The second instalment in Sony’s Spider-man reboot, one of the most pointless restarts in the history of cinema after the hugely successful Sam Raimi Spider-man films which have hardly faded from the public consciousness at all. One possible reason for the decision may be the limited number of Marvel characters that Sony have the rights to, and if that’s so we can expect to see another reboot in four or five years time, but they most certainly based much of their premise with the first film on the success of Christopher Nolan’s Batman films. Here, once again, we see echoes of that trilogy, but with another action orientated and largely forgettable storyline (as I was watching this I was surprised how difficult it was to remember what happened in the previous one).
The bad guys are Electro and the Green Goblin, played by Jamie Foxx and Dane DeHaan respectively, with a little extra help from Paul Giamatti having a lot of fun as Rhino, and Emma Stone reprises her role as love interest Gwen Stacy, Spidey’s occasional bit of stuff when MJ wasn’t around. Helming the web slinging hero himself is, once again, Andrew Garfield who looks the part of the geek but who has all the charisma of a brick swinging its way through the streets wrapped in spandex, even his jokes leave you feeling embarrassed for the criminals that have to suffer them. Spider-man was my favourite comic growing up, but even though I read it as a child the Peter Parker it featured was in his twenties, more grown up and masculine (and he actually was funny) and it still worked, I really wish they’d ditch this coming of age hopeless geek routine that was already plotted across Spider-man 1-3 with Tobey Maguire, they should simply have carried on where they left off and made it ten times more interesting.
One of the film’s biggest selling points is the technology behind it. As one would expect from Sony, the picture quality is great and in fact it might be one of those rare cases when it is slightly better to view it in 3D (this is conjecture rather than a comparative suggestion) with fairly inspiring visuals of Spider-man flitting and diving between buildings. The rest of the acting is fine, and the special effects are pretty good. Essentially it’s a polished superhero film that although lacking anything distinctive or special, it does do the basics well enough to be worthwhile, and although it is a little corny to say it, I think you do always get something out of almost any film in the genre. It also sets up the ‘Sinister Six’ – a collective of various supervillains which were great in the comics, something which has no doubt been inspired by the success of the Avengers film, much like the upcoming Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman flick from Zack Snyder. Interestingly, there is a post credits scene that is actually from the upcoming X-Men film – could a cross company collaboration be on the cards … ?