Under normal circumstances I would begin my blog by subtly bragging that I got to see The Amazing Spider-Man 2 before the American audience but my feelings about this particular franchise are so minuscule I would get no pleasure from it. There is nothing I particularly dislike about Spider-Man but there isn’t anything about Peter Parker's story that catches my interest. I think it is fair to admit that the cast is the only reason that I went to see The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
PLOT: Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is now a confident wise cracking Spider-Man and is still dating Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone). Peter is having Denis Leary flashbacks and suffers from abandonment issues. Angst. Peter reconnects with his oldest-yet-never-mentioned-before-best-friend Harry Osborne (Dane DeHann). Harry also has abandonment issues. Angst. Jamie Fox mixes electric, water and eels and ends up like the bastard love child of Drs Doom and Manhattan. The residents of New York cheer/boo the heroes/villains like a WWE audience whilst hiding behind a seemingly indestructible police barrier. Angst. END PLOT.
The plot of The Amazing Spider Man 2 is surprisingly uninspiring and on more than one occasion I found myself getting a little bored. The film clocks in at a mammoth 2hours 22mins and unfortunately for the casual fan this is a good 45mins too long as there were times when the film ground to a halt. There is more melodrama than a teen soap and the action scenes are few and far between. The amount of time Peter Parker spent in his spider suit was oddly limited. Sometimes more is more.
Andrew Garfield is perfectly cast as Peter Parker. He handles the overabundance of angst levels with little effort and is as watchable as ever. Garfield also shows that he can handle zippy one liners just as easily. Emma Stone, a favourite of mine, manages to make Gwen Stacy one of the most likeable love interests in history. Although the chemistry between Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone was sizzling hot there was more will they/won’t they relationship nonsense between Peter and Gwen than the entire ten year Ross and Rachel saga. If you can stomach the teenage angst then you will be rewarded by a legitimately tense final act which is when The Amazing Spider-Man 2 finally springs into life.
Dane DeHann is an actor that I thoroughly enjoy watching and his portrayal of Harry Osborne was essentially his audition tape to play a drunk and petulant Leonardo DiCaprio in a future biopic. I am immensely looking forward to the Oscar ceremony when DeHann wins a best actor award for an impersonation of Leonardo DiCaprio and if Fate enjoys Internet memes it will be before DiCaprio wins his own coveted Oscar. DeHann’s performance aside the introduction of Harry Osborne and his defection to the dark side was far too rushed.
The action, when it came, was typical Spider-Man fare. Any scene with Spider-Man flying through New York is a pleasure to watch and there were a few chuckles to be had during these moments. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has a very good action packed opening but unfortunately it was downhill from there. The final confrontation is a by the numbers CGI battle which is saved by emotional shocks and the performances of the cast.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 seems happy enough to be solid summer fare and nothing more. If it weren’t for Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone and Dane DeHann I would be tempted to use the word “lazy”. Marc Webb played it safe. Even the title is safe. It will make its money but it will be crushed by some of the bigger films yet to come and deservedly so.
On the Paul Giamatti scale of “I don’t give a fuck 'cause I’m enjoying myself” The Amazing Spider Man 2 gets a 6/10.