Who doesn't love Spider-Man? He's the world's most popular A-list hero, dominating everything from the big and small screens to the printed page, and let's be honest, who hasn't thought (at one stage or another) that it'd be great to swing from the rooftops of New York city? Spider-Man has a bigger fan base than any other hero, leaving Sony in the hard spot of needing something great to keep in touch with the ever expanding MCU and up-and-coming DC Universe. After one Marvel based comic book movie hit it out of the park earlier this month, could lightning strike twice?
Think what you will of Jamie Foxx's personal life, but damn that man can act. While Electro's arc starts off slowly (for the most part, the underdog Max Dillon section isn't great), when things get up to speed they never stop. Foxx manages to bring enough menace and fear to the character, while keeping the balance of someone who was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Sony would be doing 2017's Sinister Six solo a great injustice by excluding Foxx.
Say what you want about which was the better movie, The Amazing Spider-Man went above and beyond with it's characterization of the protagonists and villains. Where Raimi's trilogy felt more like an elseworld story, Webb, to all intents and purposes, has converted an issue of Ultimate Spider-Man (the good, early stuff) into a feature length film; this time around Andrew Garfield nails Peter Parker, bringing me back to the lovable comic character I know and love. A great scene in which Peter tests his web shooter's resistance to electrical currents could be taken, panel for panel, straight out of a comic book.
Despite the internet's strong belief that we already knew all of the Easter Eggs that would pop up in the film, we don't. If you know your stuff when it comes to Spider-Man's history, this film will be a field trip for you. From name drops to hints at future appearances, this has everything a Spidey fan could want
The Easter Eggs (No Spoilers)
The other Marvel based comic book movie of the year was a perfect all-rounder, yet it's third act lacked that special excitement that a final sequence is supposed to have (mostly due to the fact that we knew Steve Rogers was returning for the next Avengers). In this case however, the third act is thrilling from start to finish; Electro comes off as a real force to be reckoned with and multiple subplots merge into one, leaving the audience on the edge of their seat as the fate of a certain leading lady (quite literally) is left hanging in the balance of the protagonist/antagonist showdown.
GASP! But, comedy doesn't work in CBMs, right?! Well, in The Amazing Spider-Man 2's case, it works a treat. Spider-Man has always taken a light hearted approach to cleaning up the criminal underworld of New York, an this is the first time it's been accurately captured on screen. We saw glimpses of the humor in the first film (mostly the car thief encounter). It also feels like the first time that comedy has been used in a CBM without distracting the audience from the tone of the film, while also avoiding the campiness of other comedic CBMs.
So that's the best of the film, not it's time for the not so great...
The Not So Amazing
While the film's story is great and has no obvious plot holes, clocking in at 2 hours and 32 minutes, the film is too long. The film's third act is by far the best part and waiting through 105 minutes of rarely seeing Spidey suit up and swing about the city leaves the second act feeling drawn out and boring.
Don't get me wrong on this one, both Dane deHaan and Harry Osborne are great in the film, but his character would be so much better had it been less rushed. The arc from bromance to mortal enemies seems too quick and irrational, ending up making what could have been a brilliant subplot to the film seem forced and only included for the convenience of the plot.
Overall, Marc Webb and co have done an incredible job with The Amazing Spider-Man 2
, making a film that is both enjoyable to watch and gives us some great action sequences, including the best final sequence of the year. The Amazing Spider-Man
wasn't a terrible film, it just never made it up to the great mark; it's predecessor goes far beyond where the origin story finished up, coming close to Captain America: The Winter Soldier
in quality. This film will (like the last one) split the fan's views, with some hating it and some loving it. In my eye's however, a lot more people are going to fall on the love side of things. Sony needed to pull something good out of the bag to compete with 2014's big blockbusters and they have. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is an edge-of-your-seat film that leaves you wanting more from the new Cinematic Universe. After this, Sony should have no problem marketing a Venom solo.
The Final Score