HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Doraemon: Nobita and the Green Giant Legend
Locke the Superman
Psycho
Magic Flute, The
Top Secret
Ghost Punting
Hitman's Bodyguard, The
Touch, The
Akko's Secret
Backfire
Loving Vincent
Adventures of the Wilderness Family, The
Plot of Fear
Desperate Chase, The
Baskin
Time and Tide
X - Night of Vengeance
Bunny Drop
Acts of Vengeance
Asura: The City of Madness
In This Corner of the World
Dirty Pair: Project Eden
Pyewacket
Disaster Artist, The
God of Cookery, The
Zatoichi and the Chess Player
Ingrid Goes West
Boys from Fengkuei, The
Runestone, The
Catch Me a Spy
   
 
Newest Articles
Wash All This Scum Off the Streets: Vigilante Movies
Force the Issue: Star Wars' Tricky Middle Prequels and Sequels
Rediscovered: The Avengers - Tunnel of Fear on DVD
Sword Play: An Actor's Revenge vs Your Average Zatoichi Movie
Super Sleuths: The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes on DVD
Stop That, It's Silly: The Ends of Monty Python
They're All Messed Up: Night of the Living Dead vs Land of the Dead
The House, Black Magic and an Oily Maniac: 3 from 70s Weird Asia
80s Meet Cute: Something Wild vs Into the Night
Interview with The Unseen Director Gary Sinyor
Wrong Forgotten: Is Troll 2 Still a Thing?
Apocalypse 80s UK: Threads and When the Wind Blows
Movie Flop to Triumphant TV Revival: Twin Peaks and The League of Gentlemen
Driving Force: The Golden Age of American Car Chases
Madness in his Method: Jim Carrey and Andy Kaufman
   
 
  Amazing Spider-Man 2, The With great power comes great tragedyBuy this film here.
Year: 2014
Director: Marc Webb
Stars: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, Colm Feore, Felicity Jones, Paul Giamatti, Sally Field, Embeth Davidtz, Campbell Scott, Marton Csokas, Louis Cancelmi, Max Charles, B.J. Novak, Sara Gadon, Michael Massee, Jorge Vega
Genre: Action, Science Fiction, Romance, Adventure
Rating:  8 (from 3 votes)
Review: Web-slinging superhero Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) a.k.a. The Amazing Spider-Man continues fighting crime on the streets of New York though with a guilty conscience as past events cause him to worry he is endangering devoted girlfriend Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone). While they struggle to repair their relationship an industrial accident transforms nerdy electrician Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx) into the volt-spewing supervillain Electro. This sparks a series of events including the return of Peter's childhood friend Harry Osborne (Dane DeHaan), ailing heir to the multi-billion dollar Oscorp empire, that come to threaten the entire city.

Although The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) established Andrew Garfield as a more than credible web-slinger an awkwardly rebooted narrative coupled with a sub-Christopher Nolan conspiracy back-story led more cynical Spidey fans to conclude Sony Pictures hastily made the movie to hang onto the screen rights. With the sequel returning director Marc Webb and screenwriters Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci - veterans of Star Trek (2009) and Transformers (2007) - and Jeff Pinkner latch on to one of Marvel Comics' best known and most controversial storylines, whose title alone would lead us into spoiler territory. As with the first film the chief strength of Amazing Spider-Man 2 is the sparkling chemistry between Garfield and Stone. The filmmakers wisely ensure that the Peter-Gwen dynamic remains the emotional backbone, the prime source for much of the ensuing drama as it was in the original comic. Garfield remains a charismatic presence but one must single out the screenwriters and Stone for re-crafting Gwen Stacy, hitherto an engaging but one-dimensional victim on the printed page, into such a gutsy, outspoken and capable heroine. As the person that routinely inspires Garfield's boyishly ingratiating Peter Parker, Stone's Gwen more than proves her worth.

A suspenseful prologue once again evokes Nolan as a private jet plummets from the sky along the lines of the curtain-raiser to The Dark Knight Rises (2012) but this time around the labyrinthine mystery involving Peter's missing parents (Campbell Scott and Embeth Davidtz) is more deftly interwoven with the main narrative. Kurtzman, Orci and Pinkner craft an ambitious, occasionally awkward plot that involves three overlapping threads: the mystery of Peter's parents, the Peter-Gwen relationship and Spidey's battles with not only Foxx's Electro but Dane DeHaan (bringing his by now trademark squirmy intensity to tortured Harry Osborne) each of whom bring their own sub-plots. We also get a special guest turn from Paul Giamatti and Felicity Jones in a two-scene cameo as future Black Cat (and yet another Spidey love interest), Felicia Hardy. An unfortunate side-effect of these tonal shifts is that Jamie Foxx's broadly tragi-comic turn sometimes feels like it belongs in a different movie. He remains sympathetic although short-shrifted towards the finale.

It takes an hour for Webb and his writers to ensure every keenly honed element is in place but this stab at complexity remains laudable and the weightier drama pays off in a livelier second half. As a stylist Webb is no Sam Raimi but serves up vividly nightmarish origin sequences for each of the principal villains and executes the action sequences with considerable bravura. Spider-Man's Times Square face-off with Electro is especially well handled though the musical voices inside the villain's head are a misguided conceit. Garfield's Spider-Man tends to surf the skies more like Superman rather swing on webs (any size!) but the film features the welcome return of those winning Spidey one-liners and also Peter Parker, science whiz. Drawing relationships are where Webb really excels as a filmmaker. The various entanglements are strongly detailed, not just Peter and Gwen but his friendships with Harry and beloved Aunt May (Sally Field). Thematically Webb yokes interesting tension contrasting his movie's ebullient surface (vibrant comic book colours, romantic sparring, likeable jokes) with an underlining sense of unease with Peter haunted from the get-go by the dying words of Captain Stacy (Dennis Leary): "Leave Gwen out of this." Yet even as Peter inadvertently spawns his own lifelong adversaries the film details how Spider-Man proves a healing force for New York city, crucially through his gentle encouragement of a young bullied boy. It still falls to Gwen to deliver the keynote speech to her graduating class: "Fight for what matters to you."

Again to its credit the film avoids the Man of Steel (2013) trap and never forgets that a hero is defined by his willingness to risk his life to save others not blasting villains to smithereens. Staying largely true to the comic the climax is beautifully executed. Taken as a whole the film falls just a little short of the operatic impact of Raimi's superb Spider-Man 2 (2004) but with Hans Zimmer, Pharrell Williams and Alicia Keys on soundtrack duties this can boast the best theme song of any Spider-Man movie. And listen out for Peter's ring-tone.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 1261 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
George White
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
  Mark Scampion
  Frank Michaels
  Rachel Franke
  Butch Elliot
   

 

Last Updated: