On April 18th, Spider-Man will be web-slinging his way through New York City again. The Amazing Spider-Man was a reboot of the popular comic-book hero and, now they have placed the foundations of our awkward teenager into place, they can build upon the story. Repeating the beats on Raimi’s Spider-Man, the 2011 blockbuster showed us again how the arachnid bit the boy; the Uncle killed and a love-interest was turned down after a whirlwind romance. Thank God, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 can now go in whatever direction it wants, and indeed, after watching the first film I’m glad we are finally here.
Witnessing a thirty-minute show-reel screening, I can honestly say that I am excited about the next instalment. Marc Webb introduced the video by telling us how The Amazing Spider-Man 2 portrays Spider-Man at the “top of his game” while Peter Parker is trying to be a “regular kid”. The missing back-story of Peter Parker’s father, alluded to in the previous film, is expanded upon in the opening moments of the upcoming film with a rough and messy hand-to-hand fight set within a jet recalling the type of directing Paul Greengrass has shown us in The Bourne Supremacy. This flashback soon cuts to Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield) saving the Big Apple as Rhino (Paul Giametti) ploughs through downtown, smashing cop cars and yellow cabs to the side of the road. Andrew Garfield is cheeky and cheerful, while retaining a certain amount of smug arrogance that immediately gains our attention. We like him, and for me, we like him more than Tobey Maguire’s slightly-too-awkward portrayal in the 2000-2008 series.
Lead-villain Electro is played by Jamie Foxx and, though showcasing some incredible special effects and strong, effective use of 3D, his one-liners (“It’s my birthday – it’s time to light my candles!” BOOM!) and blue make-up seems to recall our favourite Batman villain – Mr Freeze (from the critically-panned Batman and Robin). But this is Spider-Man! He’s our favourite guy! He is fun and games; a geek we can relate to; an optimistic lad who can’t quite believe how crazy-cool his supernatural powers are! The Avengers are building a universe that is epic in scale – reaching from earth to Asgard. Man of Steel seems to be so serious while X-Men: Days of Future Past is so political. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 looks like it will be fun – and pronounce f-u-u-u-un, with a huge grin on your face. Over the top villains, snarky heroes and gorgeous romantic interests (with perfectly-balanced chemistry between Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield) is what we want to see. While he may be limited to the Manhattan skyline, that’s not a bad thing. It means it looks like the comic book we know and feels like the gloss and shine of New York blockbusters. This doesn’t look like throw-away fun but maybe the fun you’ll revisit time and time again. April 18th will answer out questions…
Simon Columb blogs at Screen Insight