And we’re back for round two. 2012 was all about Batman, which meant that ol’ Spidey didn’t have much of a chance to shine, but damnit he can play too.  Sure, his suit is made from Lycra instead of rubber, and Andrew Garfield doesn’t have that creepy deep voice thing going on that Christian Bale does, but nevertheless, onwards and upwards, friends, because The Amazing Spider-Man; Rise of Electro is out.

Beginning pretty much since the last film finished, Spidey (Andrew Garfield) pines for Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) from afar, too afraid to be with her, lest he combust from the guilt of her dead father (he told Spidey to stay away from her, he then died a painful death, and now his image pops up everywhere.  Yikes). Of course, that doesn’t really work out.  Unfortunately for Spidey, Gwen don’t need no man and she’s gone and got herself a spot at Oxford.  Mmm-hmm. Plus, we all know English boys are cuter than their American counterparts.  Sure, you could argue that Spiderman is played by an English actor, but I will counter-argue this imaginary argument and point out that real-life Gwen IS dating English Spidey.  So there.

So while all this teenage love/angst is going on, a loser nobody (I hate writing that, but that’s pretty much his role), Max (Jamie Foxx), is saved once by Spiderman and therefore decides that they are best friends. Except, obviously, they are not.  Awks.  Combined that with the fact that he’s the grid man (or something complicated) at Oscorp and that he is brutually downtrodden, literally and figuratively, each day, it’s a bit of a lethal consequence.  Also, he’s mentally unstable.

Also, another freakish accident occurs at Oscorp and he becomes Electro, a superhuman who derives his energy from anything electric.  In New York that equals everything.  Remember, he’s still mentally unstable.

If your plate doesn’t feel full enough with these plot lines (as apparently it didn’t for the writers) there’s also a third and fourth story arch.  Overkill, I know.

So the owner of Oscorp dies, and his son, Harry, inherits everything.  Including, apparently, a heredity illness that he had never noticed the symptoms of until now, just as his father mentions it.  Oh, and it’s spiralling out of control and he’s pretty much going to die.  Unless he enlists the help of Spiderman, or just his mate Peter Parker.  See, he wants Spiderman’s blood.  And if not that, well then, he’ll just have to inject the spider super venom himself.  With dire consequences.  Green Goblin sound familiar anyone?

Lastly, Peter Parker is still curious as to why his parents bailed on him.  Not to mention how he became Spiderman with all the perks and none of the yucky side-effects (e.g. becoming a goblin).  Also, you know, what exactly his dad was doing at Oscorp, because that place is pretty icky and weird.

Overall, this film was fun and enjoyable, but it also kinda sucked.

Firstly, there was just way too much going on and not much to explain for it.  What’s happening to Electro now? When were Harry and Peter such close friends?  How the hell does Gwen Stacy know how to use the backup generator for New York?? Instead of focusing on one or two story lines, the writers tried to cram in as much as possible, resulting in a haphazard quilt of a film that didn’t feel satisfying.

Secondly, I didn’t love the casting choices for the villains.  Jamie Foxx, while a great actor, largely banks on his pizzazz, his charisma, his larger-than-life quality.  And yet, even before all the super CGI and make-up, Foxx as Max is boring and colourless.  Why cast an actor like him in such a pitiful character?

Not to mention that I couldn’t stand Harry, played by Dane DeHaan.  Even aside from his creepy blue eyes and awful haircut, I thought he was over-the-top, melodramatic and all-round not great as a villain.  Put that along with the ridiculous developments of his character, and the fact that he’s a controlling, pain-in-the-arse teenager, and you have a headache of a villain.  And not in a good way.

Thirdly, a lot of the storyline didn’t make sense, even putting aside the belief we have to hold for superhero films. Harry and Peter Parker were meant to be close friends, yet he turns on him when he can’t help him out – even when it literally shows that Peter had his best interests at heart.  While it’s great that Gwen is a smart, independent woman, the writers have taken it a bit far.  She’s a recent high school graduate, yet she has clearance of most things at Oscorp and she can control the NYC electrical grid.  Um, what?

Although I’m being contradictory, there were good bits of the film too.  In terms of just ‘looking’ wise, this film is great.  Spidey spends a big portion of the film flinging himself from building to building, which provided great shots of NYC.  The CGI and special effects were ridiculous, and just downright entertaining.  So shiny.  And Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone are super attractive, so they’re there to look at as well.

Quite seriously though, they were the saving grace of the film.  They’re together in real life, and their chemistry is very apparent throughout the film.  Though there’s about 10 other story lines occurring, their romance and the ending of the film are what will keep viewers invested, and interested, in the film.  And dare I say it, even a touch emotional?  And although I loved the CGI and over-the-topness of the film, the scene when Peter crosses the road, his eyes on Gwen, is one of the most simple, yet the loveliest, scenes in the film.

Overall, it’s a fun, light film.  Don’t expect to be amazed or impressed by it, because honestly, it’s nothing new.  But at the same time, don’t expect to want your money back because watching The Amazing Spider-Man: Rise of Electro is a very entertaining way to spend two hours.

Have you seen The Amazing Spider-Man: Rise of Electro?  Or the first one for that matter?  Are you a fan of superheroes or Andrew Garfield?  Let me know!

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