Two years after director Marc Webb gave Spider-Man a slick reboot there is a sequel, with British actor Garfield once again pulling on the red and blue costume to play Peter Parker and his webby alter-ego Spider-Man.
Peter is still fighting crime in New York City, but is haunted by the man he couldn’t save, police captain Stacy (Denis Leary), who also happens to be the dad of Peter’s girlfriend Gwen (Roberts). She’s the one person who knows he’s Spidey, but Peter’s tormented by the fact that he promised her dad he’d keep her safe by staying away from her. He’s also desperate to know what really happened to his parents, but that is all shoved to one side when mild-mannered nobody Max (Foxx) falls into a vat of electric eels that turn him into Electro, a demented living electric conductor intent on sucking power from the city.
Not content with having one very impressive looking bad guy – the effects featuring Electro and his zappy powers are jaw-dropping – Webb and writers Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and Jeff Pinkner throw in a second baddie for good measure, Peter’s old school pal Harry Osborn. Harry is suffering from a hereditary disease that seems to be turning him mouldy (younger viewers may find this a bit icky) and comic fans will know it’s only a matter of time before he becomes one of Spidey’s best known foes.
Three bad guys – yep, yet another one pops up before the end credits – are a bit much for one movie, but this actually works best in the relationship scenes anyway, whether it’s the ones between Peter and his long-suffering aunt (Sally Field) or those moments between him and sparky Gwen that are both funny and cute. The action sequences are great, too, especially Spidey zipping about using his webs and a spectacular scene in Times Square, and the film only really slows when Peter is trying to learn more about the parents who seemingly willingly abandoned him to life as an orphan.
At nearly two and a half hours long, it is a bit bum-numbing for the younger audiences who buy the movie-related toys, but with impressive action (especially in 3D), and two terrific performances from Stone and Garfield (so much more watchable than previous squeaky-voiced Spidey, Tobey Maguire), it’s a thoroughly enjoyable sequel for older kids and grown-ups alike.
Is The Amazing Spider-Man 2 suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Children under 10 may find Electro scary.
Younger viewers may also be distressed by Harry’s transformation.