The Amazing Spider-Man came out two years ago and I for one was unimpressed with its failure to tell a new, exciting story with its take on the superhero.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 then seemed like a fresh opportunity to really take the rebooted series in a fresh direction now they’d got the backstory out of the way in the previous film. Unfortunately for director Marc Webb and everyone else involved in the film it’s like they’re completely uninterested in the fact they’re retelling the same stories as Raimi’s original trilogy.
So this time we get to meet Harry Osbourne (Dane DeHaan) who like James Franco’s take on the character starts out as friends with Peter Parker, but by the end of the film the two soon fall out for one reason or another and become mortal enemies.
Meanwhile Electro (Jamie Foxx) takes on the pointless extra villain role that Thomas Haden Church’s Sandman performed so admirably in Spiderman 3. All this means many of the characters lack space to develop decants arcs leaving a finale that feels rushed and clichéd.
Like The Amazing Spider-man where the film succeeds is when Gwen Stacey (Emma Stone) and Peter Parker(Andrew Garfield) are on screen together. Like in (500) Days of Summer Webb is an expert in scenes between couples, and in many ways it’s a shame this film didn’t focus even more heavily on their relationship.
In many ways the film is best summed up in thinking about it as a carefully prepared meal which has lots of brilliant individual elements but lacks thought about how best to make these ingredients work together.
All the actors perform their parts admirably, but I left the cinema confused about what I’d just seen. What exactly is The Amazing Spider-Man 2 bringing to the table? What are the themes of the film? What is it that separates Peter Parker as a hero, from the villains he is up against?
I came back without any answers to that question. Undoubtedly there is something to be taken from the relationship that develops between Peter and Gwen, but it’s hard to get away from the fact that these films have lacked the clarity and simplicity of the original’s “With great power comes great responsibility.”
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 then comes down to a superhero film by numbers. Love Interest? Check. Deranged Villains? Double Check. Spectacular Fight Scenes? Triple Check. Strong Theme? That one doesn’t matter that much, right?