Spider-Man has taken a back seat in recent years to his other, now more illustrious, Marvel brothers and sisters and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is an attempt at bringing the “web-slinger” back on to the big screen. The film is a good superhero film, and worth a watch, but lacks a little oomph that it needs as an action film.
If you see The Amazing Spider-Man 2, there will be nothing in it that really covers new ground for an action film. We see the fate of Peter Parker’s parents in the opening scene and then Spider-Man kicks off the film proper with a routine, for him, rescue. Then the plot develops with his break-up with girlfriend Gwen Stacy and the rise of a villain, Electro, after an accident that gives him special electricity controlling powers. The scene where Spider-Man confronts him is perhaps the film’s most memorable scene, aside from the final battle, and the rest of the film really only serves to set up the finale. Spider-Man spends the film solving his relationship with Gwen, finding out the truth about his parents and figuring out how to combat the powers of Electro. There’s little in the way of real action scenes that you would expect from a superhero film, and that’s a shame. You go to these films expecting to be left gawping at massive fights or enemies that seem undefeatable. You want to have some sort of hair-raising experience to set your heart racing. There’s none of that with Spiderman. Action aside the film is good, and the stories I’ve mentioned are more than interesting enough to keep you fixed on them, but it’s hard to come out of the film with a sense of awe when there’s been nothing to inspire it.
Unlike the masked hero, the story itself seems to get caught up in too many threads and doesn’t quite pull off what it sets out to do. Neither villain really takes centre-stage, and for most of the movie I was left wondering what the real focus of the movie was. Was the movie about Spider-Man finding out what happened to his parents, getting back together with Gwen or fighting the villains? Plot points seemed to be conjured up just as a way of progressing things, rather than feeling like they were the natural next step. The story-telling in The Amazing-Spiderman 2 left a little to be desired.
The acting in the film is a mixed bag, with Spider-man being played excellently, with a disarming charm and wit by Andrew Garfield and the lovely Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) being the perfect love interest for him. Their connection and chemistry was as good as you could want in the film and that was perhaps the film’s best feature. They were a couple that you could believe in, and although their relationship was strained with Gwen wanting to move on with her life, they still had a spark between them that was palpable.
Although the two leads turned in solid performances, the two villains weren’t quite as sure-footed. Jamie Foxx plays Electro, one of the most unassuming villains you will ever find, and is somewhat off-kilter with a rather dry and uninspiring role to fill. The other bad guy, Harry Osborn (Dane DeHann), is a run-of-the-mill spoiled brat who does nothing to set himself apart as someone particularly evil, as such, but more of an annoyance. It’s hard to really muster up any fear or hatred of either and makes you feel less involved in the story.
Despite my criticisms, I enjoyed watching Spiderman. It was perhaps a little bland, but it was an easy-going film to watch. It doesn’t take itself as seriously as most of the Avengers films do, which makes it a bit more relaxing. It would be a perfect DVD to have on with a few friends, with little investment needed to enjoy it. In saying that, seeing the film in 3D in cinema is probably the best way of experiencing the whole film, so it’s worth catching on the big screen before it ends its run.
So, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 doesn’t quite live up to its name but if you are looking for a way of spending a few hours at the cinema it will fit the bill nicely. Although recently superhero films have really started setting the bar higher and higher, this film is proof that it takes a little extra to make a fantastic film out of a comic-book story.