by Michael P. Coleman

Having wasted 2 hours of my life watching The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (just released on Blu Ray and DVD), I’ll get right to the chase:  it’s the worst Spider-Man movie of the franchise.

In fact, it’s the worst Marvel movie adaptation since…

X-Men: The Last Stand?

Spider-Man 3?

Howard The Duck!

That’s the ticket.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is this year’s sequel to the 2011 reboot of the franchise, a reboot that almost no one other than Sony’s accountants understood.  The third Tobey McGuire-led Spider-Man movie, Spiderman 3, had arrived just a few years before to tepid reviews and disappointing box office, suggesting that we all needed a break from our friendly neighborhood wall-crawler.  Sony suits prevailed, however, and Garfield’s first outing showed enough promise (and did enough box office) to warrant a sequel.

Any Spider-Man fan will recoil at the treatment of one of comicdom’s most revered story lines in The Amazing Spider Man 2.   Any movie fan will recoil at Garfield’s one-dimensional performances as Peter Parker.  While he does a reasonable job with the character’s funnier moments, the heft that should have been brought to the more dramatic scenes is completely beyond his reach. In fact, in one pivotal scene, he is practically obscured by Oscar winner Sally Field, who proves that she can draw a viewer’s tear with even the most banal dialogue.  It’s hard to judge Garfield as Spider-Man, since his face is covered by Spidey’s costume and one gets the sense that most of the Spider-Man we see on screen is actually Spider-CGI.

If you’re planning to see The Amazing Spider-Man 2 because you’re a fan of Oscar-winner Jamie Foxx, don’t.  He doesn’t share Field’s gift.  His performance as one of Spider-Man’s chief rivals, Electro, draws laughter when Foxx wasn’t trying to.  And don’t even ask me to talk about how another key Spider-Man villain, Rhino, was wasted in this movie.

Emma Stone gives a solid performance as Parker’s love interest Gwen Stacy, and the chemistry between her and Garfield is undeniable (which is good to see, given they’re an item off camera, as well), but it’s not enough to save this train wreck.  Even Hans Simmer’s score misses the mark, soaring early in scenes that could have used a little more build-up.  The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is so bad, it pulled me out of the special effects-laden scenes, which is a big part of why many people see them.

I’m told that, despite the horror that is The Amazing Spider-Man 2, a third Garfield installment is being planned for release.  The one person alive who probably feels good about that is Tobey McGuire.  His legacy as the silver screen’s best Spider-Man will be further secured.


Michael P. Coleman is a freelance writer who spins his web in Sacramento, California.  Catch up to him at or on Twitter:  @ColemanMichaelP


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