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'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' First Reviews Unspool (TRAILER)

Photo of Ryan Lattanzio By Ryan Lattanzio | TOH! April 9, 2014 at 11:34AM

Early reviews of "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," in theaters May 2, have landed, and consensus is wishy-washy. Most critics agree that the film is too long and overstuffed, but that the romantic chemistry between leads Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone is hard to resist.
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'The Amazing Spider-Man 2'
'The Amazing Spider-Man 2'

Early reviews of "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," in theaters May 2, have landed, and consensus is wishy-washy. Most critics agree that the film is too long and overstuffed, but that the romantic chemistry between leads Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone is hard to resist. The addition of a few new characters also spices up this reboot-sequel to director Marc Webb's massively successful 2012 film. "Spider-Man 2" costars Dane DeHaan, Jamie Foxx, Sally Field, Paul Giamatti, Colm Feore, Campbell Scott and Denis Leary.

Variety thinks it's too long:

Rebooting the blockbuster Marvel franchise just five years after Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man 3," it 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. Continuing Peter Parker’s investigation of his shady family history while serving up a brace of villains -- one more familiar than the other -- for him to contend with, this bloated but enjoyable outing will pull in enough crowds to justify Sony's reluctance to relinquish this heavily built-up creative property.

The Playlist agrees:

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 Kurtzmanand Roberto Orci flits around from plotline to plotline shapelessly, and the result is something bloated, that at 141 minutes, is way too long.

But The Hollywood Reporter enjoys the film's romantic elements:

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/Spider-Man and Gwen, benefiting here as did the previous film from the fizzy, tangible chemistry between Garfield and Stone. It helps that they're also individually such interesting performers, both nervous fidgeters who always seem so giddy in each other's presence, even when Peter gets all worried about keeping his promise to dead Captain Stacy (Denis Leary) to stay away from Gwen for her own safety and tries to split up with her.


IGN:
There’s a lot going on in Amazing Spider-Man 2, and sadly it doesn’t always come together. The whole 'should-they-shouldn't-they' dilemma of Gwen and Peter's relationship forms a huge part. The more traditional aspects of the plot are put in motion by Dane DeHaan's Harry Osbourne, who returns to New York to head up Oscorp. We learn he and Peter are old friends, and while this inevitably creates a feeling of deja vu -- it's a problem that such a recent reboot was always going to encounter -- DeHaan is so creepy yet appealing as Harry that the relationship between them is as compelling as ever.

This article is related to: The Amazing Spider-Man, Spider-Man, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Marc Webb, Reviews


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.