Thrilling from the outset, this is a jaw-dropping ride in sensational 3D, with perhaps just a few too many plane disasters for comfort. Andrew Garfield is back as Spider-Man all grown up. It’s old-school comic book drama, the scenes even shifting swiftly from one to the next like comic strips; Gwen Stacey (the wonderful Emma Stone) is there one minute, the next swept aside by the antics of Max/Electro (Jamie Foxx), of Harry Osbourne (Dane DeHaan) and of various mob characters, hell-bent on stealing Oscorp’s secret stash of biological voodoo.
There is plenty here for older kids. Peter Parker isn’t squeaky clean – he’s no sap, but he’s not a raging roider either. The Amazing Spider-Man, perhaps more so than other superhero stories, explores themes of family bonds, romance, loss, integrity and growing up; this is felt poignantly in this second instalment, making it far deeper than just a two-hour thrill-seeking stint.
The chemistry between Garfield and Stone is unbreakable, sprinkled with humour and a hefty dose of heartache – a collage of romance and tension. The perfect side note: when Gwen announces she’s pursuing her academic dream, Peter actually says he’ll follow her. Hurrah for female role models in films everywhere!
What this film teaches us is that the pursuit of truth, right and love is not happily ever after – this is stark realism, interspersed in battle scenes between a hybrid Spider-Man and a monster powered by electricity. It is impressive, nail-biting stuff in cinematic feats of CGI and design.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 isn’t full of cheap gunfights nor sugar-coated happy endings, it is a struggle from beginning to end – for Peter, for Gwen, for Aunt May, for Harry, for Max. It is gripping, tragic and surprisingly meaningful. The web-like mass of interlinking stories make for a truly powerful depiction of this hero’s greatest battle. If you don’t walk out of the cinema with a lapful of popcorn and tears, you didn’t have your 3D glasses on right.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is released nationwide on 16th April 2014.
Watch the trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 here: