Beastly Reviews: The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Hey film nerd,

I’m poor, and tickets for the 3D version of the movie were pricey, so I opted for the 2-D showing — the peasant experience. But it was the smarter choice. No one should waste the extra dollars on this movie.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will make money, I’m sure. People give money to these blockbusters because they satisfy two hours of idle time with flashy effects and dumb humor. The formula pleases the lowest common denominator of film-goer, a generic mass of bad taste and easy satisfaction.

The movie is an insult to the old comic book reader in me, the guy who grew up collecting action figures. I wanted Spider-Man to become real, something more than another crowdpleaser, another sell-out. But maybe the joke’s on me. Didn’t comics once belong to an elite class of nerds, the kids who got bullied, like Peter Parker himself?

Not anymore. Hollywood has stumbled onto a gold mine, and teen-idol Andrew Garfield has turned the nerd Peter Parker into a smartass, too-cool-for-school punk with a coif. This Peter isn’t a brainiac. He’s not top of his class. He’s not the shy geek who doubles as crime-fighter by night. He’s just Andrew Garfield with a one-liner script, one which gets progressively sillier with the introduction of Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy. Miss Stone looks 30 but plays a high school senior and tells Peter she “just can’t live like this anymore,” because life is very hard in high school.

Jamie Foxx talks to himself in most of his scenes. The filmmakers boldly deviate from Electro’s comic book origin story and make him another OSCORP mishap (involving electric eels, no less). Nobody should ever work at this place.

Marilyn Manson -- er, Electro -- raids Times Square, looking confused.

There are more rapid body transformations — a favorite in Marvel movies. The injectable serums that create these transformations always seem to be available via hidden chambers and top-secret clearance codes, and they always go horribly wrong.

Almost as an afterthought, moments away from the credits, Paul Giamatti yells in his ridiculous Rhino suit. He’s in the film long enough to shout his villain name (“I’m Rhino!”) in broad daylight before charging horn-first into a convoluted train wreck of a finale — one that doesn’t come quickly enough.

Love, Beastly

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