Once upon a Tom, a little boy was sitting on a park bench with his father when a gruff, angry-looking man passed by. Alarmed, the child turned to his father and asked: “Who was that unpleasant fellow?”
Somberly, the dad replied: “Son, there are many people in this world, like that man, who are no fun. These people don’t like The Amazing Spider-Man 2.”
The son looked up at his dad with wide eyes and said: “One day, Dad, I’m going to write a short, unsourced article for Regent University’s The Daily Runner about how The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is an underrated gem that is THE BEST Spider-Man movie in history.”
That boy was me.
While the first The Amazing Spider-Man receives a pass from some fans, Andrew Garfield’s second installment is generally considered the worst Spider-Man movie ever made. The movies of Tobey Maguire and Tom Holland received much higher praise. Viewers had little time for Garfield’s portrayal of Spider-Man back in 2014. Nevertheless, Garfield has always been my favorite actor to take up the role, and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 remains my favorite Spider-Man film.
Defense #1: Garfield (not the cat) & Stone (not the mineral):
Garfield (not the cat) & Stone (not the mineral): We seem to be living in an Andrew Garfield renaissance, but I’ve loved the dude since Day 1. The man is unfairly likable and charming in pretty much anything he plays, particularly as Peter Parker (unlike Tobey Maguire). He is an excellent actor (unlike Tobey Maguire). If he were my next-door neighbor, I wouldn’t complain about it (unlike Tobey Maguire).
Where Maguire struggles to emote with a wooden face, Garfield shines as he puts in a powerful performance filled with humor and emotion. While Tom Holland’s jokes can feel somewhat forced, Garfield’s humorous quips feel natural and are genuinely entertaining.
Is Garfield the best Spider-Man we’ve ever had? Well, as Albert Einstein once prudently professed, “Yes.”
Meanwhile, Emma Stone? More like Emma Xylophone because xylophones are awesome, just like Emma Stone. Stone plays Gwen Stacy, Parker’s love interest, and if anyone dares hate-on her in this movie, we will have words.
What separates Stones’ Gwen from the MJs of Tobey’s and Tom’s movies? Everything. Gwen is funny, helpful and engaging. On the other hand, if I ever had a fictional character become my archenemy, it would be Kirsten Dunsts’ MJ from the original Spider-Man trilogy, who is as useful as a potato.
Meanwhile, Zenday’s MJ is OK, but that’s it. She’s not exactly a fun character to have around and can be slightly forgettable.
In addition, the chemistry between Garfield and Stone is fantastic, making their relationship in the movie all the more compelling.
Defense #2: The Blue Man Group (of 1):
The Blue Man Group (of 1): I’m convinced the people who dislike The Amazing Spider-Man 2’s Electro haven’t watched the movie because he’s just the best. THE. MAN. IS. BLUE. Enough said.
Well, not enough said, because I cannot stress how much I love this guy. Watching Jamie Foxx stumble around with gapped teeth and a combover is entertaining. Still, he then tops that with electricity puns, rhyming catchphrases and playing The Itsy-Bitsy Spider during his big fight scene. Venom could never.
Defense #3: With Great Power Comes Great Visual Effects:
With great power comes great visual effects: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is also visually stunning. Its swinging scenes remain the best to grace a Spider-Man movie, and Garfield’s suit looks terrific. The colors are bright and fun (much more appealing than the first film), and the effects are phenomenal. This movie is fun to look at, which adds to the overall appeal. The film knows exactly how ridiculous it is, and it just has fun with it. It’s up to you to have fun alongside it.
There you have it, folks. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 deserves much more credit than it receives, and I didn’t even go into detail about its music and humor. Plus, it’s directed by Marc Webb. What’s better than that? Consider yourself convinced.