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amazing_spiderman_two_ver4THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2
Written by Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Jeff Pinkner
Directed by Marc Webb
Starring Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx and Dane DeHaan

Everyone’s favourite web-slinger is back yet again to swing up and around the beautiful architecture of New York City in THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2. Once again, Marc Webb (500 DAYS OF SUMMER) is at the helm and once again, Andrew Garfield dons the Spidey suit (and boy, does he don that thing well) as he saves Manhattan from madness while wooing the lovely Gwen Stacey (Emma Stone, Garfield’s off-screen girlfriend). And despite upping the stakes by piling on the bad guys and killing off a major character, once again, the latest instalment in the latest Spider-Man franchise fails to fully grasp the concept of amazing.

Peter Parker (Garfield) is about to graduate high school but who needs school when you can put your life at risk helping the police fight the rampant crime in New York City? At first it seems like Parker is flying high on his newfound life but it isn’t long before we learn, thanks to TRANSFORMERS screenwriters, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, that Peter is experiencing some very real, very mature, post traumatic stress syndrome. He cannot get his girlfriend’s dead father (Denis Leary) out of his head. In the last film, Peter had promised him that he would not involve Gwen in his superhero life but so far it would seem that he has chosen his spider-loins, I mean, spider-heart, over his spider-head. He cannot deal with the pressure anymore though and he and Gwen split up, which opens the door to chaos in the form of not one, not two, but three physical enemies to distract Spider-Man from the enemies he already had in his head.


As is the custom in comic book movies, everything is always the origin of something monumental and in THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2, we get to witness the birth of Electro (Jamie Foxx) and Green Goblin (Dane DeHaan). Electro used to be the mild mannered, by which I mean socially inept, Max Dillon. Nobody respects him and he feels like no one even knows he exists, until Spider-Man saves his life one day. Of course, that high is deflated fairly quickly when he is forced to work late on his birthday and plunges into a bath of electric eels that have their way with him. Meanwhile, the Green Goblin, who was once known as Harry Osborn and was also once childhood friends with Peter, loses his father (Chris Cooper) and finds out he is dying of the same skin disease. When Spider-Man refuses to help him out of his dark place, he goes to an even darker one. These villains are complex creatures taken to extremes but yet they come off as full on cartoons, which just takes away from their journeys (and DeHaan’s committed performance).


Between balancing his heart and his mind while simultaneously balancing the bad guys in his life, Peter has his hands full and THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 has woven a complicated web of a plot. While it is elaborate, it is not necessarily complex, which leaves it often feeling excessive. In fact, at times, its elaborate nature is so obviously ramped up that it ends up feeling plain and unoriginal. It isn’t that Webb isn’t in control of his own web; it is just that he does nothing to make it memorable or to bring it to the next level. Considering how costly these productions are, they should not feel like just another cog in the blockbuster machine. The audience should feel like they want to be there, need to be there even, but lately, and in the case of this film, it feels as though we just have to be there to say we saw it. Still, I never tire of Spider-Man swinging through the streets of New York City so here’s hoping the next Spider-Man actually lives up to its name.

3.5 sheep

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