Now, almost two years later, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (henceforth known TASM 2)- which sees Webb returning to the director's chair- is here and I have a similar reaction to the one I had in the days after seeing TASM for the first time- that of disappointment and depression. As with TASM there’s a potentially great film nestled deeply in TASM 2 but it suffers from the same problems of TASM. Namely, this series is more concerned with constructing a franchise and an expansive universe then just telling a solid story that can stand on its own terms. The main difference between the two films is TASM scenes cut out that would have made the film more cohesive a compelling, whereas TASM 2 has too much stuff to juggle, resulting in a unfocused film that never decides what story it wants to tell.
I don’t want to say that the filmmakers don’t understand Spider-Man at all since I’m not an expert either. And there are many moments that are very much Spider-Man. The ending, which I’ll get to later, also says something incredibly meaningful about superheroes and this character in particular.
I wrote an article some time ago concerning my mixed feelings about Marc Webb and this franchise: http://thenoirzone.blogspot.ca/2014/03/some-thoughts-on-my-mixed-feelings.html. I still stand my feelings but I’m not mad at Marc Webb. He does have talent. I’m more upset with Sony and how they didn’t allow this film to breathe and be a story. TASM 2 isn’t a soulless film. It has some incredibly soulful and beautiful human moments, Webb crafts some magnificent visual effects sequence and its climax is pretty much perfect. It’s just that Sony has suffocated this franchise with world building and wanting to catch up with Marvel Studios. Ultimately, TASM 2 is too problematic in regards to its story and character development to be a completely satisfying.