Beastly Reviews: The Amazing Spider-Man 2

The 3D showing was pricey, so I opted for the 2-D show — the peasant experience. But it was the smarter choice. No one should waste the extra few dollars on this movie.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will make money, I’m sure. We give our money to these blockbusters because they satisfy two hours of idle time with flashy effects and inserted bits of 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. 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. Mrs. 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 here.

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

There are more rapid body transformations — a favorite in new 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 trainwreck of a finale — one that doesn’t come quickly enough.

Love, Beastly

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