Back in the day, the difference between DCU (that’s “DC Universe”—Superman, Barman, Wonder Woman) superheroes and superheroes in the Marvelverse (those are the ones you see everywhere nowadays) is that in the DCU you vanquished the villain and went back to the fortress or the cave or the island and chilled.

For Marvel heroes, defeating supervillians was the easy part; their personal lives were as or more challenging than stopping world domination. Ben Grimm (of the Fantastic Four) didn’t want to be the Thing; Tony Stark (Iron Man) was an alcoholic; Steve Rogers (Captain America) didn’t have a friend in the world; Bruce Banner (the Hulk) had anger issues. And Peter Parker, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (couldn’t resist that one, should be, “the Amazing Spider-Man, too) had issues. He was working a low-paying job for a boss who didn’t appreciate him, he was always behind on his bills, he was worried about his ailing relative, and his love life was a mess. No wonder people so identified with him in the 1960s.

In his current movie incarnation, he still has all those problems, and that’s both the strength and weakness of the movie. The real story is Peter Parker trying to juggle all his obligations, saving the world takes a back seat. The bar for superhero movies was set by Christopher Nolan with his Batman Trilogy, specifically by The Dark Knight. The Nolanesque Model balances superheroics with interpersonal relationships, all the while grounded in the “real world.” It’s a tricky balancing act and it doesn’t always work (even Nolan had trouble with it); here it’s a very noble effort, but… Peter’s emotional/ psychological rollercoaster becomes as exhausting for the audience as it is for him.

Even worse, you have all these A-list actors playing villains and their appearance in the movie amounts to little more than extended cameos. They have no real motivations or goals; they’re just there to mostly further complicate Spider-Man’s already overcomplicated life.

The movie is gorgeous to look at, the CGI is so seamless you can’t tell the difference between the animated figure, the real actor—or the stunt performers.

The audience applauded at the end of the movie; you’ll have a good time with The Amazing Spider-Man 2, it is a crowd-pleaser—but not a classic.

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