THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2: RISE OF ELECTRO

★★★

THEATRICAL REVIEW
By Jess Fenton
16th April 2014

Two years ago, we saw the launch of a new Spider-Man series, just five years after the previous series ended. Many questioned its relevance so soon after its predecessor, but it didn't stop audiences from showing up in droves and loving it. Now it’s sequel time, providing the opportunity to prove that the success of 'The Amazing Spider-Man' wasn't just a fluke.

Despite being subtitled ‘Rise Of Electro’, the film chooses to focus on the Peter Parker/Gwen Stacy love story above its villains, creating a wonderful new idea - what if it’s not Peter’s life that’s at risk, but his heart?

Unfortunately, 'Spidey 2' does fall into the sequel pitfall of villain overload, therefore splitting the focus of the film. It also suffers from something I like to call the Joel Schumacher Syndrome (sometimes referred to as the Pierce Brosnan Effect), where stars turn their lucrative franchises into tacky, campy, cliché and borderline embarrassing nonsense. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t the case with 'Rise Of Electro', but there’s elements to suggest it’s a line they’re willing to cross - there's less-than-stellar dialogue, a nerd make-over and even a European mad scientist who works at a prison for the criminally insane.

'THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2' FINAL TRAILER

While a little on the disjointed side, it’s the Peter/Gwen story that really holds the film together, bringing the heart and human elements together, and played to delightful perfection by real-life off-screen couple Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone. Jamie Foxx (looking a little too much like Mr Freeze) is Max Dillon turned Electro, A.K.A. "the bad guy". Relishing the role of the title villain, Foxx spouts lines like "Let's go catch a spider" with genuine gusto, despite the ridiculousness of his character. Dane DeHaan, villain #2, who is normally an extremely talented actor, has been saddled with portraying an already explored character - Harry Osborn/Green Goblin, this time choosing to be the vengeful brat instead of the poor-little-rich-boy wet blanket we saw in the hands of James Franco.

With an action-packed story aided by great 3D effects and a female character refusing to be the damsel in distress, 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2: Rise of Electro' brings genuine “ooohs”, “ahhs”, “whoas”, and even a tear or two. Brace yourself for a wild ride.

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