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Phuket Film Review: The Amazing Spider-Man 2

When the trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 first came out, audiences were sold on a movie that seemingly involved Peter Parker taking on three separate bad guys, possibly all at once.

By Jean-Pierre Mestanza

Wednesday 14 May 2014, 09:39AM


Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, Colm Feore, and Sally Field

Director: Marc Webb

Running time: 142 minutes

However, the trailer misrepresents just how much evil comes to New York City, which ends up mostly being in the form of Electro (Jamie Foxx) and brief clashes with the Green Goblin (Dane DeHaan).

While it could be a case of false advertising, it's not in fact that disappointing to see that only Electro and the Goblin are part of the story. Quite the opposite, since more villains would probably have just convoluted the plot and made it even longer than the already lengthy two and a half hours.

No, the problem comes in the form of storytelling and where Spiderman is in the superhero universe, compared to the rest of the film world. While Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America are forging ahead, moving on to exciting new storylines, this incarnation of Spiderman is stuck in the origins stage.


Granted, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 does expound on Peter Parker's parents, something that the Toby Macguire/James Franco-led franchise did not (which, it should be pointed out, only finished in 2007!). This film also does a great job of giving more depth to Parker himself.

The downside is that this franchise has to keep introducing new characters and villains – complete with origin stories – in the same fashion as all the other superhero films (the exception being the crossover Christopher Nolan Batman films). This brings a stale element that doesn't mesh well with the spirit of 're-invigoration' that The Amazing Spider-Man reboot series is going for.

Yes, Electro is the slickest looking villain in almost all the superhero films out there (the exception is Heath Ledger's Joker, on a level all to his own), and Foxx is superb as the tragic Max Dillon. But there are too many points where the CGI extravaganza becomes a distraction and takes away from the story.

While we see more of what makes Peter Parker just a regular teenager searching for the truth about his parents, we also see him conflicted about friendships, heartbroken about relationships, and reflective about his role in saving the city: stop me if you have seen this one before.

It's no easy task to completely change a franchise while essentially telling the same story. Even though Andrew Garfield's take on Spiderman is light years better than Maguire's (sorry Toby), the frenetic action and seemingly separate story lines will keep you interested, but only half-entertained.

My Spidey Sense ain’t tingling over this one.



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