The witty web-slinging masked vigilante returns in a sequel that will have fan-boys trembling with excitement.
Life hasn’t exactly been easy for Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield); first his parents are murdered (which is delved into much more), and then his uncle Ben is gunned down in the street by a criminal. Thankfully though he has the amazing abilities of a spider that help him to get through the day as he saves civilians in New York City. Although things appear to be looking up for the wall-crawler, Peter is still trying to deal with the death of Captain Stacy (his girlfriend’s father), and the promise that he made him in the first film. But pondering over the question of whether he should cut all ties to Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) is not the only thing on Spidey’s mind, as a whole host of super-villains are emerging into his world. In an unfortunate twist of fate, Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx) – a nobody who just wants people to notice him – is turned into Electro; an unstable monster that can control electricity and has found a new hatred for Spider-Man. Figuring out his love life and fighting crime might only be part of the threats that Peter is going to face, as his old friend Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) comes into the picture, and is on a mission to prove that his father’s last words about him being a failure were wrong.
Although I was weary going into a new Spider-Man franchise with The Amazing Spider-Man in 2012, it is definitely clear with the sequel that director Marc Webb is the man for the job. He has cranked everything up a notch from the first film, and not even things that needed to be done, but make the film so much better because they have been. As well as the picture quality, the effects and visuals are just on another level from the previous Spider-Man films; they make the entire movie seem more realistic and it pulls you into the film a lot further.
Along with this, the film improves on Spidey’s costume a little bit further, by adding the classic wide eye pieces to his mask, rather than the thin ones which have been used in every film to date. There was just something about this film that gripped you from start to finish, and made the almost 3 hour running time fly by. From the scenes that depict Peter’s everyday life, to the incredible action sequences, it all slotted together so well and will have you thinking ‘this is a great super-hero movie’.
Of course with the new editions to the villain side of things – which includes Paul Giamatti as Rhino – there has to be the actors to play them, and the portrayals were dead on. Jamie Foxx’s depiction of the pissed-off-at-society Electro really makes you feel the rage, hatred and electricity that is flowing through his veins. The character of Electro has been re-imagined for the film; instead of a high school student who parades around in his green and yellow spandex when turned into a villain, he is now a grown man who works for Oscorp and his persona as Electro is now a blue-glowing horror that will have your nerves going wild. As both the shy Max Dillon and the enraged Electro he pulls off a stunning performance. This time round the character of Harry Osborn is given to us by the talented young Dane DeHaan, an actor who has been rising on the Hollywood radar ever since his breakthrough role in 2012’s Chronicle. His talents continue to shine as he plays the distraught son who needs to make his father (Chris Cooper) eat his final words and find a cure for a hereditary disease which they suffer from. Unfortunately in doing so he becomes the Green Goblin, once again a very scary one I might add. DeHaan’s role as both Harry and the Goblin are memorable, especially the latter, that chilling evil face will stick in your mind for weeks after viewing the film.
For all of you comic book fans out there, you will have noticed many little Easter eggs throughout the film. But for those of you unfamiliar with the Marvel universe, here are a few things you might have missed. First of all it seems quite possible that, in my opinion, one of the greatest team-ups may actually happen. I’m referring to Spider-Man and Black Cat, as we’re introduced to the character of Felicia Hardy (Felictiy Jones) in the form of Harry Osborn’s assistant. However that is not the only future characters we may have been introduced to. Max Dillon’s boss – Alistair Smythe – (B. J. Novak), if the writers decide to go down this route, is the son of Spencer Smythe, who is the inventor of the Spider-Slayers which are out to catch Spider Man. Probably the biggest hint at what is to come next though is the shady character seen in the end credits scene of the first film, and throughout a lot of this one. He is thought to be The Gentleman, a villain who assembles the super-villain team The Sinister Six; and as we have already heard that this is a route that the films will be going down, it is quite likely that he is him. Plus the fact that we see Doctor Octopus’ arms and Vulture’s wings at Oscorp, and part of the film being set in the Ravencroft institute where many of the villains may already be, is making this theory a reality.
Where Sam Raimi failed in adding too many villains to the story line (Green Goblin, Venom, Sandman), in 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man Marc Webb has succeeded and made it work so well.
The future for the Spider-Man franchise is looking bright.