The Amazing Spider-Man II – Rise of Electro

After the meh-ish first installment of the reboot of Marvel’s most beloved hero, Spider-Man, director Marc Webb once again sits in the chair to helm the next adventure of the friendly neighbourhood spider. Andrew Garfield returns as titular hero, as well as Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy and Sally Field as Aunt May. And this time, it could be Spidey’s greatest adventure yet. (according to the posters)

 

Story

Peter Parker seemingly managed to balance his life as teenager as well as his life as Spider-Man. Still, he has troubles planning for the future, which is problematic for his relationship with girlfriend Gwen Stacy. It gets more troublesome, when geeky obsessive fanboy Max Dillon (Jaime Foxx) has an workplace-related accident, which transforms him into literally power-hungry supervillain Electro. Peter clearly needs some off-time. Maybe going to the zoo and watch rhinos or something. Perhaps his recently returned bff Harry Osborn (Dane Dehaan) can be of some help with that…

...or not...

…or not…

With great power…

TASM2 has clearly learned from its predecessor’s mistakes. Instead of a grim’n gritty approach, Webb and co left any kind of realism aside, and hypercharged the whole movie. Everything has got comicbooky: It’s colourful, tongue’n cheek and is definitely balanced. The acting is great, especially Dane Dehaan’s Harry Osborn and the two leads.

Storywise the film is less a rehash of Raimi’s third movie, but rather throws all three prior movies into this one. You have a complicated goblin storyline (Spider-Man I/ III), Peter having relationship-troubles  (Spider-Man III), Peter having troubles with his Spider-Man-persona (Spider-Man II) and Peter accepting his superhero-role (Spider-Man III). It kinda feels like everything is all over the place, but actually, it works. Especially certain plots and subplots work better than they did with Raimi: The relationship between Peter and Gwen is wonderful. You can tell that they are clearly in love, while they have to cope with future plans and their personal needs and wishes. Also, the Peter-Harry-relationship/conflict works pretty fine. while Harry has been absent in the first movie, and you have awkward dialogue telling us that they have been best friends for years, the way they behave towards each tells you that this could be true.

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Speaking of the first movie: You really don’t need to ee it to understand TASM2. Everything you need to know is told via prologue (Peter’s father), flashback (Cpt. Stacy) or dialogue (Harry & Peter). Given that the film is the total opposite of what “The Amazing Spider-Man” was trying to be, that is actually quite a good move of the filmmakers.

While Foxx’s Electro is actually quite alright, his performance of Max Dillon was frankly too stereotypical in my opinion. And I hated that character a lot, even though it was his birthday. Another character, who is also stereotypical, but too over the top is Paul Giamatti’s Rhino. But he didn’t offend as his screen time is really short. That’s why his over-the-topness is so much more enjoyable than Dillon’s.

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…comes great responsibility!

The Amazing Spider-Man II” may not reinvent the wheel of superheroes, but it definitely is a well drafted addition to those movies. It makes non of its predecessor’s mistakes, but keeps most of that one’s boni. It definitely is worth a watch.

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