Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.
USA, 2014. Marvel Enterprises, Avi Arad Productions, Columbia Pictures, Matt Tolmach Productions. Screen story by Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Jeff Pinkner, James Vanderbilt, Screenplay by Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci, Jeff Pinkner, based on the Marvel comic book by Stan Lee, Steve Ditko. Cinematography by Dan Mindel. Produced by Avi Arad, Matt Tolmach. Music by Michael Einziger, Junkie XL, Andrew Kawczynski, Johnny Marr, Pharrell Williams, Hans Zimmer. Production Design by Mark Friedberg. Costume Design by Susan Bode. Film Editing by Pietro Scalia.
Still the scrappy do-gooder who is seen as a nerd in real life while hovering between heroic and lawless in his superhero status, Peter Parker aka Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield) is a man with little free time, always swinging from his webs when he’s not cramming for exams or running late for dates with his beloved Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone). She’s reaching the end of her tether when it comes to his constant inability to focus on their relationship, which is going to be even harder now that she is potentially taking up an opportunity to study in England at Oxford University. He tries to solve this situation while growing wary of conflicts in his heroic world when a mistreated employee (Jamie Foxx) at Oscorp has accidentally fallen into a vat of electric eels and turned into pure evil energy. At the same time, Peter’s old friend Harry (Dane DeHaan) is about to inherit the company but is beset by a mysterious, possibly deadly illness, which then leads this film’s terrible screenplay to never decide who the main villain is (it doesn’t help that Foxx is hidden behind visual effects that don’t really get him give a performance, and DeHaan gives one that is wholly uninteresting). Made too quickly after the success of the 2012 reboot, this terrible sequel feels like it’s made from dropped pages from the previous film, never sure of its narrative centre (is it about his relationship or his parentage?) and throwing in a lot of deeply emotional climaxes that it never properly earns as it rambles on (and in doing so wasting the time of great actors like Felicity Jones and Sally Field). The effects often misfire except for a few exhilarating moments of high- swinging action, this one is only for fans too devoted to mind when this type of film is done badly.