Two of the films that most frustrated me this year were “The Amazing Spider-Man” and “Prometheus,” and it’s important to point out that I don’t get frustrated when I see a film that is terrible from start to finish. Those are easy to dismiss.
I get frustrated when I see a film that has real potential but which falls short thanks to certain decision-making. “The Amazing Spider-Man,” for example, is a film that has many of the pieces right. Casting is a big part of making these films work, and I think they cast the film incredibly well. It was the script that made me crazy with that one, and I knew that the film had been tinkered with repeatedly during production, with some major parts of the film dropped very late in the process.
Part of what didn’t work for me was the way they seemed determined to tie Peter Parker’s powers into his father’s work, making him much more of a “chosen one” figure than in any of the incarnations of the character that I recognize. I’ve always loved that Parker was an everyman, a regular kid who had to navigate the difficult moral and personal landscape that his powers created for him. The “chosen one” structure pretty much eliminates that. Only Peter could be Spider-Man because that’s the role he was genetically designed to play.
At least, that’s what the film hinted at. If you go back and compare the finished film to the various trailers released for it, it becomes clear that there were many things cut before release, and Devin Faraci wrote a pretty great article right around the time of release in which he explored a number of the ideas that were introduced in that missing footage. Fans hoped that the scenes would be included on the eventual home video release, and now several of the scenes that will be on the disc have made their way online.
And honestly? It doesn’t seem like they explain much.
My guess is that Columbia would rather leave those threads dangling so they can answer them in future films. Now that it appears they are doubling down on Marc Webb and the cast, they must be thinking in terms of a trilogy and dropping answers later on. In some cases, I’m not sure they even had the answers to give at this point. I do look forward to exploring the Blu-ray when it’s released. Like “Prometheus,” the disc was produced by Charles de Lauzirika, one of the best in the business, and I’ll actually have an interview with him here later this week about his work on “Prometheus.”
“The Amazing Spider-Man” will be in stores November 9.