First up, let’s talk about 2012’a “The Amazing Spider-Man”. Whilst it looked good and had plenty of good moments (including one of the best Stan Lee cameos), it was definitely lacking a lot of the charm of what we know as “good” Spider-Man, plus the Jekyll & Hyde Lizard was rather hackneyed if well portrayed. What we need for the sequel is more bang for our bucks, more humour, more Gwen Stacey’s delectable smile. Looks like someone was listening…
“The Amazing Spider-Man 2” does many, many things right. First up is a noticeable shift towards peter Parker and his alter ego being a complete wiseass. Right from the start as he tries to stop an armoured car heist, Spider-Man is in with the funnies before the fists, and it makes everything so much more enjoyable. Like in Brian Bendis’ “Ultimate Spider-Man” series, half the battle is in the dialogue. This movie has completely different writers to the last, and boy, does it show.
How about a tragic but powerful villain? Oh yeah, we got one of those. Jamie Foxx is Max Dillon, a rather pathetic man who is walked all over by just about everyone. The problem is that he’s also a very smart man, and unappreciated smart people can be tricky if they, for example, get turned into living electrical generators. Anyone for a big dose of revenge? Foxx puts in a good performance as Dillon, both before and after his transformation into Electro, although the before is much better for actually sculpting a characterisation.
The other notable figure in the film is Harry Osbourne, son of Oscorp head honcho Norman, who was also The Green Goblin in the original trilogy. Dane Dehann has a look about him of Leonardo DiCaprio after a visit to Slimy Evil Villain school, but he does at least invest Harry with a passable excuse to act like a total asshole.
Naturally, the whole thing revolves around Peter Parker and Gwen Stacey. Andrew Garfield seems more at home in the role this time round, and handles the snappy dialogue like a pro (which he is, natch), as well as the inevitable anguish that comes from being Spidey. Emma Stone is once again stunning as Gwen, with the Oscar for eye make up seemingly in the bag. True love never has run smoothly for Peter Parker, and so it’s no surprise when this relationship has it’s ups and downs, especially when peter is haunted by the presence of Gwen’s dead father, warning him to keep away from her or put her in ganger. Cute couple, though.
I’m not going to spoilerize the plot here, hence not mentioning anything that’s not in the trailer. The next film is neatly set up at the end, although unlike some I didn’t feel that this was just an elongated trailer. Mark Webb (yeah, we’ve done those jokes) directs with more style and panache then before, including some very effective uses of slow motion to show just how Spider-man’s enhanced senses and reflexes work. Some of the fight scenes are genuinely brilliant, and there’s a mini slapstick scene at Oscorp that is a one minute marvel. To be hinest, this all feels closer to what a Spider-man movie should be than any since Spider-Man 2, so let’s hope the next one is better than the shambles that was Spider-man 3. If they keep the writing team, it may well be the case.
Final Trailer - Do NOT read the comments under it as they will ruin the movie!