The Incomplete Spiderman

The Amazing Spiderman: Falls short, and yet is still better than the others

Try not to judge me to harshly, but as a matter of personal preference, I didn’t much care for the original Spiderman trilogy. Obviously, the third installment was universally despised, but I’m talking more about the much beloved original and, specifically, number 2. They were fine, fun films, but employed a little too much camp for my liking (Aunt May hitting Doc in the face with her purse and screaming like a ninny come to mind).

That’s why I was such a fan of Sony’s reboot of the franchise, “The Amazing Spiderman.” It featured a more quippy Peter Parker, extraordinarily better action, striking chemistry between the leads Andrew Garfield and the always reliable (and adorable) Emma Stone, and, most importantly, an emotional resonance not really found in the original trilogy. However, while I greatly enjoyed the film, that’s not to say it’s perfect. Far from it, actually. And this, my dear America, is where this article begins—the Spiderman we saw is not the Spiderman Sony set out to make. Thanks to some last second, heavy editing, “The Amazing Spiderman” is simply the shadow of a film.

Spiderman lands better women than you do.

Plot holes

Let’s crunch some data. The Amazing Spiderman had four major plot points:

  • Parker transforming into a hero and fighting the Lizard.
  • Parker unraveling the mystery surrounding the disappearance of his parents.
  • Parker seeking out vengeance on the man who killed Uncle Ben.
  • Tension between Mr. Rathas and the Lizard.

Out of the four of these plot points, one is resolved. ONE. Parker conspicuously stops hunting his uncle’s killer without one word of dialogue hinted at it, and we’re just left to assume Mr. Stacey’s speech about vengeance made Parker reconcile his feelings of hatred. Mr. Rathas’ car is torn to shreds, and the audience never so much as hears his name again. Where did he go? Finally, and most critically, we never do figure out at all what the mystery of his parents, specifically his father and his experiments, was. For a movie that spent months advertising “The untold story,” they certainly didn’t do a lot of storytelling or treading any new ground.

Spoiler Alert: This picture…is not a spoiler at all because it never appears in the film.

Most disturbing, I think, is that all signs point to a very different being made originally. Rumor has it that execs saw the original film, and for some reason were dissatisfied and proceeded to hack away. In leaked screens and even the official film trailer itself, scenes are displayed that never take place in the film. Fans will remember the Lizard taunting Parker with “If you want to find out what happened to your parents, come and get it!” That never happens. Parker writing out the critical formula on a chalkboard to Connor’s amazement? Never happens. And in a leaked screen, the Lizard looking ready to kill Mr. Rathas in the sewers? Well, that certainly didn’t happen.

What could have been

Smart viewers, I think, are led to believe that in this version of Spiderman, Parker doesn’t become a hero by chance; rather, he is created to be so by his father in genetic experiments. Why else could he find immunity to the decay theory, a theory that ruins Connors and even mutates a mouse into a horribly carnivorous dinosaur/rat hybrid? It’s heavily implied that the spider bite isn’t the source, but rather, the catalyst, and Parker has a genetic destiny that makes him the hero as opposed to some generic, intangible goodness.

This was such a cool idea, and certainly justified a reboot. As it stands, the film is a nice rehash that suffers from awful pacing in the first third because it’s following the identical plot points of a film we’ve already seen. Sure, the last two thirds are very solid, but it still leaves obvious plotholes that we can only hope will be addressed in the sequels. All these inconsistencies, and we haven’t even touched on smaller, yet still important details, like the fact that at one point, Connors had a family (the mother and son were officially cast).

Epicly adorable. Always.

I can’t, for the life of me, understand why this decision was made. Without divulging ANY secrets about the parents, The Amazing Spiderman is a visual wonder, and a shockingly incomplete film that finds it hard to stand on its own. Had the cast, direction, and action not been so incredibly solid (and defied expectations so enormously), this would have been a huge disappointment.

Maybe I just have to trust the execs. Maybe the original film was just terrible, and they made the right call by saving these ideas to be addressed in the sequel. I don’t know. It just appears that The Amazing Spiderman could have been so much more than a simple reboot/rehash. Instead, we are left anticipating a better sequel and scouring the deleted scenes of the DVD to find the film that never was.

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