Work in Progress
With Spider-Man PS4 and Into the Spider-Verse coming out, as well as a general revival of interest in the webslinger since Homecoming, I decided to revisit my least favorite Spider-Man movie, The Amazing Spider-Man 2. There’s a bunch of issues with the film, but the biggest thing that sticks out to me is how manufactured and commercial the whole thing feels, right down to Andrew Garfield being more of a model/pretty boy instead of the iconic character.
It just doesn’t feel like Spider-Man, despite some of the most faithful characteristics of the character finally being on the screen. He finally cracks wise, finally uses his intelligence to try to solve problems, etc. The package it’s delivered in is just so bad that he comes off worse than he ever has. The elements are all there to make a good Spider-Man movie, but it’s so muddled by everything else.
There’s a parents subplot, a romantic subplot, a life/death/friendship thing with Harry, Aunt May and her nursing thing, set up for S6, and it’s not put together coherently. I honed in on what the movie had that was closest to the essence of the character: his heroism and responsibility. Get rid of everything else (especially anything having to do with his parents) and just make the movie about his struggle between his personal life and his responsibilities as someone trying to be a hero. That’s pure Spider-Man.
To present my edit, I doubled down a couple things I had always associated with Spider-Man: New York City and his 1967 cartoon. Specifically, the genre of jazz music as the soundtrack to Spider-Man’s misadventures.
The syncopated rhythmic music used in that original cartoon isn’t a far cry from the iconic urban jungle’s own typical association with a jazz soundtrack. The 2008 Spectacular Spider-Man (the best Spider-Man show everyone watch it) even has its own jazz-inspired score. There’s something that feels more friendly neighborhood and derivative of NYC by having Spider-Man and jazz come together.
So this edit seeks to make TASM2 its own standalone Spider-Man movie, scored with its own style of jazz.
The movie opens with Norman talking to Harry about their disease, and giving him his research as he dies.
The credits begin as Spider-Man chases down the Russians hijacking the Oscorp truck and the scene ends when Spidey manages to get all the plutonium and is hit in the back with a police car.
Transitions from there to a montage of Peter/Spider-Man’s day-to-day, dealing with Jameson and the bad press.
Peter hears about Norman’s death, is triggered to think about his Uncle Ben, and checks on Gwen. He is probably reminiscing the consequences of him being so close to her with his dangerous occupation.
Alexei is broken out of jail and rampages as the Rhino while graduation starts. Peter is running late to graduation on his way to confront Alexei.
Spider-Man steps in for the kid and him and Rhino begin to fight before we cut back to the graduation walk. Peter is assumed to have defeated Rhino and is late. (Cut the kiss).
Peter and Gwen kind of break up.
Peter and Gwen angst a bit.
Max is pushed around on his way to work and his obsession with SM is introduced while with Gwen in the elevator, just before he becomes Electro.
Harry is in a meeting with the rest of Oscorp’s board now that he’s CEO, meets Felicia and is notified that Peter has arrived to check on his friend.
They hang out a bit.
Cut to Electro coming out into the world/Times Square.
Spider-Man shows up to fight him.
After Electro is defeated, Harry in his dad’s office hears the news and discovers something in is dad’s research.
Aunt May tries to get into Peter’s room to wake him up, while Peter is covered in soot and is still dressed as Spidey.
Gwen remembers Max from the elevator.
Peter swings around as Spider-Man a bit, saves a bus, and comes back home to modify his webshooters to work against Electro (without a YouTube video).
Harry calls him the next day and Peter goes to OsCorp.
Harry tells Peter about his disease and that he needs Spider-Man’s blood.
Gwen finds out Max’s accident wasn’t an accident and is hunted by OsCorp security.
Peter runs into her and they hide in the closest. (No kiss)
Peter helps her escape and she talks to Harry in the elevator.
Spider-Man stops some bullies from harassing the kid from the beginning of the movie.
Harry goes home, wakes up to Spider-Man telling him he can’t have his blood. Harry throws a tantrum.
Peter is devastated by not being able to help his friend and takes it out on his room.
Peter goes to Gwen at her Oxford interview and tells her about his dilemma. He learns Gwen will move.
Harry is kicked out of OsCorp after he learns the truth of what his dad’s board did to Max and others.
Peter angsts after he learns Gwen is moving away and Aunt May tells him about how she got over Ben’s death but will never forget him. Peter hears Gwen’s voicemail and picks her up at the bridge.
Harry breaks into Ravencroft to team up with Electro. They come back to OsCorp and Electro gets access to the grid.
Peter and Gwen take on Electro and win. (No planes or hospital subplot)
Harry forces Menken to bring him to special projects. He becomes the Goblin.
Goblin shows up where Peter and Gwen are.
Goblin vs Spider-Man.
There are a bunch of cuts I didn’t mention, (that list was just the basic structure), but most of the edits toned down Garfield’s hyperactive mannerisms, and made him more mild mannered as opposed to suave and charming. Additionally, Spider-Man still cracks wise, but he isn’t a jackass. I wanted to maintain a sense of earnestness in Spider-Man and Peter, and there’s more heart to the character now as opposed to before. He came off as kind of goofy douchey type with a chip on his shoulder in the original, as opposed to a loveable everyman trying his best to be a hero.