Sunday, 7 September 2014

The Amazing Spider-Man 2: Rise of Electro: Blu Ray Review

The Amazing Spider-Man 2: Rise of Electro: Blu Ray Review

Rating: M
Released by Sony Home Ent

The web-slinger returns.

In The Amazing Spider-Man: Rise of Electro, Peter Parker (a wonderful Andrew Garfield) is enjoying life; one of swinging through the city and being with Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone).However, when a major health and safety breach results into Jamie Foxx's socially invisible and borderline schizophrenic Max Dillon being turned into a formidable electrical villain called Electro, the two are set on a collision course.

Things get even more complicated as Peter delves into the mystery of his missing parents and with the return of Harry Osborn (Chronicle's Dane DeHaan)....and this time around, the cost of being Spider-Man could be too high.

The Amazing Spider-Man: Rise of Electro is a bit of webbed muddle, a mix of blockbuster tone and doomed romance.

Big set pieces dazzle, with the CGI work this time around more assured and the comic book origins more firmly grasped, but there's such a jumping around in between and a few lulls in an unnecessarily extended 2 hours 20 minutes run time that some may be fidgeting in their seats.

But in among the noise and bluster, there are three grounded human performances which helpSpider-Man defeat any accusations of being less than Amazing. Primarily, Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker - this time around, the fast quipping Spidey works as well as does the emotionally haunted Peter, who's been searching for answers about his parents (as most teens are wont to do), is plagued by visions of Gwen's dead father and is struggling to juggle the responsibility of a relationship with Gwen. It's a heartfelt performance by Garfield who transposes the weight of the material with a non-showy turn that hits the emotional heights needed. Equally, when the script demands it, the comedy works well.

Similarly, Stone fizzles with chemistry and spark as Stacy; the scenes the duo have together work exceptionally well - even if occasionally those quiet moments seem tonally at odds with the rest of the action on the screen. And Dane DeHaan, with his icy blue eyes, twinkles with frustrated teen menace as Harry, whose curse sends him over the edge.

So, it's a shame to say that comic book plot contrivances and convenient lapses in logic make this spectacle at times feel like a backwards step for the genre as it works its way through a series of sins-of-the-father issues.

Deus ex machina pop up conveniently to save the day, Jamie Foxx's Electro suddenly gains powers when captured that would have ended his captivity very quickly, and one of the scientists appears to have been plucked directly from the stereotyped scene-chewing bad guy with dodgy accent handbook. Even Paul Giamatti's Russian bad guy who book-ends the movie is OTT.  Jamie Foxx's Electro flips very quickly into deranged villain after previously being Spider-man's biggest fan - and Foxx manages to sell the earlier scenes of Max's ostracism and loneliness, before flipping out into Man of Steel Times Square style destruction. (And Parker's quest for answers over his parents doesn't quite deliver the conclusion you'd expect)

Ironically, the final sequence of the movie feels an emotionally rushed and an overly cluttered set piece - complete with two aeroplanes on a collision course (!) and a denouement that robs you of any resonance that should have lingered long after (but to say more is spoiler territory - suffice to say if you know your Spider-Lore, you won't be surprised).

With a film packed full of Easter eggs and nods to the expansion of the Spider-universe, The Amazing Spider-Man: Rise of Electro is a little too stuffed to the gills - it soars in the quieter moments such as a small boy inspired by Spidey taking on the baddies, but juggles, and ultimately fumbles, too many elements to make a superhero movie that's not quite as amazing as it could be.


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