Two years ago, the Amazing Spiderman successfully rebooted and resuited the most iconic Marvel superhero of them all. Marc Webb's 2014 spring blockbuster is the sequel to this reboot and his efforts have paid off. The tone is engaging, quirky, punchy and fresh – we are treated to an intricate plot of action, effects, character development and quippy dialogue. The Amazing Spiderman 2 continues the battle for Peter Parker between his ordinary obligations and the extraordinary responsibilities of Spider-Man. New York City is battered in the face of an upsurge in crime and increasingly reliant on the yet-to-be-unmasked Spiderman to save them from the villains that threaten their lives.
His relationship with brainy, Oxford-bound Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) is on and off, burdened by the promise he made to her late father (Denis Leary) to leave her alone and keep her out of danger. Try as he might, he can't stay away and she won't let him go, albeit reluctant to share him with his costumed alter-ego. But forces much greater than Gwen's chance to embark on a new life in England threaten to pull them apart. He finds himself confronted with a multitude of super-villains. The most immediate threat arrives in the unlikely form of Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx), a downtrodden, psychologically unstable minor lackey in the Osborn Corporation who, following a lab accident involving a loose fuse and a gigantic tank of electric eels, transforms into the iridescent, spark-wielding monster Electro. After a high-voltage Times Square faceoff, it transpires that he’s little more than preparation for the true nemesis - the putative Green Goblin - Dane DeHaan as Oscorp heir (and Parker’s childhood pal) Harry Osborn. We also continue the compelling investigation of his origins - the transformation of a shy, awkward teenager to a powerful superhero with inhuman, multi-tasking skills, his mysterious family history and his parents’ enigmatic death.
Andrew Garfield is a perfect fit for Spiderman and perfectly cast. He is the rare combination of slick, witty and awkwardly charming. He moves, fights, swings, crawls and comes to life on screen like the ultimate comic book hero. He has definitely nailed Spiderman and from the physicality to the attitude, nobody else could play him with such credibility. The chemistry between the two principal leads is sparky and credible. They are a delightful and playful couple and I think that is one of the most appealing aspects of this film. Both characters have clearly settled into their on screen roles and are individually interesting. Their time together as a couple is real, genuine and they are perfectly connected. The villains deliver too - Paul Giamatti is suitably maniacal and disturbing as Rhino. With his angular, androgynous beauty and piercing eyes, DeHaan is well cast as Harry Osborn. For me, Jamie Foxx was the most surprisingly impressive. Starting out as an unhinged engineer and evolving into a freak with ego issues, Electro is the most powerful and intriguing version of the character yet. However, I felt that the presence of multiple villains complicated the plot somewhat and the result was a web got rather too tangled for me!
This is the most advanced and visually accomplished Spiderman to date and the 3D is both worthwhile and effective (for a change!). Technically and cinematically each of the comic book sequences are impressive, brash and creative. The film looks stunning and Spiderman himself looks incredible. For me, it was more satisfying than its predecessor. It is bigger, more vibrant, more grounded and more spectacular. I loved watching the most inventive use of Spiderman’s webs, his shooting abilities go way beyond what previous films have shown. I also liked the frequent shift in tone to light hearted humour – most of it coming from Spidey’s quick witted quips and sharp jokes. German composer Hans Zimm delights with a stunning soundtrack featuring a range of modern tracks ranging from The Smiths to the ubiquitious Pharrell Williams, it’s original, unorthodox and clever, adding character to the film.
This movie has a sense of adventure, excellent performances and a bold, interesting plot. Provided you switch off, sit back and don’t think too deeply, you are guaranteed an enjoyable night out. I have no doubt that The Amazing Spiderman 2 will swing effortlessly through cinemas world wide and capture mass audiences in its exiting web of intrigue!