As is so often the case these days, critics and audiences across the pond are able to see major blockbusters weeks before they open in the States. The latest epic to unveil its wares to an international audience is Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which moved up its UK date to April 16 and, as a result, began screening for press on Tuesday. The results are in. Depart now if you do not want The Amazing Spider-Man 2 to be spoiled!
Reactions to Webb’s sequel cover the entire spectrum, with some expressing deep love and one or two flat out rejecting it. Sounds like the general reaction to any major tentpole, no? Though movies based on comic-book fare tend to play better with preview audiences, critics aren’t always so kind. Webb’s first foray into Spidey storytelling, 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man, boasts a 73% Fresh grade on Rotten Tomatoes. It will be interesting to see if the sequel can match or surpass that level.
Reaction flooded Twitter after the initial screenings:
Then, the critics weighed in, and that’s when the tide began to turn. Most (if not all) praised the powerful chemistry between leads Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone – a couple in real life. Xan Brooks of The Guardian gave the film 4 stars out of 5, and wrote, "Webb's film is bold and bright and possesses charm in abundance. It swings into the future and carries the audience with it." Writing for Variety, Guy Lodge refers to the film as The Acceptable Spider-Man, claiming, "The swiftly delivered The Amazing Spider-Man 2 finds no solution to [the series’] redundancy, but it acrobatically spins enough sound and fury to distract from the issue, while the tinderbox chemistry between leads Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone delights once more."
The most negative review out there belongs to The Playlist, which hated pretty much everything about Webb’s effort. "The sequel … doesn't just double down on what didn't work in the first film, it manages to undo some of the good qualities of the original as well. The result is a film that kicks off the summer blockbuster season with a resounding thud."
That season doesn’t kick off here until May 2, when The Amazing Spider-Man 2 opens in theaters. Have the reviews swayed you in any one direction? Let us know below.