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Amazing Spider-Man 2, The (3D) (DQ)


Stars: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Sally Field, Dane DeHaan, Paul Giamatti, Chris Cooper, Embeth Davidtz, Campbell Scott, Denis Leary, Colm Feore

Director: Marc Webb

No wonder this further adventure of the webbing wonder runs close to two and a half hours: there's far too much lovey-dovey stuff between Peter Parker (Garfield) and his current squeeze Gwen Stacy (Stone). However good the charisma between the actors concerned, this is surely not what Marvel fans pay to see.

Fortunately, there are also dark deeds developing at Oscorp, which after all was at least partly responsible for Peter's alter ago, the crime-fighting, high-flying Spider-Man. Ignored electrical genius Max (Foxx, trying hard to look nerdy, with combed-across hair), whose life Spidey had previously saved, falls into a tank of electric eels, and emerges as the blue-faced, supercharged Electro, soon a sworn enemy of the webmaster and capable of dousing the lights of the entire city of New York.

Meanwhile, Peter's dad's treacherous old ex-partner Norman Osborn (a heavily made-up Cooper) is dying unpleasantly, and tells his uppity son Harry (DeHaan) that he, too, is infected with the same gene that is killing his father. Harry, once good friends with Peter, comes to believe that only Spider-Man's blood can save him. But his old pal isn't too sure...

In between the lulls, the film has predictable but well-staged excitements, carrying lots of the expected action, with our hero firing out web strands and swinging through skyscrapers. The incidental battles and little human touches - a kid who worships Spider-man is the only one brave enough to face the fearsome Rhino (an almost unrecognisable Giamatti) - also work quite well, and Garfield, a smilier version of tennis star Andy Murray, fits nicely into the title role, although DeHaan's crafty performance also catches the eye.

And eagle eyes may catch a glimpse of UK star Felicity Jones in a 'barely-there' role.

While it will keep fans happy, the series is playing second fiddle at the moment to the more intelligent Captain America and Iron Man films. Time to web up!

David Quinlan

USA 2014. UK Distributor: Sony (Columbia). Colour by deluxe.
142 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 16 Apr 2014