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What went wrong with "The Amazing Spider-Man" movie

Guest Writer Connor McKnight declares Peter Parker must make his greatest sacrifice to save series

July 09, 2012|Connor McKnight, Guest Contributor

Gwen Stacy has to die.

But let me back up some.

I walked out of the theater last Tuesday night feeling like most: Andrew Garfield played a superb Peter Parker.  He was different, he was dark, he quipped with ease and slung web with aplomb.

Thing is, that’s not what needed to be proven to me that Tuesday night.  What needed to be proven was that we needed this movie in the first place.

Now, I get Sony will go on to be incredibly profitable from this picture.  The $150 million or so they raked in through the first week has proven to them that they could make this film.

I want it proven to me.

While sub-text of Peter’s parents abandoning him—instead of being killed—was interesting, there was no real pay-off there.  As quickly as they were brought into the film, they were just as hurriedly rushed off.

Dr. Connors’ connection to the Parker’s was mentioned and spurred Peter to go snoop around the lab, but where was all this trailer-stuff from The Lizard saying, “If you want the truth about your parents, come get it!” I was, perhaps foolishly, looking for something more there.

Then there’s Uncle Ben.  I won’t lie.  I was horrified when I found out Martin Sheen had been cast as Peter’s sage.  Horrified. I was wrong.  Sheen was great.  There.

What was missing, however, was the quality of connection between Peter and Uncle Ben we saw in Raimi’s first film. What drove it home was that Peter never found Uncle Ben’s killer!

And don’t give me the, “Well he learned Uncle Ben’s lesson of being the bigger man” routine.  Not having Peter realize his mistake of vengeance while staring down his Uncle’s killer is a real miss for me. I could be wrong in comparing the two films, but it’s tough to shake that feeling.

One more bone to pick.  Did the incidental appearance of Gwen Stacy bother anyone else? She happens to see Peter stand up to Flash… fine.  She happens to be Flash’s tutor and calms the thing down… fine. She happens to sit next to Peter in class… time honored tradition, OK.  Her dad happens to be the Police Chief who’s hunting Peter down… it’s in the comics, I’ll live.  

She ALSO happens to intern at Dr. Connors’ lab… huh?  She’s the head intern at age 17 and is in charge of other 17-year old interns AND knows how to use ALL the sophisticated machinery in the lab and is the ONLY ONE WHO CAN WHIP UP AN ANTIDOTE?

I’m breathing again.  I’m fine.

Look, despite the rant, I liked the movie.  I really did.

At the end of the day, they’ve set themselves up for a trilogy like every self-respecting production studio does.  We all knew that was coming.

But, for this thing to pay off down the line, Gwen Stacy has to die.

I realize you’re not doing yourself any favors in the box office by killing off Emma Stone but for this version of Peter Parker to turn out truly different, he can’t get the girl at the end.  Not this girl, anyway.

The mythos demands that Peter Parker turn into Spider-Man after he loses Uncle Ben.  That part is elementary.  This time, Spider-Man needs to change, too. 

At the end of the film, Garfield’s Spider-Man seemingly makes a choice to ignore the promise he made to Gwen’s father.  That choice needs to have consequences.  That choice can lead the character into places we haven’t seen. That choice can lead to real consequences that will prove this Spider-Man needed to happen.

In short, Gwen Stacy has to die.

CONNOR MCKNIGHT IS A REPORTER FOR THE SCORE 670 AM. HE HAS NEVER READ JOSS WHEDON'S RUN ON ASTONISHING X-MEN. FOLLOW HIM ON TWITTER AND TELL HIM HOW INCOMPLETE HIS LIFE IS WITHOUT IT.

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