The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (d. Marc Webb USA 2014)

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (d. Marc Webb USA 2014) 

 

 

Please read ‘On Reviews‘ for a guide to how I write film reviews. Any spoilers are appropriately marked and, though I personally prefer to know little about a film before seeing it, there is a synopsis at the bottom for any who wish to see one.

 

Entertainment: starfish starfish  starfish starfish

Performances: starfish starfish starfish starfish

Predictability: starfish starfish starfish 

Technical: starfish starfish starfish starfish

 

One of the significant events in cinema recently was the rebooting of several franchises. In 2005 Christopher Nolan revitalised a film series, that last saw light with Batman & Robin (d. Joel Schumacher USA/UK 1997), that began with Tim Burton‘s vision for Batman in 1989’s Batman (d. Burton USA/UK 1989). There was certainly a difference in tone. The rather gothic visions downplayed in favour of realism. The Amazing Spider-Man (d. Marc Webb USA 2012) was a reboot that took many by surprise. Was it more realistic? No. Tone was different but Spider-man (d. Sam Raimi USA 2002) was fresh in everyones minds. Was a reboot really needed? This is a separate issue, but it is important to remember that they are entirely different film series. In Spider-Man Peter Parker was more awkward and Spider-Man was more the quiet hero, but The Amazing Spider Man sees a stronger personality in both. Peter Parker is a confident teenager and accordingly his counterpart is more smug and talkative. Is it better? It is certainly different to Spider-Man. Let’s not debate the necessity of the reboot, lets see how it continues.

 

One of the aspects that tends to characterise a sequel is the idea of more. The Dark Knight (d. Christopher Nolan USA/UK 2008) brings us The Joker and Two-FaceSpider-man 2 (d. Sam Raimi USA 2004) brought Goblins and Doctor OctopusBatman Returns (d. Burton USA/UK 1992) brought Penguin and Catwoman. Even other sequels like Aliens (d. James Cameron USA/UK 1986) brought more aliens and Terminator 2: Judgement Day (d. James Cameron USA/France 1991) brought two terminators. So it is unsurprising that this film focuses on working more characters into the narrative and by so doing depending greatly on showcasing their performances. Spider-Man was a bit more smug in The Amazing Spider Man but here, in The Amazing Spider Man 2, he is a lot more likeable and noble. Obviously the character has learnt since the first film and the performance given by Andrew Garfield is well done. The primary antagonists, Dane DeHaan and Jamie Foxx, are even more powerful in their roles – in spite of an initial generic set up for Jamie Foxx. Performances in this film is a particular strength of this film and it is these three actors that really make the film any bit successful or entertaining.

 

 

Having said that the film isn’t without technical prowess. It is surprising how one can take a concept like Spider-Man and play with it. There were some truly impressive shots that showcase some inventive use of the camera. Particularly powerful was the follow shots of Spider-Man when he is moving through the air. The Amazing Spider Man, like many films of the modern era, uses a lot of CGI. With a character that uses a lot of electricity, this would be difficult to do any other way. However, this is in no doubt useful in delivering some beautiful images. In many ways this was a refreshing film, trying to bring something new whilst giving some respectable characters. Unfortunately setting up a predictable cliff hanger type end.

 

 

As sequels go, this wasn’t a bad one. It keeps The Amazing Spider Man very much alive. An entertaining continuation of the series. An improvement upon the first and revitalising after Spider-Man 3 (d. Sam Raimi USA 2007) (despite a quicker reboot, there’s a big similarity in Batman & Robin and Spider-Man 3 killing off a film series and necessitating a reboot). Other than the odd shot here and there, the real gems lie in the performance of Dane DeHaan closely followed by the supporting cast. But, altogether a fun film.

 

 

Further Reading

rottentomatoes.com

metacritic.com

Official Site

Andrew Garfield’s Site

Dane DeHaan’s Site

Jamie Foxx’s Site

Emma Stone’s Site

Interview with Cast and Director

Interview with Jamie Foxx and Dane DeHaan

Interview with Emma Stone

Synopsis
Peter Parker is haunted by the words of Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone)’s father’s last words and worries whether being Spider Man can mean he can keep her without endangering her. All the while Electro is created by the Osborn company and events spiral into the creation of The Green Goblin. Not happy with Spider Man events seem to spiral out of control and lead into the upcoming The Amazing Spider Man 3.

 



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