TWO is company, but three super-villains? There’s a crowd in Marc Webb’s action-packed sequel to his 2012 blockbuster, which successfully rebooted the Marvel Comics franchise.
A Russian mobster in rhino-shaped armour, a maligned Oscorp employee who can shoot electricity from his fingertips and an iconic green-skinned imp with daddy issues all vie for attention during a rough ‘n’ tumble 142 minutes.
Special effects wizards oblige with dazzling sequences of Spiderman swinging at breathless speed through New York, at such dizzying velocity director Webb repeatedly employs slow-motion to make sense of the blurs of blue and red spandex.
For all the technical prowess, which is considerable, it’s the chemistry of Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, who met on the first picture and have been dating ever since, which provides more bang than the digital pyrotechnics.
When they stare into each other’s eyes, we can feel the crackle between them.
“You’re Spider-Man, and I love that, but I love Peter Parker more,” she professes.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 opens with a flashback to the night Richard Parker (Campbell Scott) and wife Mary (Embeth Davidtz) leave their young son in the care of Aunt May (Sally Field) and Uncle Ben (Martin Sheen). The reason for their sudden disappearance continues to haunt Peter (Garfield).
So too the ghost of Captain Stacy (Denis Leary), whose daughter Gwen (Stone) is Peter’s on-off-on-off girlfriend.
While Peter hones his powers, childhood friend Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) returns to to assume control of Oscorp upon the death of his bullying father, Norman (Chris Cooper).
Harry’s ascension coincides with an industrial accident that transforms nerdy employee and Spider-Man fanatic, Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx), into an electrically-charged monster.
The Amazing Spiderman 2 fleshes out the back story of the Parkers and their involvement in secret experiments.
Peter and Gwen’s turbulent romance is the cornerstone and the film soars whenever they are together.
Foxx’s portrayal of the bad guy with unimaginable power coursing through his veins is more miss than hit. The script doesn’t spend enough time with his corporate nerd before the metamorphosis into Electro.
DeHaan is terrific as the heir to the Oscorp empire, who clings forlornly to the hope of a transfusion of Spiderman’s blood to cure his genetic woes, laying the foundations for a battle royale between the wily webslinger and an expected third instalment.
My rating 8/10
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