Marvel is at it again with the second installment in the Spider-Man franchise: The Amazing Spider-Man 2. This time there’s more villains, more action, more heartache and even more Andrew Garfield in spandex (because we can never get enough of that). In this sequel, Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) delves deeper into the mystery of his parents’ death, and in turn is pulled further into the Oscorp company, where all manner of mutant humanoids seem to be emerging. This includes Electro (Jamie Foxx), who can channel electricity from all over New York City through his body and control it any which way he likes. On top of all this, Peter is struggling against his feelings for Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), who he must let go of if he is to protect her from all the trouble being a super-human, web-slinging, spider-man brings. But, as always, love is the greatest battle, and the most dangerous feeling of them all.
I was a little disappointed with the first Amazing Spider-Man film, as it started strong but seemed to grow more and more ridiculous as it progressed. However, unlike its predecessor, the sequel holds up for much longer, and I only lost faith within the very last two minutes of the film where, again, things just got a little out-of-hand. But for the rest of the 140 minutes (yes, it is a long one), I thoroughly enjoyed myself. There’s plenty going on in this story to hold your interest, with about five subplots that somehow manage to all come together in the climactic ending, including the introduction of Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), the new owner of the Oscorp company, old friend of Peter Parker’s, and – as comic fans will already know – the Green Goblin. While Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone perform fabulously in the lead roles, it was Dane DeHaan who caught my eye. His performance was intriguing and dynamic, and reminded me of a young Leonardo DiCaprio.
While the visual effects and the action sequences are all gripping and well-executed, it is the on-screen chemistry between real-life couple Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone that completely steals the show. This is partly in thanks to director Marc Webb, who after directing (500) Days of Summer knows all about the importance of romantic chemistry, but mostly due to the fact that Stone and Garfield seem to work in sync, easily transitioning between comedy, romance, and tragedy until you don’t even think they’re acting anymore – and they probably weren’t, to a certain degree. This film managed to move me both to laughter and to tears, which is a pretty great achievement for your run-of-the-mill, action-blockbuster. Unfortunately, what weren’t removed were the cliche one-lines that are just so unoriginal they’re almost ironically funny, particularly Spider-Man’s running commentary as he swings through the city and battles bad guys.
All in all, I would rate this pretty well when it comes to high-action revamps of old superhero movies, and even better than the first, which isn’t something you often get to say about a sequel. If they keep going the way they are now, part three of The Amazing Spider-Man franchise should be one to watch out for. In the words of Electro: “Let’s go catch a spider.”