Rock-em sock-em web slinging derring- do sets AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2 apart as a superior sequel.
In the 2nd of the rebooted Spidey series, Andrew Garfield shines as neurotic, angst-ridden teen Peter Parker beset by an army of troubles – romantic, existential and super-villainous.
The film is virtually a love letter to New York as the “does whatever a spider can” hero swoops, flips and slings through the vertiginous steel and concrete canyons of Manhattan.
Emma Stone co-stars as the adorable GF Gwen Stacy, who loves both Petey/Spidey, who’s graduation day speech eerily foretells the film’s grim finale.
Jamie Foxx chews up the scenery as a non-entity Oscorp “invisible man” who becomes laced with electrical super-powers. In a “Misery” like-nod, Foxx goes from the web-slinger’s number one fan to his most hated foe as the AC/DC menace Electro.
Relative newcomer, Dane De Haan making like a creepy Leonardo DiCaprio, is Peter’s old school chum Harry Osborn who’s quest for a cure to his genetic disorder has him begging for arachnid blood – literally. And when his plans go terribly awry, he goes all- Green Goblin, setting up the jaw dropping shocker.
Rounding out the ensemble cast are fan fave Sally Field acting up a storm as Peter’s beleaguered Aunt May and Colm Feore (last seen as a Frost Giant in “Thor 1”) as an Oscorp corporate baddie with a secret agenda.
The big battle set pieces range from jaw-dropping 3D to video-game like CGI.
As befitting a sequel, some of the contrived story lines from the first film, have to be resolved in this film including the mystery of Peter’s father’s disappearance. But somehow, it’s all shoe-horned together to tie the disparate plot elements together in a cleverly satisfactory conclusion.
But while the film is kid-friendly depicting the rare hero who offers “hope” instead of a dark psychotic bent on revenge, the “Amazing Spider-Man 2” is not without tragedy.
For long-time readers of the Spider-Man comics the life altering showdown between the Green Goblin and Spider-Man must wreak its inevitable heart-rending finale.
But life as it must, must go on – even for one so Amazing as Spider-Man.
And THAT means battling evil.
By final fade out, Peter’s resolved to move on but not before the audience is treated to Spidey going toe-toe with the battle armor wearing Rhino (Paul Giamatti).
Despite its soap opera pathos, tormented teen love, convoluted cross-continuity back stories, the "Amazing Spider-Man 2" delivers ultimately what it should – a slam-bang action packed comic book film with a healthy dose of laughter and tears.
Simply put, Spidey 2 is THWIP-tastic!
FYI: There's no Marvel teaser during the end credits so you can just….leave.