Even better web

2014-04-28 00:00

IT seems like Toby Maguire is a very distant memory, with some of the younger viewers going into theatres this weekend to see The Amazing Spider-Man 2, saying “Toby MaWho?”

Now the fresh-faced Andrew Garfield swings back into action in his second outing as Peter Parker and Spider-Man, making Maguire crawl further back into his basement.

It has only been two years since Hollywood rebooted the franchise, with the first Amazing Spider-Man generating a little above par reaction from audiences. However, the producers have totally upped their game as The Amazing Spider-Man 2 improves on its story, characters and action set pieces.

In the second instalment, New York City is Spider-Man’s playground, with the web-slinger helping police with machine gun-wielding criminals, rescuing people in danger and just generally enjoying his super powers.

He is in love with his girlfriend Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), but holds back on his feelings as he is haunted by the ghost of somebody that we lost in the first film.

As the film escalates, Spider-Man and Peter Parker are both faced with a number of challenges when an Oscorp employee Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx) has a catastrophic lab accident transforming him into super villain Electro.

Peter’s long-lost friend Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) returns to New York when his father dies, making Harry the CEO of the corporation. And if this isn’t enough, Peter also tries to get to the bottom of his parents’ death, who were also employees of Oscorp.

There seems to be a lot of stuff happening with The Amazing Spider-Man 2, with Peter trying to solve the mystery of his parents’ death, dealing with not one, but three villains, and dealing with his own personal demons, but the scenes that really stick out are those with the love relationship with Gwen Stacy.

The chemistry between Garfield and Stone (they are a couple in real life) is excellent. Yes, the situation is typical and the dialogue isn’t anything new, but their interaction makes it that much easier for audiences to swallow back down their vomit.

Foxx is normally a good actor, but his character in the film is too much of a caricature. It seems like the film-makers are insulting viewers with over explaining situations with gut-wrenching one-liners and the most absurd background score — all of which work against Foxx’s character.

DeHaan, on the other hand, was an excellent choice as the actor delivers a creepy yet intimidating Harry Osborn, playing right into the hands of the original material.

In the sequel, we see more Peter Parker than Spider-Man. Is this a good thing? Well, yes and no. If you are a 10-year-old child dragging your poor parents to the theatre, then yes you might be disappointed. However, if you are that poor parent, chances are that you might enjoy this side of our friendly neighbourhood comic-book-character-meets-big screen. Spider-Man comprises the entertaining parts of the film while Peter’s journey is the heart and the depth.

There are a few good scenes that will really give your emotional sense a strong tingle. Less is more as the few action set pieces are simply spectacular with the highlight being the Times Square showdown with Electro.

However, the trailers have ruined some of the best lines and action pieces the film has to offer — so stay far away if possible.

It is always admirable when a comic book film initially aimed at younger viewers takes risks and gives audiences more than they bargain for, and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 does just that. Head down to your local cinema and take a break from the murder and mayhem happening in Westeros — The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is definitely worth a watch.

*** Yashen Moodley

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