The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was pretty much greenlit before the previous film was released. Sony has been trying to make their Spider-Verse work…and to date they just cannot seem to find the footing. Spider-Man 2 was not just a sequel, it was meant to set up other films, such as a Sinister Six film.Which means the film is packed with villains.
We meet the Rhino, though he is only in the film for a few minutes, setting him up for a Sinister Six film. We also meet the Green Goblin and Electro. The film wastes Chris Cooper, who plays Norman Osborne. In the previous film we barely met Osborne. We were told he had a debilitating disease, and was eager for Dr. Conner’s work to have results. The disease apparently gnarls the body and turns flesh a greenish tint. Harry is brought home to see his father. His father tells him about the disease and how it is genetic. This sets up Harry to become obsessed with a cure as well. And he believes Spider-Man’s blood contains that cure. He and Peter re-kindle their friendship and when he finds out Peter “knows” Spider-Man, he begs him for help.
Meanwhile, Peter is constantly dating and then breaking up with Gwen. He is haunted by the “ghost” of Captain Stacy. So, they are together, then he gets emo and pushes Gwen away. It becomes frustrating.
Peter and Spider-Man deny Harry’s request causing a strain in the friendship. Jamie Fox plays Max Dillon as a nebbish but smart electrician. He fancies himself as Spider-Man’s friend after Spider-Man saves him and calls him his buddy. After a freak accident with a tank of electric eels, Max is given the power to generate and manipulate electricity. When Spider-Man cannot quite recognize him he becomes enraged. After Spider-Man takes him down, his anger only grows.
Of course, Harry becomes Green Goblin to gain revenge on Spider-Man and teams up with Electro to take Spidey down. In some ways, the Amazing Spider-Man 2 is better than the previous film. Spider-Man is a bit more Spider-Man. But they still have him mopey about his dad. In a flashback, we see where he and Peter’s mother went after dropping Peter off with Aunt May and Uncle Ben. The problem with this is that Uncle Ben is the catalyst for Peter Becoming Spider-Man and yet he seems to not spend much time dwelling on Ben, he is more driven to find out more about his dad.
The film recreates one of the comic books most tragic moments for Peter. And this results in Spider-Man disappearing for awhile. But, of course he comes back. The sequence where he returns to action is nicely done, involving a kid in a Spider-Man costume standing up to Rhino.
The biggest problem with this film is that it feels like a massive setup for other films. We even see a sequence where different costumes of future villains are on display cases. Tying all of Spider-Man’s rogues gallery makes for some lazy storytelling. The film is still entertaining, but not in a way that it would ever be seen as a classic. A third Amazing Spider-Man had been announced, but it was put on the back-burner. Eventually, it was scrapped all together and Sony partnered with Marvel Studios to bring Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.