Thursday, 25 September 2014

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is the sequel to the 2012 remake that nobody asked for, The Amazing Spider-Man. The first film was decent, but did little to improve upon the Spider-Man films that came before it. Does the sequel fare any better?

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is better than, or at least it fixes some of the problems from the first film. Andrew Garfield is great as Spider-Man; he has enough quips and funny moments and really embodies the comical webslinger. All of the actors do a great job. Emma Stone is a brilliant Gwen Stacy again except this time the dialogue between her and Peter isn’t quite as stilted and awkward. Jamie Foxx blows it out of the water as Electro, or more specifically as his alter ego Max Dillon, the meekest and shyest man imaginable but hiding a creepy obsession with Spider-Man after he saves his life. This initially gives the two rivals a very interesting dynamic but is sadly dropped towards the end of the film. An unexpected surprise was Dane DeHaan as Harry Osborn/Green Goblin. DeHaan is excellent in everything else he’s been in and he’s great here, and what surprised me was what a great goblin he made. He has the cackle down and everything.

The music in this film, by none other than Hans Zimmer himself, is also really good and used to full effect. For example, when Electro uses his electricity there is a sudden burst of dubstep. You’re probably thinking, “Wow that sounds awful!” just like I was but somehow it works. It may be a bit in your face, but so is this movie with its big action and bright colours and I don’t think it’d be as enjoyable if it wasn’t.

There are problems. First of all, you leave the movie feeling like you’ve seen the majority of it before, due mostly to the trailers; if you’ve seen one you’ve seen about half of the best bits already. That being said, the good bits are really good. This is thanks to the superb special effects. The movie also suffers from being over stuffed with too many plot points and villains; there really wasn’t enough of any of the villains, Green Goblin in particular. Sadly, It feels as if this entry suffers from middle movie syndrome; as if it only exists to set up either the next Spider-Man film or the proposed Sinister Six film. You’d think that the people behind the scenes would have learnt from the mistakes made in the last trilogy and avoid this very thing.

Also, whilst Andrew Garfield makes a good Spider-Man, he makes a horrible Peter Parker. I mean he’s a good actor but he just isn’t a good Peter Parker, he’s way too cool. I suppose it’s not a huge crime, in this film he’s a confident superhero so at least he has an excuse but it’ll probably grate with fans of the comicbook – personally I prefer Peter Parker when he’s more relatable. Also you may have heard Paul Giamatti makes an appearance as Rhino… he does, for all of five minutes! Also he seems to be doing some kind of Russian accent, a horrible, horrible Russian accent; I could only hear the word “Spider” through his terrible, over the top drawl.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a good film but, like the first one, that doesn’t justify it being made. This film is on par with Spider-Man 3, take that as you will and the first two Spider-Man films directed by Sam Raimi are still much better. If you like superhero films give it a chance, it offers some good action scenes, Electro is a joy to watch, and IT IS a huge improvement on the first in my opinion. But if you are tired of Spider-Man or superhero films in general, and you’re waiting for the right film to rejuvenate your love for them, this film is not it.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 gets 3 out of 5 stars. It’s pretty good. It won’t change the world, but superhero fans will enjoy it for what it is.


Jack Bumby

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