* (out of four)
The 2012 franchise reboot “The Amazing Spider-Man” was pretty good, so stop complaining about it. Instead, let all legitimate bashing commence for “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” an incompetent mess that makes “Iron Man 2” look like “Iron Man.”
For starters: Why does Spider-Man (a disengaged Andrew Garfield) spend this obnoxious sequel trying to land one-liners? The Marvel hero talks to containers of plutonium. He catches a car before it lands on a cop and notes, “I’m glad you’re not one of those cops that rides a horse.” Don’t quit your day job as Peter Parker, buddy. Also, don’t reference “Rain Man,” “Jaws” and “The Wizard of Oz.” You’re Spider-Man, not Dawson Leery.
It’s Denis Leary, as the late father of Peter’s girlfriend Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), whom Peter can’t get out of his mind. His promise to stay away from the fallen cop’s daughter weighs on the recent high school grads. (FYI, Garfield will turn 31 in August!) While these two figure out if they’re dating and if Gwen’s going to move to England, Peter occasionally deals with Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx). He’s a needy Spider-Man fanatic who falls into a tank of electric eels and dubs his mutant form Electro.
For a change, “TASM 2,” co-written by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (vets of several franchises, including “Star Trek” and “Transformers”), will make you wish for more villains. Electro, like several characters here, is one-dimensional and terrible. Dane DeHaan, looking a little like Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man’s dark side in “Spider-Man 3,” makes a better Harry Osborn than James Franco, but who wouldn’t? Well, Jaden Smith and Robin Williams shouldn’t play him. But otherwise.
Director Marc Webb’s thin, jumbled attempt at entertainment nearly becomes offensive considering how “TASM 2” bumbles or ignores any relevant emotional content. It does, however, resort to slow-motion whenever possible and waste Felicity Jones, B.J. Novak and a head-tattooed Paul Giamatti in minimal roles.
Point being: worst Spider-Man movie of the decade.
Watch Matt review the week's big new movies Fridays at noon on NBC.
Want more? Discuss this article and others on RedEye's Facebook page.
Copyright © 2015, RedEye