*** out of four
by David Vicari
*** out of ****
It's not the free flowing digital mayhem that pulls you into The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but rather its emotional core. The film also benefits greatly from an intense and affecting performance by Andrew Garfield as the Marvel Comics hero.
This time, Spider-Man / Peter Parker (Garfield) is haunted by a promise he made to the late police captain George Stacy (Denis Leary) to break off a relationship with the policeman's daughter, Gwen (Emma Stone), so as to keep her out of harms way, because any nemesis of Spider-Man will want to destroy what Spidey loves. Peter breaks that promise and is still dating Gwen. Of course, the villains come out of the woodwork, this time in the forms of Electro (Jamie Foxx) and Green Goblin (Dane DeHaan).
One of the same problems I had with the first Amazing Spider-Man repeats itself here, which is that I don't care too much for the designs of the villains. Electro resembles a fat, walking light bulb, and Green Goblin looks like a car back-fired on him just as he was putting styling gel in his hair. It would have been a lot cooler, and I think more menacing, if Mr. Green looked more like, well, a goblin.
Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 2 (2004) is still by far the best Spidey movie, but The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is still very good, being rich in emotion and character development.