The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (12, 146 mins, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment)
PETER PARKER (Andrew Garfield) is haunted by memories of his father Richard (Campbell Scott) and mother Mary (Embeth Davidtz), who abandoned him in the dead of night in the care of Aunt May (Sally Field). He is also tormented by the ghost of Captain Stacy (Denis Leary), whose daughter Gwen (Emma Stone) is Peter’s on-off-on-off girlfriend.
While Peter hones his superpowers, childhood friend Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) returns to the Big Apple to assume control of Oscorp in the wake of the death of his bullying father (Chris Cooper). Harry’s ascension coincides with an industrial accident that transforms nerdy employee and Spider-Man fanatic, Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx), into an electrically-charged monster.
Consequently, Peter must risk his life to protect Gwen and Aunt May from harm.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is an actionpacked sequel that suffers from villain overload. A Russian mobster in rhinocerosshaped armour, a maligned Oscorp employee who can shoot electricity from his fingertips and an iconic green-skinned imp with daddy issues all vie for our attention during a rough ‘n’ tumble 146 minutes. Peter and Gwen’s turbulent romance is the cornerstone and the film soars like the titular hero whenever they are together.
Foxx’s portrayal of the pathetic bad guy is more miss than hit and we don’t spend enough time with his corporate nerd before the metamorphosis into Electro. Thankfully, DeHaan is terrifically tormented as heir to the Oscorp empire, who clings forlornly to the hope of a transfusion of Spider-Man’s blood to cure his genetic woes.
A Perfect Plan (15, 105 mins, Icon Home Entertainment)
ISABELLE (Diane Kruger) hopes to marry the man of her dreams, handsome dentist Pierre (Robert Plagnol) and settle down.
Unfortunately, all of the women in Isabelle’s family fall victim to the same curse: their first marriages end in heartbreak.
Isabelle’s sister Corinne (Alice Pol) concocts the perfect plan for her sibling: marry a stranger and get a divorce straightaway, thereby ensuring that her nuptials with Pierre -– her second husband – end happily ever after. Isabelle randomly chooses boorish travel editor Jean-Yves (Dany Boon), who sits next to her on a flight to Copenhagen. He is bound for Kenya for an assignment and she follows, determined to get him to tie the knot then immediately sign divorce papers.
The madcap scheme includes a detour to Moscow, where Isabelle begins to see there is more to Jean-Yves than initially meets the eye. A Perfect Plan is, ironically, peppered with flaws, not least Laurent Zeitoun and Yoann Gromb’s script which struggles to put flesh on the bones of the characters or make us care about their romantic dalliances.
Kruger’s natural likeability is a counterpoint to Boon’s crass oaf, who seems to be the last person anyone with a shred of sanity would choose as a patsy to break a family curse.
Director Pascal Chaumeil previously helmed the delightful French romcom Heartbreaker starring Romain Duris and Vanessa Paradis. Alas, this similarly light confection fails to seduce us like his earlier picture.
Sons Of Anarchy – Season Six (15, 580 mins, Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment)
JAX (Charlie Hunnam) uses underhand methods to seize control of SAMCRO in 13 gripping episodes of the acclaimed US biker drama. Also this series, Clay (Ron Perlman) survives an assassination attempt in prison, Bobby (Mark Boone Junior) actively engages new members in the Charming chapter and Tara (Maggie Siff) fakes an assault in order to get a restraining order against Gemma (Katey Sagal).