2012 saw the return of Spider Man, a character so well-known in both literature and film that this new franchise held the heavy task of renewing the series as both original and still riveting enough to keep those watching come back time and again. This years (simply titled) The Amazing Spider Man 2 is the fifth filmic version of Mr Spidey, and the adventures, or perhaps more appropriately mishaps he gets into. Starring the kooky, quirky, and wonderfully awkward Andrew Garfield as the protagonist of the title, Peter Parker, Emma Stone as his girlfriend Gwen Stacy and the loveable Sally Field as Peter’s Aunt May. In this new feature we follow Spidey after his high-school graduation, as he begins a life of full-time crime-fighting against Oscorp created enemies. Expect antagonists galore (of course), and lots of over-the-top CGI to feast your eyes on.
Dane DeHaan starts in this second film and boy does he had a touch of cool to it. Playing villain Harry Osborn DeHaan channels ignorance and youth realistically, presenting Harry as someone not only struck by grief, but as someone dealing with anger and also terror, at the disease that will kill him. Unfortunately (and this is no fault of DeHaan’s) when he transforms into the Green Goblin his character becomes slightly doltish, and its impossible to find him terrifying, or even ominous, which feels as though was the intention. Director Marc Webb has changed the formula of this new franchise enough from the previous (with more comedic moments and less grit) but the cliches of this genre cant seem to be escaped.
There are two or three wonderful stand-out moments of awe-inspiring CGI (if you viewed in the cinema you would of had the full effect of this as it was shot in 3D), and of course those moments are between Spider Man and Jamie Foxx’s Electro. Foxx, in one of his first roles as a malefactor, does well here. His transformation is astounding, going from a geeky scientist to a genuinely horrific antagonist. With all the great acting, and brilliant cinematography of New York, what lets this film down is the formulaic and easily guessable narrative. It follows the standard three section formula and just feels all too familiar. At the box office it took a whopping $709 million (sounds a lot right? But is actually the least grossing film of the whole franchise) – are audiences tiring of Spidey and his antics?
If you can take this film for what it is meant to be – a bit of fun, with some emotion thrown in – then you’ll love it. But, if you are looking for a film with a deeper meaning and a touch of darkness (which Christopher Nolan managed with his re-boot of the Batman films) you won’t get it. The Amazing Spider Man 2 is out on DVD now.