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Travers on ‘Spider-Man 2’: More Adequate Than Amazing

Rolling Stone’s film critic says chemistry between Garfield and Stone is solid, complains of ‘villains out the ying-yang’

In Hollywood, summer does not wait for June, and the web slinger himself is back in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 to ring in blockbuster season on At the Movies. But Peter Travers is not so ecstatic: “I’m sorry people, the most I can go with is ‘adequate.’ I would call this movie The Adequate Spider-Man 2.”

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Coming off the heels of the Sam Raimi-helmed, Toby Maguire-starring Spider-Man trilogy, the 2012 reboot found Andrew Garfield playing Peter Parker — and though it was a relatively fun ride, Travers found himself questioning whether a new Spidey series was even necessary. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 suffers from similar problems: It’s top-heavy, packed with too many villains and rife with dull 3D and digital effects standardized by the ever-growing Marvel universe.

Still Garfield shines as Parker/Spider-Man and Emma Stone is wonderful as his girlfriend Gwen Stacy. And while director Marc Webb shows a knack for dealing with personalities and romance (as he did in 500 Days of Summer), Travers says you can see his need to bring out his inner-Michael Bay. The movie has “villains out the ying-yang”: Jamie Foxx plays a nerdy Oscorp employee who falls into a vat of electric eels and becomes Electro; the wonderful actor Dane DeHaan shows up as Oscorp heir Harry Osborn/the nefarious Green Goblin; and — because why not at this point? — Paul Giamatti makes an appearance at the end as the Rhino.

“Can’t we deal with one villain?” Travers asks. “Do we have to make a two and a half hour movie that just keeps dragging in one after the other so we don’t care anymore? I think not. I really think this movie should basically be the end — but it’s not gonna be the end because they’re signed for at least two more sequels!”


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