PG-13, 142 minutes
Sophomore slumps are an unfortunate reality for plenty of big-budget sequels, and that includes “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.” It’s still an enjoyable comic book flick featuring everyone’s favorite web-slinger, but it can’t muster the verve and pizzazz of its predecessor.
Its main problem is an overabundance of plot. The best super-hero movies tend to focus on a single villain or existentialist threat, but here we’ve got storylines splayed all over the place like random spider webs.
Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) has to deal with at least three bad guys, including his best friend Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) slowly turning into the Green Goblin and Paul Giamatti (briefly) as the Rhino. The main heavy is Jamie Foxx as Max, a shy social outcast who idolizes Spidey. He gets zapped by some electrical eels and turned into a living power generator – with his emotions clearing having no voltage regulator.
There’s also a will they/won’t they romance with Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), guilt over the death of Gwen’s cop father, tensions with Aunt May (Sally Field), and the mystery of Peter’s disappeared parents weighing on his shoulders.
The CG action scenes are still a blast, but sometimes less really is more.