Feature | Lights, Camera, Action! – The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (Movie Review)

By Freda Cooper 12.04.2014 2

Image for Feature | Lights, Camera, Action! – The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (Movie Review)

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (UK Rating: 12A)

The first wave of 2014's blockbusters reaches its peak on Wednesday, two days earlier than expected. In their infinite wisdom, the distributors of this Easter's big film, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, have decided to release it ahead of schedule. More time to see it and more money at the box office.

Spidey (Andrew Garfield) has always struggled to reconcile the responsibilities of being a superhero with those of his more ordinary self, Peter Parker, and that's where the audience finds him at the start of the film. Duty calls, though, initially in the shape of Rhino (Paul Giamatti) rampaging through New York with a deadly cargo, soon to be followed by Electro (Jamie Foxx), whose powers are far greater. As Peter also tries to discover the truth about his parents' death at the same time, he finds they have something in common with his latest enemies: OsCorp.

Image for Feature | Lights, Camera, Action! – The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (Movie Review)

Out of all the superheroes, Spider-Man is the one with the sense of humour. Saving the world is a serious business, but the web slinger always finds time for a cheeky quip. "Need a hand?" he asks as he single-handedly - literally - prevents a car from crashing on top of somebody. There's plenty more where that came from: it carries over into Peter's relationship with his girlfriend, Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), and gives the film a lighter tone as a result.

This isn't an all-action film on the scale of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. That's not to say that there isn't plenty of action, because there certainly is. All the sequences are spectacular, especially those involving Electro, whose powers make for some great visuals. The now-obligatory CGI and 3D really come into their own here.


 
The action isn't relentless, though. There's plenty of time to draw breath between the set pieces, time for Peter to uncover the mystery about his parents and for him to work out his feelings about his girlfriend - and hooray for Gwen! At long last, here's a woman in a superhero movie who actually has some character and intelligence. Even though Spidey has to rescue her more than once, she tells him how to defeat Electro, ignores his instructions numerous times, and is bright enough to win a place at Oxford. If only there were more like her!

Sandwiched between the action are more opportunities for character and plot development and, while they certainly move the story along, it's only really Peter Parker that we learn more about, which is no surprise, but it does mean that actors of the calibre like Jamie Foxx and Paul Giamatti go to waste. Foxx only needs his acting skills when playing the social misfit Max, who is transformed into Electro by an accident. Once he becomes the glowing blue villain, the CGI does all the talking for him. As for Giamatti, he isn't much more than a warm-up act for the main part of the story. He clearly has enormous fun as Rhino, to the extent that he goes ever so slightly over the top, but he really doesn't have that much to do.

Image for Feature | Lights, Camera, Action! – The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (Movie Review)

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10
In theory, it's all there - action, character and plot. However, when The Amazing Spider-Man 2 concentrates more on the characters, its web loosens and instead of making the action sequences more powerful and exciting, the opposite is the result. Yes, it's good, but 'amazing'? Not quite.

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Comments

Looking forward to seeing this. Most superhero movies aren't cinematic masterpieces, but they're good dumb fun. Nice way to spend an evening.

Thank you for the review, Freda Smilie

I'm thinking the same - the trailers have caught my interest and I liked the first of this reboot, so I'm intrigued!

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

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