<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Directed by Marc Webb. Starring Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, Chris Cooper, Sally Field, Paul Giamatti
Hated the first Amazing Spider-Man movie. Don’t know why they keep rebooting franchises. But this second one took me by surprise. Riveting, poignant, full of action and humour, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is one of the better superhero films to come out of Marvel and I enjoyed it much more than the new Superman movie.
Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is still obsessed with finding out about his dead parents but that journey looks like it’ll still throw up new surprises in the third installent. In this one Peter is grappling with his on again-off again relationship with Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) who is a powerful woman in her own right and chooses her destiny a bit more wisely than Peter does. Then there’s Harry Osborne (Dane DeHaan) whose father dies of a mysterious illness that will now afflict Harry who then thinks the blood from Spider-Man will cure him. But Spidey isn’t so sure, which doesn’t go down well with the billionaire boy.
And if one villain isn’t enough, there’s Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx), the bumbling OSCORP technician who works in the shadows but secretly wants to be in the limelight. He is overjoyed when Spider-Man saves his life but not too thrilled at how his alter-ego, Electro, is treated by the web slinger.
When the film first started I thought the production values looked a bit cheap and the slapstick humour came in far too early. But the more friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man that the studio has experimented with seems to work well. There’s angst in romance for sure but this Peter/Spider-Man is a joker with finesse and charm.
I can see that the filmmakers have tried to give the film an edge of difference in the CGI and look of the film too. Almost comic book techniques are used with interesting effect. A few over the top characters end up being quite fun to watch. Foxx’s Electro may seem one dimensional but the insecurities he faces as Max come through in his character nicely. Of course th Rhino villain seems a bit boring and was that really Paul Giamatti in the metal suit? Wow.
Director Webb and writers Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Jeff Pinkne have invested a good amount of time in the life of Peter and his relationships with Gwen, his aunt May (Sally Field) and friend Harry (Dane DeHaan). It’s all worthwhile and the actors have great chemisty that allows you to immerse in their characters and feel for them. It’s not one of those fast paced actioners with lots of CGI and battles to give you popcorn kicks. It’s touching and endearing.
I’m a fan of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films with Tobey Maguire but with this second ‘Amazing’ film from the reboot I may not want to write off this set just yet. It has great potential.