Cast: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, Colm Feore, Felicity Jones, Campbell Scott, Embeth Davidtz, Paul Giamatti, Sally Field
Director: Marc Webb
Spider-Man is one the most iconic heroes of all time. Even before Iron Man, Captain America and The Hulk, Spider-Man was a household name and a fan favourite across the globe. It mades sense to keep that bit of nostalgia alive with a reboot after Sam Raimi's Spider-Man series. Although, after watching The Amazing Spider-Man, expectation weren't that high for this series to become one that will be talked about years later. However after The Amazing Spider-Man 2 hit theatres, expectations were blown out of the park.
The film is the sequel to the first installment that introduced us to Peter Parker, Gwen Stacy, Aunt May and all the rest of the Spidey family. This film dwells deeper into the burdens of a hero combined well with the trials of being a kid with normal life problems.
The younger cast with Garfield and Stone as the leads continue to be refreshing and carry out their love story effortlessly. The chemistry between the two stands strong throughout the film. Garfield in this film gets to stretch a little bit, and flex his acting muscles, which he does a fine job of. His embodiment of Spidey's childish behaviour, making light of even the most dangerous situations, is well cast.
The film indicates that Peter has been at the hero game a while now, and New York is still undecided about whether Spider-Man is a a good or bad thing. Without giving away spoilers the film will see Spidey face off against Electro (a prominent comic book foe of Spider-Man's) as well as deal with the return of Harry Osborn, his closest childhood friend. There are other villains teased in the movie, and from the trailers we already know that at least two of the Sinister Six make their appearances in the film.
Dane DeHann makes his debut as Harry Osborn, and from the get go, he pulls it off very well. The smart, cunning but also slightly helpless charisma of Harry Osborn comes across well in DeHann's performance. Jamie Foxx as the main antagonist, Electro, also does a good job of playing the part of a nobody who suddenly has the power of a God. The concept of introducing Harry his father Norman Osborn (The original Green Goblin in the comics) in the sequel was brilliant, allowing the audience to not get distracted by one of Spider-Man's foremost villains in the first film.
The performances, story-line and pacing of the film are great, but what really sets it apart is the direction, choreography of the action sequences and the next level visual effects. Each sequence is played out piece by piece, and Marc Webb has done a fabulous job of showing us each segment. His direction, placement, and small insights into the comics really makes a big difference in the film. The visual effects in the film on a budget of just $200–255 million are simply mind-blowing. The fight scenes between Electro and Spider-Man are well thought out and choreographed brilliantly.
Another great aspect of this series as opposed to Sam Raimi's is, it is much closer to the comic books from where the material is drawn from. Gwen Stacy being introduced before Mary-Jane itself is a plus point. One of the most important aspects of Spider-Man is that he is and always has been a street level hero. Sure, he's part of the Avengers (in the comics) and has battled the big bads more than once, but the essence of the character is that he's 'your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man'. The film nicely portrays that small but important aspect.
The film is a well written, true to the comics, adaptation of one of one of Marvel's on the ground soldiers. Fans of the first movie, and superhero movies in general should definitely go for this one.
PS: There's an X-Men: Days of Future Past scene at the end of the movie you wouldn't want to miss.