Movie Reviews

Movie Review – The Amazing Spider-Man 2


Andrew Garfield’s second outing as ‘ol web head hits cinemas this week, hot on the heels of fellow superhero icon, Captain America. With a solid cast, proven director and the potential for some pretty stunning 3d action, the sequel to The Amazing Spider-Man has all the hallmarks of a box office smash, but it still feels like there’s just that spark of magic missing from the movie.

Garfield’s Spider-Man has settled into his life as New York’s most recognisable citizen, he’s more comfortable in his own skin and girl he loves wants nothing more than to be with him. All would seem to be going well, but behind the mask the guilt of what happened to Gwen’s father, as well as the questions he has about his own parents, begins to take it’s toll on Peter’s life. Recognising that until he discovers what secrets lie in his past the people he loves will forever be in harms way, Peter must undertake a journey of self discovery to protect those closest to him.

906429 - The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Though this incarnation of Spider-Man is more akin to the cartoon version we grew up with, all giddy fun and throwaway one-liners, the movie shifts wildly between being a perfect family event movie and being seriously dark in places; so much so that the same younger audience that will cheer out loud at Spidey’s adrenaline-fuelled, web-slinging adventures around the city will find themselves haunted by some of the later scenes; one in particular that is so unexpected and jarringly different to the lighthearted tone of the rest of the film it is guaranteed to stun most movie goers.


It seems then that director Marc Webb is trying to please all demographics; younger kiddies and hardcore comic book fans alike and the result is a mixed bag that never quite adds up to the sum of it’s parts. There are plenty of plot holes in most superhero movies (suspension of disbelief is kinda important when you’re going in to watch a kid lift cars or dodge bullets) but there’s so much here that doesn’t make sense it ends up spoiling the fun. Some of the cast, like Jamie Foxx and Paul Giamatti are completely wasted, others like DeHaan as Harry Osborn are given more to do with their roles, but the saving grace is the relationship between Garfield and Stone.


Emma Stone is spell-binding as Gwen Stacy and the awkward, shy romance that has blossomed between her and Peter Parker is full of beautiful chemistry, helped immensely by the fact they share an off-screen bond too. When the movie isn’t flinging you around the New York cityscape at 100mph, it’s these more down to earth moments that will resonate most after the closing credits.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is at times uproariously funny and exciting, and at times achingly sad and poignant but it never manages to weave these elements together into a wholly satisfying film; a shame then, given the dizzying height’s we know Spidey is capable of.

(Images courtesy IMDb, Collider, Empire)


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