The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (4 stars)

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Marc Webb's superhero sequel delivers a sparky blend of thrills, laughs and heartfelt emotion

Marc Webb's sequel to 2012's franchise reboot finds Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) juggling his daily superhero duties as costumed crime fighter Spider-Man while agonising over whether or not he should honour the promise he made to girlfriend Gwen Stacy's (Emma Stone) dying father (Denis Leary) and stop dating her, so as to keep her out of danger. That danger duly arrives in the form of two newly-created supervillains: first lowly Oscorp employee Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx), who's transformed into electricity-manipulating Electro after a work place accident with a live wire and a tank of electric eels (it could happen to anyone); and second Peter's childhood pal Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), who inherits his dead father's (Chris Cooper) degenerative disease and becomes convinced that Spider-Man's blood is the only thing that can save him.

Garfield, once again, proves a perfect Peter Parker, particularly when paired with Stone's feisty Gwen Stacy, with their off-the-scale chemistry frequently threatening to out-spark Electro. Similarly, Foxx brings genuine pathos to Max, while the ever-excellent DeHaan is terrific as Harry, injecting a morally complex edge that ensures he's much more than a cackling pantomime villain.

The special effects are extremely impressive, especially during the web-slinging and wall-crawling sequences, which are exhilarating to watch. Similarly, the fight sequences are imaginatively staged and the script (which incorporates fan-pleasing elements from several classic comics) delivers genuine thrills alongside laugh-out-loud gags (such as Gwen accidentally shouting “Peter!” as Spider-Man swings away) and moments of heartfelt emotion. In addition, the film really captures the zippy, wise-cracking energy of Peter-as-Spider-Man, something that was notably absent from Sam Raimi's trilogy.

In short, this is an energetic and thoroughly enjoyable sequel that continues to justify Sony's decision to reboot the franchise in the first place.

General release from Wed 16 Apr.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 - OFFICIAL Trailer - In Theaters May 2014

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

  • 4 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 2h 22min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Marc Webb
  • Cast: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan
  • UK release: 16 April 2014

Peter Parker (Garfield) goes up against new supervillains Electro (Foxx) and Harry Osborn (DeHaan). Garfield and Stone have enormous chemistry, Foxx and DeHaan bring complexity and pathos, and the rebooted franchise continues to capture the original character's wise-cracking energy in a way that the Raimi trilogy didn't.