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The reboot of the Spider-man series did rub many fans the wrong way, retelling the original story and heavily influenced by Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight series. The sequel to The Amazing Spider-Man is fortunately a much more confident superhero movie that is able to stand on its own two feet. From this sequel of a rebooted franchise, we finally get to see what a true Spider-Man film feels like.
Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is enjoying life as Spider-Man, but he keeps seeing Captain Stacy (Denis Leary) everywhere he goes, causing trouble with his relationship with Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone). As Gwen has the opportunity to have a scholarship to Oxford University, Peter starts to find out more about why his mother and father left him as a child.
At Oscorp, Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) returns home to see his dying father (Chris Cooper) and takes over the company. Harry also finds out that he has inherited his father’s fatal illness, which causes skin to have a green tint and teeth and fingernails to grow fangs and claws. Desperate to find a cure he sees his best hope is getting some of Spider-man’s blood, as he battles his rivals in Oscorp.
A new villain also starts to stalk the streets of New York, Max Dillon, AKA Electro (Jamie Foxx), a Spider-man obsessive and electrical engineer at Oscorp, who gains electrical powers in an accident, where he begins to crave massive amounts of power and electricity from the city. Due to this, he becomes a major threat to the citizens of New York and Spider-Man.
The first Amazing Spider-man movie does have its fans and it is a perfectly solid superhero movie, but it is difficult to separate it from Sam Raimi’s original and easy to make comparisons, particularly with the storyline. The Amazing Spider-man 2 is a more assured movie, feeling less like a revisionist take and more like an adaption of the comics, both classic and modern.
Marc Webb returns as director while Star Trek writers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci and Fringe writer, Jeff Pinkner, have taken over the scripting duties. The team perfectly mix the light heartedness and comedic tone of the comic, right along side with the more serious elements. Garfield’s Spider-Man is even more of a joker, making jokes as he battles crime and he is more of a tinkerer as he looks for a solution to battle Electro and his electrical powers. Garfield is confident in the role and it is easy to argue he is the best on screen Spider-Man. Some of the jokes do fall flat, but the humor for the most part is very strong.
The colors are brighter than they were in the first The Amazing Spider-Man and the ultra-advance technology in Oscorp is toned down for the better. Webb supplies some great action sequences, whether it is a car chase in New York using practical effects, to the more CGI heavy fight between Spider-Man and Electro in a power station. Webb brings some stylish moments, using slow-mo and even stops time to allow us to have full spatial awareness.
Webb and the writers do balance the big scale of the story and the corporate politics of Oscorp and Peter Parker’s personal drama. It was more ambitious and satisfying then The Amazing Spider-Man was. Sony clearly want to up the future trajectory for the series with actors like Paul Giamatti, Felicity Jones and B.J. Novak being cast in seemingly small roles, but fans of the comics and cartoons will know their real significance. As much as all of these elements combine to make a great film, the ending of this sequel falls a bit flat and feels rushed.
Garfield and Stone show once again they have strong screen chemistry and they are a better couple than Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 improves upon its predecessor by having a much stronger villain. DeHaan continues to show his talent as a desperate young man looking to survive, as he has been thrust into a situation he’s not ready for. DeHaan also gets to show a lighter side as he jokes with Peter and Harry and Peter did feel like old friends. There is a more psychological approach with the portrayal of Electro, a bullied, lonely man who is craving to be noticed, even if the attention he gets is negative and his relationship with Spider-Man was similar to Syndrome’s with Mr. Incredible in The Incredibles.
The Amazing Spider-man 2 is a sequel that improves on the first movie of the rebooted series, delivering on the action, humor and emotional stakes. Fans of the old and new series will be happy with the results. Raimi’s Spider-Man 2 is still the best in the series, having the most emotional weight but The Amazing Spider-Man 2 does give it a run for its money.
The mid-credits scene in the UK was a big surprise but it has now been ruined thanks to many media outlets. There is no scene at the end of the credits.