Like with every film there’s positives and negatives. Let’s first deal with many of the criticisms of Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2:
“Max Dillion was a ripoff of Batman Forever’s the Riddler.”
Regarding Max Dillion being a copy of Batman Forever’s the Riddler, who cares? Script writers often take certain things of a film’s story they specifically like and incorporate it into their own. James Cameron ‘s Avatar wasn’t completely original yet it has 83% on both Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.
Furthermore, Max Dillon being a Spider-Man obsessed crazed nerd with very low self esteem made him truly sympathetic, interesting and entertaining which are good elements to have in a villain.
“The tone of the film was too inconsistent.”
The tone was a mixture of light comical and funny moments at times filled with serious and dramatic moments at other times during the film. These are the tones have been in Spider-Man comics for decades, these are the tones that essentially make Spider-Man who he is. Spider-Man isn’t a serious and dark character like say Batman nor is he just comedic character who happens to fight crime.
Spider-Man is someone who has to deal with serious real life issues as his alter ego Peter Parker such as taking care of his aunt, doing well in school and keeping his girlfriend (in this case Gwen Stacy) happy and trying to make time for her while still fighting crime as Spider-Man. And as Spider-Man he’s a wise cracking joker who foils the plans of and mocks criminals and his super powered enemies. Sometimes tragedies happen to good ol’ Spidey and sometimes he gets his happy endings or beginnings.
“Peter and Harry’s friendship and the Green Goblin felt rushed.”
It is true the friendship between the two and the introduction of the Green Goblin was rushed however audiences were already introduced to the friendship of Peter Parker and Harry Osborn (which lasted for nearly 2 entire films) in the Sam Raimi films. What The Amazing Spider-Man 2 did was give audiences a different take. Something new so as to remain fresh which is necessary for a reboot.
The Green Goblin did have little screen time however he never was the primary villain in the film. That was Electro and excluding the fact he had the most screen time, the fact the film was released as “The Amazing Spider-Man 2: Rise of Electro” in some markets is sufficient evidence to say Electro was the main villain. Harry/The Goblin was only a secondary villain similar to Harvey Dent as the Two-Face. His appearance as Two-Face also didn’t much screen time or even a fight scene with Batman yet The Dark Knight is critically acclaimed (and rightfully so).
In addition, the Green Goblin will make a reappearance in The Sinister Six ass Sony has teased and could possibly be in the Amazing Spider-Man 3. Thus there is not much reason to be upset with the Goblin’s short introduction and fight scene.
“The Rhino was too cartoony, too silly and childish.”
Sony portrayed the Rhino in this film as a dumb, silly and loudmouth villainous criminal. He is supposed to be a dumb and silly character, that is who he is in the comics. Perhaps for those who disliked it, they simply dislike Rhino as a villain period. In which case it is ultimately left to Sony to decide how to portray him in his next appearance. Perhaps there is a way to keep his character true to the source material while still changing his behavior to not be the way it was in this film for those disliked it.
“There are too many villains in the film.”
There is one primary villain, a second or side villain near the climax and a minor villain at the beginning and end of the film. All three of the Nolan Batman film had two villains and Marvel/Disney’s 2012 success The Avengers had two villains if you include both Loki and the extraterrestrial army he lead.Fox’s first X-Men film from 2000 included Magento, Mystique, Sobertooth and Toad as the villains of the film yet that didn’t feel too crowded.
The issue is never if there is too many villains but rather how the villains are handled throughout the film. If there are one, two or even multiple minor villains and one primary one it can work and has been proven to by the films previously mentioned.
The positives of Sony’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 are many: Fantastic web-slinging like one has never seen Spidey do before in a live-action film, a pleasant and believable romance, Spider-Man style comedy that would please any Spider-Man comic reader, remarkable acting in the serious and emotional scenes and great and visually stunning action sequences.
Take all the positives factors and rebuttals listed above into account and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 isn’t as bad as the critics think. In fact, it is an excellent Spider-Man film.