STARRING: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, Sally Field
DIRECTOR: Marc Webb
THE SKINNY: While Peter Parker (Garfield) tries to figure out his relationship with Gwen (Stone), his alter ego Spider-Man does battle with the high-voltage villain Electro (Foxx). Meanwhile, his friend Harry (DeHaan) is dying.
MARS - JASON JOHNSON
I have no idea why Spider-Man has to be so grim.
These new Spidey flicks from director Webb just aren't as much fun as Sam Raimi's earlier trilogy.
The colour palate is darker, the texture is rougher, the tone is heavier.
Raimi's charming lapses into silliness have been almost entirely exorcised in favour of Webb's plodding earnestness.
Peter can't find happiness with Gwen as he's haunted by her sad, dead daddy.
His relationship with his returned bestie Harry causes nothing but angst.
Harry himself suffers the loss of his father, and he's also dying. Plus, he's creepy and weird.
Foxx is so cagey and intense as Electro that you don't fear him, you just feel bad for him.
When Peter comes home at the end of the day and removes his Spidey suit, he's as joyless as any working stiff.
On the plus side, the action sequences are creative and the special effects - particularly with Electro - are eye-popping.
It's a very well-crafted movie, but I was unmoved.
VENUS - JOANNE SOH
Sequels always have the added pressure to deliver more than the original.
Deliver this follow-up does, but not always in a good way.
If bigger, louder and more manic action is what you are expecting, than you'll get your money's worth.
Watch it in 3-D and you'll be amazed by Spidey's cool and pretty awesome web-slinging action.
The Times Square scene where Spidey first meets Electro is worth the ticket price.
But as the movie progresses, it becomes monotonous as the plot goes into autopilot mode.
You know Spidey has to fight Electro, then you wait for Harry to become Green Goblin, and then you anticipate Spidey's climactic battle against his foes.
It feels like everyone is just going through the motions.
Garfield's certainly more confident in his second outing and brings much wit to balance out the deep issues of neglect, abandonment and self-preservation.
His chemistry with real-life girlfriend Stone is obvious, and that's also a plus point, considering Garfield has more Peter Parker moments.
DeHaan, despite his awful Hitler-style hairdo, is, as always, mesmerising.
If the hints dropped at the end are to be believed, then we can expect more from him. Big yay to that.
This article was published on April 30 in The New Paper.
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