“You know what it is I love about being Spider-Man? Everything!”
Get ready because The Amazing Spider-Man is back, swinging in for more comic book big screen adventures – and this time the stakes have been raised considerably.
In the familiar spidey suit once again Andrew Garfield is an absolute joy as he nails the dual role superbly, so watchable that it is only when he has to deal with a host of new villains that things oddly lose their way a little.
Love interest Gwen Stacy (a blonde Emma Stone) also returns and the two leads sizzle with genuine chemistry that gives the film a solid beating heart.
But it’s just not easy to hold down a serious relationship while being on full time city saving superhero duty and, like many super dudes before him, Spidey has to take steps to protect his girl (as he promised her now dead father) and follow his heart.
As a super-powered love story The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a treat for the senses – you’d be a cynic indeed not to love his Banksy-style web graffiti declaration of love.
Alas, it’s not all good news. New lead baddie Electro (Jamie ‘Django Unchained’ Foxx) is more annoying than menacing and he hogs screen time that would be better served profiling new Hob Goblin (Dane ‘Chronicle’ DeHaan) who actually could be an awesome nemesis if developed in the next movie, and the ‘Sinister Six’ offshoot which is mooted. Another stumble is Paul Giamatti who is wasted as the Rhino, a kind of uninspired bumbling mech rather than a mutant creature.
The special effects work well, though, web-swinging has never looked better or more fun and the Oscorp special projects lab makes full use of a cupboard full of superhero CGI tricks.
Also good to see is the small scale interactions that keep Spidey busy, which include helping a nerd who has bully issues, which has a welcome pay off in the last scene.
But however hard director Marc Webb and his team try, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 just isn’t as ‘amazing’ as the first of this rebooted franchise.
Yes, there is lots of promise for the next part – not least in introducing Felicia (Felicity ‘Cemetery Junction’ Jones), who could become his ‘Catwoman alike’ Black Cat.
But then ‘The Adequate Spiderman’ might be more accurate, but isn’t as enticing as a title.