The Amazing Spider-Man 2: Rise of Electro

WRITTEN BY: Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Jeff Pinkner
STARRING: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, Sally Field
RATING: 3 stars

When The Amazing Spider-Man was released in 2012, I approached it with some trepidation. Unfortunately, my worst fears about the film were realised – it was far too soon to reboot the Spider-Man franchise and the new film was a complete mess. Surprisingly, the film was successful enough to garner a sequel. That was another bad idea. The Amazing Spider-man 2: Rise of Electro has a good villain and some great use of 3D and special effects, but the dialogue was so painfully lame that the film suffered from it overall. It also felt long and the plot twists were too predictable even for those not familiar with the comics.

Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) is relishing the attention he is getting as Spider-Man but is struggling with his feelings for Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) because he promised her father he would stay away from her. As he attempts to reach a happy balance and learn more about his father's past, Spider-Man is confronted by a new villain, Electro (Jamie Foxx), who is threatening the safety of New Yorkers. He is also surprised by the return of his old friend Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) who further complicates things for Spider-Man.

Garfield is a far better Spider-Man than Tobey Maguire and he again gives a solid performance. Stone is also very likeable and the real-life couple have decent chemistry on-screen. But it is Foxx who really impresses, playing a complex and oddly sympathetic villain. His character arc from an invisible geek to a powerful monster is fascinating. DeHaan is a good actor but he comes across as far more bratty than James Franco's Harry. Paul Giamatti's Russian The Rhino also feels a little over the top. Sally Field returns as Aunt May and has some mushy scenes with Garfield, but she ultimately has little to work with.

If you have never seen a Spider-Man film, you might enjoy this film. But if you want an introduction to the Marvel hero, I would sooner recommend Sam Raimi's trilogy or the comics themselves.