Art & Entertainment,  Other

Review – The Amazing Spider-Man 2


     It’s no secret that superhero films have
seen a huge resurgence over the past few years, in particular those featuring
Marvel characters. Yet Spider-Man seems to be a particularly iconic character –
after all, the series was re-booted only five years after completing the
original trilogy. Peter Parker is perhaps, one of the more relatable
superheroes, whose powers were thrust upon him without consent, and who faces
just as many ordinary teenage struggles as he does villains.

     The Amazing Spider-Man is a
rollercoaster of a film, both hilarious and heart-wrenching. I also take it as
a good sign, when a film makes me as emotional as this did. There is a lot going
on in the plot, but I felt it was just balanced enough so as not to overwhelm
the audience. As well as facing not one, but two villains, Peter has to cope
with the turmoil in his own life as well, primarily his relationship with Gwen,
providing scenes of tenderness and heartache; and his desire to find out more
about his parents, whose story is mysterious and fascinating. I enjoyed seeing
these more human storylines mixed in with the heart-pounding action sequences.
     Andrew Garfield is by far my favourite incarnation
of Spider-Man, as he so perfectly captures all sides of him, from Peter’s
awkwardness to Spider-Man’s confidence, and all his shades of intelligent,
caring and fearless in between. Spider-Man’s humour is one of my favourite
things about him, as he continually fires witty remarks at his enemies, even in
the direst circumstances, and it never fails to make me smile. And Spider-Man
is a flawed character, who makes mistakes, and that makes him all the more
relatable. Emma Stone is also wonderful as Gwen Stacy, beautiful, smart, kind
and brave to the end. She is no mere damsel in distress, but insists on helping
Peter, and her tragic story is fundamental to his character development. Sally
Field, in her portrayal of Aunt May, brings warmth and nurture to the film, and
her scenes with Peter are truly touching.
     Both villains faced in the film are
excellent, Electro played by Jamie Foxx and the Green Goblin played by Dane
Dehaan. I enjoyed getting to see their origin stories, and understanding why
they did the things they did. Foxx moves easily from bumbling and pitiable to utterly
terrifying, and Dehaan brings a unique charisma to his role, making his
character both charming and devious. I did question the decision to include two
villains in one film before seeing it, but it actually works well, and their
transitions are well-timed so as not to be overwhelming or confusing.
     The cinematography was stunning throughout
the film. 3D is becoming so common, that I often forget I’m watching it in some
films, but here it was utilised to its fullest effect. Scenes were carefully orchestrated
to make the most of 3D technology; and combined with the excellent special
effects I felt immersed in the film and frequently flinched as objects flew
towards the screen. The action sequences were well choreographed as well, and I
really liked the use of slow motion to show the intricacies of the fast-paced
fighting, allowing you to truly appreciate Spider-Man’s abilities. The Times
Square scene was a particular favourite of mine, in everything from the
character portrayal, to the action sequences, to the gorgeous orchestral
soundtrack. I was unsure about the more modern tracks used in the film’s
soundtrack, but the orchestral pieces were wonderful.
     All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this
film, and I think it’s the best Spider-Man film to date. Spider-Man is a
character that resonates with us all, as an underdog that rose up to become
something more. Even when he isn’t saving lives, he is an icon for people to
look up to. You only have to search online to find a wealth of stories about
how this character has helped so many fans in the real world, because, as this
film reminds us (in a beautifully worded script towards the end) he brings us
hope. And the world would be a far sadder place if we didn’t have hope.