It is hard to ignore the reaction to [The Amazing Spider-Man 2](movie:508593) when all of it is so massively negative, but Spidey star Andrew Garfield has proven that he can take it like a champ. In a recent interview with The Daily Beast at the Toronto International Film Festival, Garfield addressed the fans' concerns, and possibly dropped a hint that the disjointed tone and horrible pacing of the film was an executive decision.
I read a lot of the reactions from people and I had to stop because I could feel I was getting away from how I actually felt about it. For me, I read the script that Alex [Kurtzman] and Bob [Orci] wrote, and I genuinely loved it. There was this thread running through it. I think what happened was, through the pre-production, production, and post-production, when you have something that works as a whole, and then you start removing portions of it—because there was even more of it than was in the final cut, and everything was related. Once you start removing things and saying, “No, that doesn’t work,” then the thread is broken, and it’s hard to go with the flow of the story.
Given that we're already hearing about "bonus scenes", I wonder how many of these might be the very scenes that Garfield is mentioning -- and how many we'll never see come to light.
The decision-making process in entertainment can be a seemingly never-ending line of approvals, changes, and one department wanting something that the other has rejected. Garfield goes on to talk about that process:
Certain people at the studio had problems with certain parts of it, and ultimately the studio is the final say in those movies because they’re the tentpoles, so you have to answer to those people ... I got to work in deep scenes that you don’t usually see in comic book movies, and I got to explore this orphan boy—a lot of which was taken out, and which we’d explored more.
For all intents and purposes, I'd say our real-life Peter Parker is taking things in stride. He went on to explain how fan reaction is often very critical to the next installment of a franchise film like The Amazing Spider-Man.
What are the people actually saying? What’s underneath the complaint, and how can we learn from that? We can’t go, “Oh God, we [frick]ed up because all these people are saying all these things. It’s shit.” We have to ask ourselves, “What do we believe to be true?” Is it that this is the fifth Spider-Man movie in however many years, and there’s a bit of fatigue? Is it that there was too much in there? Is it that it didn’t link? If it linked seamlessly, would that be too much? Were there tonal issues? What is it? I think all that is valuable. Constructive criticism is different from people just being dicks, and I love constructive criticism.
Often, the value in negativity is finding it's source and constructively working on ways to end or improve the problem. When it comes to movies, art, music and entertainment overall, this holds strikingly true. It's nice to see an actor not only take criticism on a project like a champ, but also acknowledge that the movie wasn't all that it could have been.
If you could give the people behind [The Amazing Spider-Man 3](movie:671279) any constructive advice, what would it be?