Barton’s Movie Reviews – THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2

I was a big fan of The Amazing Spider-Man back in 2012. It was a much needed reboot that came about after the Spider-Man films were dealt a universal blow in 2007 with the much maligned Spider-Man 3.

Everything changed. People were interested in seeing Spider-Man on the big screen again. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is arguably the most anticipated film of 2014 and it does not disappoint.

Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) continues his fight against crime as Spider-Man as well as dealing with personal issues, including a relationship with the love of his life Gwen Stacey (Emma Stone) and the truth behind the death of his parents.

Uncovering the truth leads to Peter facing numerous threats from Oscorp such as Electro (Jamie Foxx) and with returning best friend Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) in charge, the fight becomes much more personal.

Comic-book films for me, have to both look good and have a story that makes you care about the characters. With the Spider-Man comics having such a proud history, there is plenty of opportunity here.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 having our hero go up against three villains, always made me worry that it was going to be another case of ‘too many cooks’. Having too many villains could become a distraction but in this case, I think it was handled perfectly. 

Peter’s relationship with Gwen and the mystery surrounding the death of his parents were not just thrown to the side in order for everyone to witness Spider-Man go up against numerous villains. Marc Webb directs his sequel in very much the same way as the first. He cares about the characters and he wants the audience to as well. 

You just have to look at the Peter and Gwen story arc to realise this. Just like the first film, it is features heavily and with Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone in the roles, Webb has two of the brightest prospects in Hollywood to work with.

It is no secret that Garfield is a major fan of Spider-Man so bringing the character to life on the big-screen must be a dream come true for him. He brings the charisma and cockiness to Spider-Man as well as the vulnerability to Peter. 

Emma Stone has already had an impressive start to her acting career and in the role of the headstrong Gwen Stacey, she shines yet again. Garfield and Stone together though is one of the highlights of the film. Their chemistry is spot-on throughout making it comfortable to sit through their scenes.

A lot has been made about the fact that three villains appear in the film but honestly there is no issue with it at all. It could have felt clustered but that was avoided by having the one main villain and then two villains very much on the side. In fact, Rhino (Paul Giamatti) and the Green Goblin (DeHaan), only appear in the film for around 5 minutes each. It makes sense though with the plan Sony has for its franchise.

Don’t worry though, DeHaan still gets more than enough screen time to impress as Harry Osborn and Giamatti goes full on crazy in his short time on screen as Rhino, something we can look forward to more in further sequels.

Electro is the main villain this time round and Jamie Foxx really does do a great job in bringing him to life, both as Max Dillon before the accident and as Electro after. It is another example of Webb showing his care towards bringing these characters to life. Too often are villains just rushed and not given a great deal of backstory. Dillon’s suffering makes you feel empathy towards his actions as Electro.

This is not to say that Webb doesn’t know how to deliver on the action sequences by the way. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 features some of the most impressive action in recent comic-book films and part of that is thanks to Electro.

It is always going to be awesome to watch Spider-Man swing through the streets of New York but a villain like Electro provides the foundation for some truly stunning action set-pieces, most notably, a fight taking place within a power-grid. Just like the first film, it looks as if it has jumped right off the pages of the comic-books and on to the big screen.

I saw this on an IMAX 3D screen and I have to say it blew me away. The format is just designed for films like this and the 3D was put to good use, it didn’t feel like a distraction.

One department I felt the first film lacked a bit of a punch was its soundtrack. It didn’t really feel like a soundtrack that suited the character of Spider-Man. Thank goodness for Hans Zimmer then. After his work on The Dark Knight Trilogy and Man of Steel, Zimmer is the man to go to for a superhero soundtrack. 

Spider-Man’s theme has much more of a superhero feel to it and for the first time I felt myself taking a liking to dubstep. It is used heavily in Electro’s theme and it genuinely added more of a punch to any of his scenes. Listen out for a clever use of Itsby Bitsy Spider during a confrontation between Spider-Man and Electro.

“His greatest battle begins” reads the tagline for The Amazing Spider-Man 2. With the ante being more than upped from the first film and with two further sequels already slated for release, along with spin-off films for The Sinister Six and Venom, fans of Spider-Man should prepare for one hell of a battle. 

Verdict: 4/5

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