So it’s been a while since I’ve updated this. But, I’m back! Let’s kick this off with “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”. It’s been two years since the needless reboot of the Spidey franchise. Does this sequel kick the series into a new level?  Or is franchise fatigue setting in?

The Good: Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone as Peter Parker and Gwen Stacey make this movie go. Their chemistry is undeniable and almost all of the film’s best lines come from the two characters’ banter. I came away especially impressed with Garfield. He’s really settled into this role nicely and, frankly, I think he’s becoming a better Spider-Man/Peter Parker than Toby Maguire was. Also, Dane DeHaan is the best of the new actors to the series. He walks the line perfectly between creepy, yet strangely charming as Harry Osborn and, much like Garfield, I actually greatly prefer his portrayal to James Franco’s from the original trilogy.

The action has been stepped up from the first film, although that’s not saying much. But there are a few set pieces that look great and are fun to watch.

One of the greatest weaknesses of the first film was a story that just seemed too much of a retread from what we had already seen. That’s not quite as much the case in the sequel. The film goes down a couple of interesting paths and there’s a couple moments that have some genuine emotion attached to them. It was refreshing to see a comic book film take something you assume is going to happen and turn it on its head a little bit.

The Bad: Unfortunately, while this film is unquestionably better than its predecessor, it still has a long ways to go to join the genre’s best. The action may be better, but it’s also entirely too short…a big sin in a summer action movie.  Jamie Foxx is forgettable as Electro. I understand what they were going for with his character but, they take it way too far and his character seems way too cartoonish…even in a comic book movie. He also has some of the dumbest lines of dialogue I’ve heard this year.

There’s no villain overload in this film. But, I was particularly disappointed that Paul Giamatti has a glorified cameo and Harry Osborn really should have had a bigger role in this one and, for all the build up about the secret of Peter Parker’s parents…well…I’m not sure it was worth the wait.

The Final Word: This film may not compare to the genre’s best, but “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” is a fun, energetic and surprisingly emotional movie and a good way to kick off the summer. It’s a step up from the first film and does just enough to keep you invested into the film’s universe.

Lukas Eggen can be reached at eggen.lukas@gmail.com.

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