starring Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Sally Field
screenplay by Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci & Jeff Pinkner
directed by Marc Webb
by Walter Chaw A notable improvement in almost every way on Marc Webb's first film in this reboot series, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (hereafter Spidey 2) sports the same weaknesses, the same bloat, the same catering to the summer cult of boom-boom, but it ramps up the intelligence and a certain comfort with darkness that pays off in a pair of genuinely gratifying character resolutions. Despite what the trailers would spoil, it really only has one antagonist, Jamie Foxx's Electro--well, him, and our hero's (Andrew Garfield) struggles with trust in his relationships, whether they be with his Aunt May (Sally Field) or girlfriend Gwen (Emma Stone) or best friend Harry (Dane DeHaan) or lost father Richard (Campbell Scott). It's a film about class struggle, as May picks up double-shifts and moonlights in nursing school to provide tuition for her adopted boy (giving Sally Field the chance to resurrect her blue-collar Norma Rae), while shut-in Max (Foxx), electrical engineer at monolithic Oscorp and low man on the corporate totem pole, comes clear, fascinatingly, as a riff on the unnamed protagonist of Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man.