Film review: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014), directed by Marc Webb
Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is keeping busy apprehending criminals all over the city in the guise of Spider-Man. During one of his missions, he rescues the socially inept OsCorp employee Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx), who turns into Spidey’s Biggest Fanboy.
Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), a childhood friend of Peter’s, comes to town to visit/say goodbye to his terminally ill father (Chris Cooper). Norman Osborn dies, leaving OsCorp to his son. The OsCorp Vice President (Colm Feore) is less happy about the company’s new direction.
Meanwhile, Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) has got herself a job at OsCorp, but starts to smell a rat after a workplace accident turns Max Dillon from super-fanboy into super-jilted-fanboy-now-supervillain-out-for-blood.
Also starring Sally Field as Aunt May, Felicity Jones as Felicia, Embeth Davidtz as Mary Parker, Campbell Scott as Richard Parker, Marton Csokas as Dr Ashley Kafka, and Paul Giamatti as Aleksei “Rhino” Sytsevich.
It would seem like Sony are milking the franchise for all it’s got before they have to hand the reigns back to Marvel/Disney – hence this re-boot so soon after the Tobey Maguire trilogy – and they’re doing a pretty good job of it, if I may say so. The comic book character is a wise-cracking kinda guy, and while it’s true that I shouldn’t make any kind of comparisons to the comic when I haven’t read any of it, I have seen some of one of the animated shows he’s in, and that character is very different than the memory I have of Maguire’s Spidey.
Not only is this reboot darker and edgier, it’s also more tragic, but that goes with the “darker” bit I suppose. Shit really happens, and not in a good way, although we do get to find out how Peter came to live with his aunt and uncle, and what actually happened to his parents – and why. What are they going to do with that in the threequel, I wonder? (“Threequel” might not be an actual word, but it’s a heck of a lot shorter than “the last film in the trilogy”, so it’ll do.)
Jamie Foxx, you amazing actor, you. Max Dillon is rather creepy, but Foxx still manages to make him somewhat sympathetic. I mean, how can you not feel SOMETHING for a guy who makes himself a birthday card because his co-workers couldn’t care less about his birthday?
This is a really entertaining film, and there aren’t many spiders in it either (phew!). It felt a little bit slow at times – although slow isn’t the right word, but there were parts I felt the need to shift around in the cinema seat and wanted to check what time it was to see how much might be left of it, but that doesn’t mean it was slow-paced or dull, because it wasn’t. It’s enjoyable enough, and Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker is charming and funny, and I like that.
Was it good, better or worse than the previous film? Probably about the same.
4 out of 5 Green Goblins.