The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Review
With superhero movies, sequels and spin-offs hitting cinemas so often we’re going to need a visual timeline to get them all straight in our head, standing out from the crowd isn’t as easy as it used to be. Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man reboot might have done well considering the challenges it faced in 2012 but now it’s time for the dreaded sequel. With a third movie already on the cards there’ll be more than a few cross-fingers come opening weekend, praying that the risks pay off.
With the first movie ‘setting the scene’ for Marc Webb’s Spider-Man, the sequel is given the chance to let loose with a fully-fledged storyline, unburdened from any origin explanations. This might explain why the film boasts three of Spider-Man’s most iconic villains, as well as a less than straight forward love story and a long-lost friendship.
Although the multiple villains angle has proved successful for some other superhero films, having so many big characters packed into one film was very ambitious. Do they pull it of? Just about. Electro and the Green Goblin’s storylines fit together almost seamlessly and although the Rhino's bookend scenes feel a little awkward, you can see why it's been done.
The romantic element to the film is clichéd and cheesy enough to make even the most idealistic viewer cringe at times, and yet Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone manage to pull it off. They portray a young couple truly in love (which may have something to do with their actual off-screen relationship), making some of the more stomach-turning scenes bearable.
Visually speaking The Amazing Spider-Man 2 looks fantastic. It’s the perfect film for 3D given that the story includes both soaring aerial shots and mesmerising electrics (Electro and Spider-Man’s first stand-off looks particular amazing). The 3D is noticeable enough to make your stomach flip on one or two of the more impressive Spider-Man jumps, but subtle enough that it doesn't get in the way of the storytelling.
Unsurprisingly the film is packed full of ‘America fuck yeah ’ moments with Spider-Man coming across as the almost too perfect hero, but it's part of the character and in terms of feel good factor, hits the money every time. Although the reboot has got a little more grit than the Sam Raimi trilogy, if you’re looking for your hero to really go off the deep end and start breaking the rules, you’ve picked the wrong film.
As previously mentioned both Garfield and Stone return to give massively enjoyable performances at Peter Parker and Gwen Stacey, showing that their own personal brand of goofiness is still a people pleaser. But in terms of casting this film has much more than it’s star couple going for it…
2014’s EE Rising Star nominee Dane DeHaan steps up to take on the role of Harry Osborn/Green Goblin, playing the part of tortured rich psychopath adequately enough to demand more screen time than he got. But then, it is unlikely this will be his only Spider-Man outing.
Electro, although played expertly by Jamie Foxx, is a bit too one-dimensional to be fully enjoyable. Granted we have to meet the man and then the monster, all the while understanding how he's got to this point, with enough time left for the rest of the film, but at times it feels a little too formalistic. Fans who were as excited as Paul Giamatti at seeing The Rhino in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will be a little disappointed at his lack of screen time, but there’s always the possibility he might return as well. It could happen right?
Put all these elements together and you’ve got a solid Spider-Man sequel (not something to be taken lightly), and as endings go, this one definitely packs a punch. Comic books fans may well be asking if Webb has stayed true to the original storyline given what happens… but that’s something you’ll have to find out for yourself.