Spiderman 2.0 is back in the guise of Andrew Garfield, this time looking more confident and at ease in his role, albeit with added flippancy with villains, not a usual Spiderman trait.
Following a lengthy and well done prologue, expanding the reasons for his parents earlier disappearance, we are thrown literally head first into the action.
P238 plutonium is being transported through central Manhattan, the most obvious route for such dangerous cargo and the shipment has been hijacked by a crazy Russian in the form of an almost unrecognisable Paul Giamatti. Spiderman arrives and does his thing, yet still manages to make the obligatory graduation scene as Peter Parker.
During the melee, Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx) is saved and obsesses that Spiderman is now his friend, sending him swiftly down the path marked crazy. Max works at “Oscorp”, the main city energy provider, the same firm where Spiderman squeeze Gwen (Emma Stone) is gainfully employed.
“Oscorp” has a found a new renewable energy resource which appears to involve the use of tanks full of electric eels. Before you can say contrived plot device, Max has turned into “Electro”, a walking power station of hurt.
Meanwhile Peter’s friend Norman Osborn (Dane De Haan) is beginning to realise the double edged legacy his ailing father Norman Chris Cooper) will bestow upon him. Peter is later forced to make a choice, which potentially opens the door for another villain to appear.
Garfield and Stone do their very best to inject some reality and fun into the proceedings, their on and off screen chemistry evident in every slow scene they are allowed. Director Marc Webb (no pun intended) seems frightened of a slow scene extending too long, before another explosion or riot of CGI is introduced, lest attention spans are exceeded. The teen angst at the start is noble but any teenage boy realises such sentiments have limits, bearing mind Gwen’s willingness to accept the risks.
The scenes the cast are actually allowed to act, notably with Aunt May (Sally Field) are arguably the best parts of the film. Once the action starts, it takes on a computer game feel and one wonders just how much, if any interaction the actors have in these sequences. Arguably becoming nothing more than pixellated puppets in hard drives, allowed to go home once the small segment of principal photography is complete.
Whilst superhero films are not always known for story-lines, the writers have clearly taken this maxim and taken it to the logical conclusion. The film feels like a collection of action sequences, interspersed with brief quiet scenes the director dared to allow in the final edit. One also questions the need for more than one villain, there is no time for either to really make a mark. It will be interesting to see if the conclusion reached remains final, the comic book story arc says yes.
It is obvious younger audiences like the more is good approach and with a box office take north of $700m, Sony will be pleased. This also lays solid foundations for a third outing. Presumably before a brief hiatus and the inevitable reboot in a couple of years time.
A fun albeit average superhero movie that largely does what it says on the tin.
If you liked the previous version this will just about do for now, until hopefully the third film finishes the trilogy on a high.