The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

(On Cable TV, January 2015)  The biggest problem with the 2012 reboot The Amazing Spider-Man was that it was hard to justify its existence barely a decade after its inspiration.  This sequel doesn’t have as much to do in order to justify its existence: We’ve been reintroduced to Peter Parker and now we get to look at how his story develops in a different direction.  Andrew Garfield is still quite likable as the superhero in disguise, whereas Emma Stone also still coasts on her charm to sell an under-written character.  The action sequences certain shows how progresses in special effects can allow filmmakers to present even bigger and better visuals on-screen: the opening chase sequence, taking place at breakneck speed in a brightly lit New York City, is a small marvel of super-powered heroics that wouldn’t have been possible even a decade ago.  While the return of the Green Goblin as an antagonist feels safe and conventional, the use of Electro is a little bit more interesting.  This film, of course, has to do what the previous trilogy didn’t want to in showcasing a traumatic moment in Spider-Man history and while it’s difficult not to applaud this difficult dramatic choice, it’s also one that is blatantly foreshadowed in almost everything that happens prior to it.  You can almost count down the seconds before it happens.  Does this in any way justify the film?  Sure, but not too much: we could have gone without it, and (BREAKING GEEKY NEWS!) the announcement that the next few Spider-Man films, to be developed with Marvel Studios, will ignore this misguided reboot don’t do much to justify those instantly-disposable films.  Director Marc Webb should be doing other better things with his time anyway.  But such is the age of the mega-buster nowadays: full of wonders, empty of meaning and so scrapped and forgotten a year later.

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