#2. The Return of the "Hip 1990s Soundtrack" Trend
Back in the prehistoric 1990s, superhero movies and Top 40 radio were easy bedmates. Batman Forever gave us "Kiss From a Rose" and Method Man rhyming about the Riddler, whereas the Batman & Robin soundtrack had R. Kelly warbling about Gotham City. Hell, Shaq rapped about being Steel, as everything Shaq did in the '90s was hilarious across the board.
Case in point.
This trend lost popularity after 2002's Spider-Man, which supplied audiences with a song by the Nickelback guy and a head-scratching sequence in which Macy Gray meets Spider-Man (thus opening the door for a gritty Macy Gray reboot down the pike).
Scene from The Amazing Spider-Man 3.
After that, this trend lay dormant for a decade -- until Hans Zimmer recruited a composer supergroup consisting of everybody from Pharrell Williams to Johnny Marr to score The Amazing Spider-Man 2. There's nothing wrong with people singing about superheroes again per se, but when your movie features Electro operatically narrating the events happening on screen in dubstep for no reason ("He's dead to me! That Spider-Man! He is my enemy!"), the audience starts wondering if your entire goddamn film is a deleted scene from Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.
#1. The Plot Was Basically Spider-Man 3
We've already established that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 isn't beneath aping the shittiest superhero film ever, so this isn't a stretch. Spider-Man 3 had (deep breath) three supervillains with coincidental connections to Peter prior to their origins, a Peter-Mary Jane breakup, new revelations concerning Uncle Ben's death, the introduction of Gwen Stacy, and an alien parasite that makes Peter Parker act like MC Skat Kat.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 had three supervillains with coincidental connections to Peter prior to their origins, a Peter-Gwen breakup, new revelations concerning Peter's parents' deaths, the introduction of Felicia Hardy, PLUS Aunt May's financial problems from Spider-Man 2 and Denis Leary's disapproving ghost dad.
Keeping his streak of stealing from better comics alive.
Because of its overstuffed script, we got crazy transitions like Peter reuniting with his long-lost best friend, Harry Osborn, and them hating each other two scenes later, a calculator inexplicably filled with subway tokens left by Peter's dad, and a plot twist sad enough to fuel an entire sequel resolved in 10 minutes. Of course, this was all basically a 142-minute ad for the upcoming Sinister Six movie.
Look, we don't hate Spider-Man. We want to live in a world where Spider-Man sequels can compete with Dostoevsky and shit. But when you reboot a franchise, forget you rebooted it one movie in, and force Electro to sing his emotions instead of acting, that's not a popcorn flick. That's an evil scheme devised by Doctor Octopus.