No two subgenres are currently ruling the worldwide box office more consistently than superhero and young adult. So for all the backtalk about Sony playing bitter second fiddle to Marvel, their rebooted Spider-Man series does have one major advantage over the competition in that it combines both.
It’s the only young adult superhero franchise in the market, and director Marc Webb once again capitalises on the game charms of young stars Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, dishing out adorable romance in equal measure with web-slinging action. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 feels, in a word, youthful, with all the goofy exuberance and dubious judgement that implies.
The film often seems more focused on franchise-building than storytelling, nowhere more so than in its final few scenes. With Spidey’s quippy wisecracking turned up to 11, Webb seems committed to comedy above all – it’s hard to think of another series that has so effectively used stuntwork as slapstick – which makes for some jarring segues back into darker material.
Bright, punchy and earnest, Webb’s affable sequel is tough to dislike despite its tonal whiplash and clumsy script, which is redeemed by Garfield, Stone and DeHaan’s powerhouse trio.