The Amazing Spider-Man 2


The sequel to the clunky The Amazing Spider-Man reboot from a couple of years ago is even more clunkier. The romance is odder and, dare I say, quirkier, Peter Parker has more angst and the action looks like a ferociously ugly CGI splatter of neon blue.

Sony Pictures, the studio milking the franchise in much the same way that WB tried unsuccessfully with last year’s lame duck Man of Steel reboot, has learned nothing from the mistakes of it’s first attempt. If anything, this film makes it even more blatantly obvious why Marc Webb, whose indie sensibilities struggle in the big budget setting, was the wrong choice as director but also how overstuffed these films have been with second fiddle villains that are simply unappealing.

In an attempt to continue to differentiate itself from Sam Raimi’s exceptional character driven original, Webb injects his film with many scenes of peculiar romance between it’s two leads. These are actually the highlight – both Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone share a likeable chemistry – but this only underscores the problem of how stiflingly out of place this feels in a tentpole summer action film. Fact is, the film functions in two distinct modes; peculiar, sometimes cringeworthy romance or puzzlingly over the top, blurry action scenes that never effectively build up, they just happen.

Even when it explores the Parker family past, there is never a wholly compelling moment and the emphasis on Peter’s familial obsession to unearth what his father Richard was up to working for Oscorp gives the film a forcibly uncharacteristic Batman/Bruce Wayne feel to it. But what is a superhero film without good villains and here we get too many of them, all of whom feel fleetingly familiar and passé.  The Green Goblin is utter rubbish and Chronicle’s Dane DeHaan, with his drooping hair and morbid laughter, matches Garfield’s emo mannerisms perfectly. The ultimate trophy for shamefully clichéd supervillain though goes to Jamie Foxx’s self-pitying, self-mumbling Max Dillon, who as a lonely office drone that no one seems to appreciate or care about, tries his best Jim Carrey impersonation circa Batman Forever from 2 decades ago, and fails miserably. If anything, as schlock B-movie nemesis Electro, he only gets much worse once he gets his electricity manipulating powers.

Somewhere in all this mess, there is a Spider-man story, you know, the one about a nerdy science kid who studies in college, struggles as a photographer at the Daily Bugle and is a misfit who learns the valuable lessons of power and responsibility. This is not that film, it’s not even a parallel universe alternate Spidey. It never exhibits any of the customary, neo classic traits and the only thing left to connect it to the mythology and ethos of the countless comic book stories and Saturday morning cartoons is the name.

Rating: ★½☆☆☆

About Faizan Rashid

A veteran Dubai based film critic, Faizan has been reviewing movies for nearly a decade. His work has been published in local newspapers such as 7days and on prestigious online websites such as MSN Arabia and