UK Release Date: 18th April 2014
Runtime: 142 minutes
Director: Marc Webb
Writer: Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Jeff Pinkner
Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, Paul Giamatti, Sally Field, Felicity Jones, Chris Cooper
Synopsis: Spider-Man must square up to his biggest challenge yet after he uncovers even more about his past.
When Sony rebooted the Spider-Man franchise in 2012, only five years after the previous instalment, many eyebrows were sceptically raised. But The Amazing Spider-Man actually won over quite a few fans, with Andrew Garfield providing an interesting take on the webslinger. Two years later, the lukewarm sequel has arrived and that goodwill could completely disappear.
Peter Parker (Garfield) is enjoying his life as Spider-Man, besting villains (Paul Giamatti) as he rushes to high school graduation and spending time with his girlfriend Gwen (Emma Stone). Things soon go awry with the return of old friend Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) and the emergence of powerful supervillain Electro (Jamie Foxx).
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a mess. It doesn’t resemble a coherent movie in any way. In fact it feels more like a collection of ideas assembled into a clumsy order. There are too many villains, too many poorly handled plotlines and a final act twist that is telegraphed from the opening few minutes.
| "I once told you that secrets have a cost. The truth does too."
Thankfully, Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone are still reliable in the lead roles. Their real-life chemistry mingles with great performance to create two very believable characters. Unfortunately, their work is undermined throughout by poor writing and reliance on lazy romantic tropes. The charm of director Marc Webb’s anti-romcom (500) Days of Summer, so prevalent in his first Spidey outing, is conspicuously absent.
The supporting cast fare even less well. Jamie Foxx’s role as Electro is thankless as the character is sidelined after only a few interesting set pieces and Sally Field’s Aunt May is relegated to simply spouting platitudes. Dane DeHaan is given more depth, but becomes far less exciting when he starts gliding about as the Green Goblin.
The problem isn’t so much that there are too many villains. It’s more that those villains aren’t interesting enough. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 feels more like a dry run for the Sinister Six spin-off than a standalone superhero movie worth watching, especially so soon after the wonderful Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
| "Everyone will know how it feels to live in a world without power, without mercy… without Spider-Man!"
As much as it has exciting moments, including some great comedic lines, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is too keen to establish threads for the future. This prevents it from being a great film in its own right.
Pop or Poop?
Hobbled by lazy writing and poor characterisation, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a messy film produced by spreadsheet-wielding executives rather than real creative minds.
It does succeed in setting up threads for the future, but there’s little to enjoy in the film itself. After a solid first outing, this is a wasted opportunity to make a superhero movie to rival the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Do you agree with my review? Let me know in the comments section.