe for future films), but I’m hopeful that Andrew Garfield’s charisma and his chemistry with co-star Emma Stone at least give the film a character-centric grounding.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 reviews won’t be available for a few weeks, but hit the jump to check out some brief Twitter reactions to this early screening.  The film opens in 2D, 3D, and IMAX 3D on May 2nd. [Update: A few full reviews have now landed online, and we’ve added a snippets from those after the jump as well.]

the-amazing-spider-man-2-andrew-garfield-emma-stoneIn his mixed-to-positive review for Variety, Guy Lodge praises the performances while bemoaning the film’s bloated middle section:

Rebooting the blockbuster Marvel franchise just five years after Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3, [The Amazing Spider-Man] couldn’t claim to be a film anyone needed. The swiftly delivered The Amazing Spider-Man 2 finds no solution to that redundancy, but it acrobatically spins enough sound and fury to distract from the issue, while the tinderbox chemistry between leads Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone delights once more.

Lodge also praised DeHaan’s performance as Harry Osborn/Green Goblin:

Reintroducing the Osborn character (played by James Franco in Raimi’s films) may seem another insecure move on the part of writers already short on fresh ideas, but it’s a tidily scripted return, and one that DeHaan’s louche, faintly lascivious performance makes worthwhile. His facial and vocal mannerisms more evocative than ever of the younger Leonardo DiCaprio, the actor plays Osborn with much the same beautiful-but-damned slyness he brought to Lucien Carr in Kill Your Darlings; the promise of his continued presence is the chief reason to anticipate the already-scheduled Amazing Spider-Man 3.

the-amazing-spider-man-2-andrew-garfield-dane-dehaanCritic Leslie Felperin echoes Lodge’s sentiments in her (slightly spoilery) positive review for THR, also praising the chemistry between Garfield and Stone while noting that the pic feels too crowded with villains and subplots:

In truth, none of the many subplots or action sequences, zesty though they are, have as much combustible power as the scenes featuring Peter Parker/Super-Man and Gwen, benefiting here as did the previous film from the fizzy, tangible chemistry between Garfield and Stone.

Over at The Playlist, Oliver Lyttelton was the most critical of the film, lambasting Sony for trying to imitate Marvel’s Avengers-style ensemble:

…The first and most self-evident issue with the film: it’s wildly overstuffed. Sony seems to have taken the lesson from the mammoth success of The Avengers that people want an abundance of characters in their superhero movies, but the script fromJ.J. Abrams acolytes Jeff Pinkner, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci flits around from plotline to plotline shapelessly, and the result is something bloated, that at 141 minutes, is way too long.

Littleton also took issue with the pic’s structure, or lack thereof:

The film, like the original, feels very haphazardly structured, a hotchpotch collection of scenes rather than a unified whole. There’s also no tonal consistency, with Webb lurching awkwardly from quippy comedy to brooding drama to high tragedy in short spaces of time, undercutting all three modes as a result. The framing’s still pretty workmanlike as well, particularly when it comes to a preponderance of slo-motion bullet-time that suggests that Webb might finally have got around to watching The Matrix fifteen years after everyone else.

The previous Twitter reactions can be read below:












Here’s the official synopsis for The Amazing Spider-Man 2:

We’ve always known that Spider-Man’s most important conflict has been within himself:  the struggle between the ordinary obligations of Peter Parker and the extraordinary responsibilities of Spider-Man.  But in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Peter Parker finds that his greatest battle is about to begin.

It’s great to be Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield).  For Peter Parker, there’s no feeling quite like swinging between skyscrapers, embracing being the hero, and spending time with Gwen (Emma Stone).  But being Spider-Man comes at a price:  only Spider-Man can protect his fellow New Yorkers from the formidable villains that threaten the city.  With the emergence of Electro (Jamie Foxx), Peter must confront a foe far more powerful than he.  And as his old friend, Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), returns, Peter comes to realize that all of his enemies have one thing in common:  Oscorp.


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