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The Amazing Spider-Man 2





Released: 16th April 2014

Directed By: Marc Webb

Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx

Certificate: 12A

Reviewed By: Darryl Griffiths

After the collapse of Sam Raimi’s planned fourth instalment in an admirable bid to write the wrongs of 2007’s bloated and misjudged trilogy closer, the decision to reboot the Marvel character a mere five years later that marked Marc Webb’s own leap from kooky rom-com to big budget comicbook smackdowns, was met with much initial dismay. The end result was generally high in appraisal of its inclusion of Andrew Garfield’s charismatic interpretation of Spidey and Emma Stone’s charming wit as Gwen Stacy. Less so in predominantly playing to the same narrative beats as the original 2002 origin story.

Free from such shackles, this sequel serves to be our web-slinging hero’s greatest challenge yet lays the foundations sufficiently for the already planned future instalments. Swinging across the city, our friendly neighbourhood Spidey is revelling in his saviour ‘status’ for NYC. Once feet are planted on the ground however, Peter Parker’s (Garfield) inner demons instilled through the tragic end of its predecessor involving Gwen’s (Stone) father, continue to play on his psyche and the ‘functioning’ of their unorthodox relationship.

At home with his inquisitive Aunt May (Sally Field), he remains intrigued by his father Richard’s body of work, which has remained shrouded in mystery. Ploughing into the past only antagonises the present as new adversaries emerge as grand threats to his mere existence. In the form of Paul Giamatti’s maniacal Rhino and Jamie Foxx’s initial super-fan Max Dillon turned one-man power source Electro, whom are all interlinked to the peculiar antics at corporation Oscorp. it all leads to an unlikely and dramatic reunion for Peter with old friend Harry Osborn (Dane Dehaan).

Clearly enthused by stamping his own authority on this particular instalment, director Marc Webb fills the narrative with real intent that may worry die-hards whom were left disappointed at the jam-packed approach of previous outings. Jumping from the grounded jubilation of graduation and sparky young love that channels The O.C’s and 90210’s of this world and its further fleshing out of the character’s origins, to the relentlessly paced seamless spectacle may occasionally jar tonally, yet Webb never skimps on the depth.

In an age where such genre entries are insistent on ploughing into darker territory, for all its revelations and responsibility ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’s gleeful, goofball enthusiasm is a refreshing counterpoint and a much needed reminder the character remains a ‘kid at heart’ allowing room to ‘come of age’. This is only epitomised by Andrew Garfield’s wisecracking embodiment of our hero, whose evident joy at playing Spiderman is only enhanced when sharing the screen with Stone’s wonderfully played Gwen Stacy. For all the electricity coercing through the body of its most prominent villain, its their palpable on-screen chemistry that continues to provide the sparks and playful punch that has become the franchise’s greatest asset.

Tapping into the power of media and one’s obsession to be associated with such a heroic figure, Jamie Foxx’s initially likeable outcast as Dillon into the Electro ‘transformation’ inevitably is the most striking aesthetically and musically as unlikely and questionable undercurrents of dub step underpin his spectacular face-offs against Spidey. With Paul Giamatti’s Russian Aleksei Sytsevich/Rhino reduced to fleeting yet effective appearances, it’s Dane Dehaan’s rich in torment and finance Harry Osborn whom becomes the great dictator of the story’s trajectory and poignantly proves the standout performer here.

Justifying its potentially excessive ambitions as it continues to expand its universe and up the stakes, ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ is a blisteringly entertaining, emotionally satisfying blast.













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