Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane Dehaan, Paul Giamatti, Sally Field, Colm Feore
Released: 16th April 2014 (UK)
Given the almost impossibly high standards set by Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier, I’ll freely admit that I went into The Amazing Spider-Man 2 with more than a little apprehension. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely loved the first movie (weird-looking Lizard and all!), and felt that it managed to perfectly nail the humour, drama and general vibe that makes Spider-Man such an enduring character. But at the same time, sequels can always be a tricky prospect, and from the moment details started to be released, there seemed to be a rising tide of negativity directed towards this film that was difficult not to get swept up in. “The clips look like a damn video game cut scene”, “Way too many villains, it’s going to turn into Spider-Man 3 all over again”,etc. etc.
Well, I’m here to reassure you all that – from my perspective at least – each and every one of my niggling doubts about this movie were proven to be well and truly unfounded by the end the 142 minute running time. All of the factors that made the original movie such a success – the breathtaking visuals, the gloriously comic book-style humour, and the sizzling chemistry between leads Garfield and Stone – made a welcome return, but the film also added a further dimension of world-building through the development and advancement of Oscorp, as well as featuring two absolutely fantastic villain performances from Jamie Foxx’s Electro and Dane DeHaan’s Harry Osborn.
While The Winter Soldier was probably my favourite movie of 2014 so far (or at the very least tied with The Raid 2), much of the praise that has been heaped onto it revolves around how it didn’t really feel like a quote-unquote ‘comic book movie’ with its tense, spy thriller approach and distinct lack of traditional ‘powers’. While that definitely helped its universal appeal, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has gone in exactly the opposite direction – this is a superhero movie through and through, and the story, dialogue and action scenes feel like they’ve leapt straight off the pages of any of the classic Spider-Man comic books. And to me, this approach works just as well as the Winter Soldier in creating an engaging, exciting and – most importantly – fun movie.
No spoilers here, as promised, but this is a movie that manages to stand on its own two feet while still building for the next chapter, and which manages to pack in a terrific amount of character and storyline development along the way. Yes, there are issues with the pacing – the movie takes quite a while to get going and seems to resolve itself rather quickly, and yes, there are the occasional moments when the CGI threatens to swallow itself up, overshadowing what’s actually happening as the set-pieces get grander and grander However, if you’re a comic book fan, or simply enjoy a good blockbuster, then The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a movie you owe it to yourself to see. It’s not a perfect film by any means, but, in my opinion, it comes pretty damn close.
Get it watched!
The writer of this piece was: Craig Neilson (aka Ceej)
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