An important aspect a sequel should adhere is to keep it simple. Many have used a new entry to up the ante in terms of plot and CGI. In Hollywood terms sequels mean ‘more, bigger, better’. Sadly some have been so over-stuffed with poorly written characters that an engaging plot never materialises.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 becomes an unwitting victim. Whilst superficially entertaining it marks a cinematic nadir for a superhero film designed to launch further franchises.
Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is still adjusting to life as New York’s finest superhero, Spider-Man. Knowing the sinister Oscorp foundation had a hand in the creation of his last foe The Lizard, he investigates further. Meeting its new owner and friend Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) his search is interrupted by a deadly new villain called Electro (Jamie Foxx). With girlfriend Gwen (Emma Stone) looking on, Spidey’s determined nature gives him the power and responsibility he needs to combat anyone standing in his way.
Director Marc Webb had his work cut out helming this movie. Introducing three new villains, adding elements for future instalments, and attempting to progress established characters one would have expected a mess. It manages not to become one although occasionally it comes dangerously close. Much of its success is due to Garfield’s take on Parker/Spider-Man. He still conveys the character’s rough edges of the early comic-books and handles himself very well in the action sequences.
Unfortunately his co-stars don’t fare as well. From Foxx’s Electro to DeHaan’s tortured role, they are given short-shrift with caricatured personas. Although we are talking about a fantasy film, others such as the recent Captain America outing proved an intelligent superhero caper can be made. The lack of any true style or logic hurts The Amazing Spider-Man 2 with the messy CGI washing over the story. The long run-time does no favours with its few intriguing elements becoming lost.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 isn’t a film – it’s a tool used to create more spin-offs. Commercialism obviously isn’t a dirty word in Tinesletown. It can be hoped the inevitable third outing rises to the occasion and gives the character the justice it deserves.
Reviewed by Patrick Moore
Rating out of 10: 5