Watching The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a lot like being on a rollercoaster ride. It's exciting, adventurous and the sweeping and swooping POV's you get are majestic. However, the duration of such a gratification has to be perfectly timed for it to remain exciting, adventurous and visually enthralling. Otherwise, the whole occasion becomes a test of endurance against nerves and sickness.
This is what The Amazing Spider-Man 2 eventually became for me. The rollercoaster ride goes for two more unnecessary loops and then some more. It drags on and on and on… and on to the point of redundant redundancy. One too many plot lines and one too many villains made this sequel last one too many hours. By the time the credits rolled up, two and a half hours since the film had begun, I felt like I had survived rather than enjoyed the film.
If you've watched any of the numerous past servings of the Spider-Man franchise or any super hero film for that matter then you know the plot drill by now; the hero's good intentions gone wrong, the obligatory "we don't need vigilantes getting in the way of police" sentiments sequence, the hero's personal loss and angst, the self reflection phase and the eventual triumph in a battle of wills against a super villain.
You don’t need me to tell you how simple, straight-forward and predictable the story arc is going to be – you already know this by the time you take your theatre seat. But a captivating plot line is hardly the reason these blockbusters bring droves of moviegoers into the cinemas (The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has already grossed $277 million dollars). It's their feel good factor. It's the quick release. It's the CGI effects. It's the opportunity to escape reality and tread into the supernatural. And it’s here that The Amazing Spider-Man 2, even with all its plot flaws, achieves its main reasons for existence… and that’s the reason you should see this movie.
At its most frantic, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 lives up to the superlative in its title – it's breathtakingly amazing. See it in jumbo-sized IMAX and the movie will go a step further and blow your mind. Few movie camera shots are as enjoyable as those of Spider-Man jumping from New York skyscrapers and swinging through the city with oblivious ease. The action sequences between Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield) and Jamie Foxx’s Electro are also something special.
But for me, it's when it’s grounded that this film truly blossoms to life. The infectious chemistry between Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone (who plays Gwen Stacy – Peter Parker’s/Spider-Man’s love interest) takes all the credit. The scenes between the pair give us a much needed respite from the one odd euphoric emotion that is a staple of comics-based movies. Garfield and Stone, whose on-screen allure may be attributed to their real-life relationship, give us more than the script bargains for; desire, worry, hope, anger, joy, guilt, humor, even grief. Stone's awards-level performance especially deserves an honorable mention.
This sequel may not end up in many critics’ ‘Best of 2014’ lists but all factors considered; it will still win out for everyone involved. The studio –Sony – will make a killing at the box office, the actors are guaranteed work for two more installments and the audiences get their much deserved amusement ride- however nauseatingly long it lasts. The only loser I see in all this is poor Shailene Woodley (The Descendants, Divergent) who will be tasked to play Peter Parker's true love Mary Jane Watson-Parker in the subsequent sequels. Emma Stone will be a tough act to follow!
This review is courtesy of IMAX 20th Century