Continuing where The Amazing Spider-Man left off, Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is not only struggling with his past and the secrets it holds, but his future, as he is unsure where to go with current sweetheart Gwen Stacey (Emma Stone), as the broken promise to her late father haunts him everywhere he goes. On the contrary, Peter Parker is as confident as ever when under the mask and swinging around as Spider-Man, a hero to the city and a proud protector of the things he holds closest. The darkness of his personal life and his web slinging alter ego collide when Oscorp, and it's new owner Harry Osborne (Dane DeHaan), uses his parent's research against him for personal gain. Another road block introduces itself as Electro (Jamie Foxx), an Oscorp employee, turned electric-based super villian, vows to defeat Spider-Man simply to make sure he will never be forgotten.
Structurally, this film is an absolute mess. The film starts strong with an entertaining opening action scene that's both fun and exciting. It's also the best example of setting up a sequel in the entire film, as we briefly get introduced to Paul Giamatti as the Rhino. In fact, I don't really mind the whole first act of this film. It puts you right in the action, it sets up an intriguing human story between Gwen and Peter, and the Oscorp stuff is not too overwhelming. The second act is really where that bag I mentioned starts to tear. Harry Osborne has no real place in this film, The Norman Osborne stuff is more than shoehorned in, story lines start to blur and some story lines are completely abandoned. The third act, however, has some standout scenes, including the darkest and most unforgivably heartbreaking scenes in all five films, but the final fight(s) are a waste of concept, and Spidey straight up kills a guy... I understand Spider-Man has killed in the comics, but I wasn't a fan of it here.
This film has its share of good humor and decent emotional character moments, but the tone overall is so inconsistent and distracting. This film goes from emotional confrontations with Peter and Gwen to humor that feels more like Deadpool humor, if Deadpool wasn't rated R. When the film decides to go dark it usually comes out of nowhere and slows the film down. The only tonal shift that works is the closing 15 or so minutes, after that heartbreaking scene I mentioned. I hate Peter Parker in this film, he's too damn cool and he's witty and charming for all the wrong reasons. This Peter seems like he would be the coolest kid in New York City. The Peter we got in the first Amazing Spider-man was still a little too cool for my taste, but worked for the tone of that film. This Peter doesn't even feel like Peter. Andrew Garfield can't quite nail the various tones he has to portray through Peter. It just doesn't work.
I remembered an exciting Spider-Man film with trouble balancing the various plots, but after re-watch I was taken back by how little this film gets right. The tone is all over the place, too many plots are introduced and some get abandoned halfway through, and this Peter Parker is just simply not Peter Parker. Not only does the Oscorp stuff make it apparent that film was never handled with care, it was just a vehicle to set up some big universe. The best thing to come out of this film was the commercial for Evian water with the dancing Spider-Man baby.