Don't be put off by my title: there is nothing sinister here chaps!! Indeed, with my general 'bloggings' I shall attempt to delight and astound you out of the mundaneness of a middle class suburban life, into the magical world of the Sophster!! Mystical...

Monday, 21 April 2014

Sophie's Film Choice #14: THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2

(WARNING: Extreme glitzyness). 

My spidey senses are tingling... and that only means one thing - The Amazing Spider-Man is back! And this time, I've got front row seats. (Well, not literally - I think I was in Row H - BUT you'll see what I mean). 

I WAS AT THE WORLD PREMIERE, YO! That's right - amidst the screaming hysteria of Leicester Square, the heavily face-painted fangirls ready for a whiff of Andrew Garfield, and some very peculiar 'DJ'ing ('ladies, put you hands up') from Jamie Foxx, there I was, strolling down the red carpet like a bad-ass Spider based hero. 

Taking our seats in the Odeon, we were greeted with Spidey masks, water bottles (which look strikingly like a child branded bath product - I'll leave you to decide which), and the best part of all - Spidey 3D glasses! I would give these a 7/10 - aesthetically pleasing, yet mildly uncomfortable in the glasses/3D glasses layering which I must adopt.

Ready for a soak after a day of web-slinging... 

However, despite the slight backwards tilt of the head I had to maintain to keep my shades on, a spider-iffic evening was had by all! (Disclaimer: lots of words will be substituted with 'spider' - it's unavoidable really). 

SPOILER ALERT: Half of the film... 
From the outset, the sequel to Marc Webb's 2012 relaunch was just as fun-fuelled and action-packed as ever. From Andrew Garfield's Scott Pilgrim-esque awkwardness, to Jamie Foxx's portrayal of the Spidey obsessed super-nerd, Max Dillon, this film hit the mark perfectly on the comedy scales. Added to Emma Stone's sassy yet endearing performance of Gwen Stacey, Peter Parker's long suffering girlfriend, we knew we were in for a treat (even perhaps with the gratuitous romantic scenes - WE GET IT. YOU FANCY EACH OTHER). 

What impresses me most about Webb's take on the Spider-Man franchise is his ability to keep the stories simple, allowing time to actually care about the characters. OK, so we had one more obstacle in this film than in the last (with the addition of our familiar friend Harry Osborn aka. The Green Goblin), but even the two enemies work together to give unity and clear objectives to the plot. Both villains are former friends of Peter/Spider-Man. Both feel betrayed. Both seek vengeance. It's neat and clear - in the meantime, we end up empathising with the destructive characters, giving them a poignance all of their own. 

The vulnerability of all characters in 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' is really what takes our emotional investment. Max Dillon's transformation into Electro (the guy who creates weird electronic dance music by touching stuff.... Sony TM) is not without fear - setting out as a harmless fan, his craving for attention drives him to violence. Harry Osborn's merge into the Green Goblin is fed by desperation - a horrendously scaley death vs.... a horrendously scaley life. Hmm... let's just say when it comes to actors that play Harry Osborn, James Franco may have stolen the handsomeness. Coupled with the very real chemistry between Garfield and Stone which forms the backbone of this film, it is certainly one for the ladies, as well as containing plenty of 'no holes barred' action for the boys. 

'Well - it's not my fault - I have a disease.'

'... are you kidding me?!'
With lots of humour, heart and a surprising amount of realism, 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' left me satisfied and looking forward to the next instalment. Plus, we saw Eddie Redmayne on the way out. Just thought I'd snuck that in there.