Out & About

May 8, 2014

Superhero reboot more like 'Acceptable Spider-Man'

The unnecessary superhero reboot “The Amazing Spider-Man” was merely adequate.

The sequel to the unnecessary reboot slips a little further. The Acceptable Spider-Man? Tolerable? Unobjectionable?

“The Amazing Spider-Man 2” brings back Andrew Garfield as the popular webslinger and Emma Stone as the love of his life, Gwen Stacy.

The relationship scenes between Garfield and Stone actually have considerable sparkle, but this isn’t a romance, it’s a superhero movie, and the film offers sensory overload, with too many plot lines and too many villains.

While fighting crime, rescuing bullied children and probably pulling the occasional cat out of a tree, Garfield’s Peter Parker is also trying to maintain a relationship with Stone’s cute and brainy Gwen.

Complicating matters are Spider-Man’s angst over his departed dad; a glowing, blue supervillain who shoots bolts of electricity; and his filthy rich childhood friend Harry Osborn, who everyone knows will become the villainous Green Goblin.

Jamie Foxx is the prime foe this time around, but he overplays Max Dillon — Spider-Man’s nerdy, eccentric No. 1 fan — more than a little (dare I say it’s comic book-ish?), then, as with most supervillains, he falls into a vat of, well, something, and transforms into something else — the previously mentioned glowing blue Electro.

Meanwhile, Osborn (Dane DeHann) wants some Spidey blood to help cure his incurable illness, before morphing into the murderous Green Goblin, who soars about on a flying surfboard for the third time in five Spider-Man movies.

Oh yeah, there’s also an unrecognizable Paul Giamatti as Rhino.

“The Amazing Spider-Man 2” is more busy than exciting. The special effects are good, but there are actually long stretches without action scenes, and none of the film’s villains are particularly memorable or scary. It’s not a disaster like, say, “Batman and Robin,” it’s more like “Spider-Man 3.” Which is damning with extremely faint praise.

A big box office on opening weekend practically guarantees an “Amazing Spider-Man 3,” where things will no doubt slip even further.

Rental Recommendation: Director Marc Webb was also responsible for the excellent romantic comedy “(500) Days of Summer.” Grade: A-minus.

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"The Amazing Spider-Man 2"

Grade: C-plus.

Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx.

Rated: PG-13 (for sequences of sci-fi action/violence).

Running time: 142 minutes.

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