Although “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” won’t swing into U.S. theaters until May 2, Marc Webb’s sequel to his 2012 franchise reboot has already made an impact across the Pond. The superhero pic premiered in London on Tuesday.
Early reviews for Sony’s comicbook adaptation are fairly positive, but the general consensus so far is that the movie weaves too tangled a web. However, most critics found it superior to the first installment and found the chemistry between Spidey (Andrew Garfield) and Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) more endearing than ever. Metacritic gave the movie a score of 58 based on the first five reviews below.
Variety‘s Guy Lodge:
“Necessity is the mother of invention, which is why Marc Webb’s 2012 superhero do-over ‘The Amazing Spider-Man,’ for all its polished proficiency and kicky star casting, felt so perfunctory: 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.”
The Guardian’s Xan Brooks:
“‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ turns out to be so savvy, punchy and dashing that it won’t be denied. It’s the thread that won’t break and the yarn which still binds. … Webb’s film is bold and bright and possesses charm in abundance. It swings into the future and carries the audience with it.”
The Hollywood Reporter’s Leslie Felperin:
“That effort pays off with its sequel, a more intricately woven skein of action, effects, character development and cheesy one-liners. The eponymous hero hits his super-heroic stride here, as does Andrew Garfield in the role, especially when Spider-Man’s alter ego Peter Parker learns there’s always some fine print in a contract with this many benefits. The plot gets itself tangled up in multiple villain strands, but in the main, this installment is emotionally weightier and more satisfying than its predecessor.”
The Telegraph’s Tim Robey:
“Marc Webb, returning after the last instalment, again shows a better feel for the relationships than he does for juggling all the overlapping story elements. At times, with its many villains, this one veers perilously close to the overplotted trouble zone of Sam Raimi’s ‘Spider-Man 3’ and Christopher Nolan’s ‘The Dark Knight Rises’: a case of too many crooks spoiling the broth.”
Indiewire’s Oliver Lyttelton:
“It’s a film of many scenes, but not much structure, of many events, but no real plot. And worst of all, it’s not really about anything. Previous ‘Spider-Man’ films had a singular journey at their heart, even when Sam Raimi’s movies were at their worst, but it’s unclear what Webb is trying to say here.”
Digital Spy’s Simon Reynolds:
“You can’t fault returning director Marc Webb for skimping on entertainment value. Everything and the kitchen sink gets thrown at Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker throughout the course of a hefty 140-minute running time as Spidey gets beaten up – both emotionally and physically. … Peter’s past, present and future all intertwine in a sequel that offers bang for your buck. That said you can’t help feel the franchise bean counters at work here thanks to all the ominous foreshadowing and unresolved character arcs.”
IGN’s Daniel Krupa:
“The film is at its strongest when it comes to matters of the heart, whether it’s Peter’s complex relationship with Gwen or his increasingly strained relationship with Aunt May. Sometimes the scenes between Peter and Gwen are so intimate you feel like you’ve become a third wheel on a date, but that’s probably a measure of just how successful they are and testament to the strength of Garfield and Stone’s chemistry. This is undoubtedly where Webb is at his most comfortable as a director.”