Maybe it’s just the fact that I’ve recently acquired some new glasses and my vision is no longer impaired, but it seems like 3D technology is coming along in leaps and bounds. All questions of its necessity or implications for the future of cinema aside, I am slowly, albeit very slowly, coming round to the idea that, used sensitively and in certain situations, 3D can be great fun; something which is exhibited perfectly in the slow pace accentuated shots of Spider-Man jumping of very tall buildings and zooming along the Manhattan skyline which punctuate this film.
Marc Webb’s first Amazing Spider-Man film was an origin story, so a lot of time was given over to the creation of Spider-Man, and setting up Peter Parker’s backstory. With all that out of the way, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was able to get straight into the real business of defeating as many baddies as can be squeezed into the films 140 minute run time. There really were villains a plenty, whether it was the misunderstood fanatic who has become charged up, or the abandoned rich boy who is not only taking on Spider-man, but the tyranny of a sinister multi-million dollar corporation. The film crash banged and walloped its way through one huge set piece after another, giving the audience no end of spectacle.
This is not to say that the human drama was forgotten however. The beauty of a superhero movie whose protagonist is barely out of high school and still lives with his aunt is that there are plenty of relatable jokes about laundry and such. Indeed one of the reasons this film works so well is its delicate balance of high octane drama with the banal kitchen sink mundanity of the superheroes alter ego; helped no doubt by the chemistry between its two leads. The relationship dramas between Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacey and Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker are just as fun as the life threatening battles, as they bring a gentle humour and a youthful heart to the film, which something like Batman, with its distant and intense protagonist, doesn’t have.
Now that it’s got the origins and explanations out of the way, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 can fly full pelt in every direction. It is a deliciously exciting romp which keeps you entertained right through to the X-men clip at the end of the credits. Leaving you heartbroken and exhilarated in equal measure is not a feat I thought many films could manage. With its cheeky humour, nail biting fight sequences, and the ever developing mystery of Peter’s father and how Spider-Man came about, this Marvel outpouring has got plenty more in it and I’m definitely staying along for the ride.