Recently, Andrew Garfield spoke about his experience playing Spider-Man as well as his excitement about the web slinger joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While Garfield's second film had some obvious flaws and underperformed at the box office, it wasn't a total failure. Here are ten changes that might have improved The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and given the franchise an increased chance at survival.
1. Cut Rhino
Paul Giamatti's Rhino had a very meaningless role in the film. His inclusion was brief and there was hardly anything to take away from his presence in the story. Moreover cutting his scenes would have streamlined a crowded plot and cut down the long running time. It would have been more effective to simply tease him in the newsflash which concludes the film much like the Joker teaser at the end of Batman Begins.
2. Simplify the subplot about Peter's parents
The subplot with Peter's parents was one of the least realistic and believable parts of the film. It's perfectly understandable that Marc Webb wanted to continue and explore the "untold story" from the first film, but a simpler story -similar to a whistleblower escaping to a foreign country- would have been more believable. The plane crash scene was unrealistic in that wifi during the 1999-2000 era (presumed setting of the scene) would not have allowed for a large file to be rapidly uploaded. Moreover, Richard Parker would not have been able to construct an elaborate hydraulic system to hide a train car in an abandoned station without being noticed. Those two scenes gave the story an unneeded suspense which spoiled the tone of the film.
3. Continue the search for Uncle Ben's killer
One of the unfinished plot lines from The Amazing Spider-Man was the search for Uncle Ben's killer. The sequence paralleled Peter's progression in becoming Spider-Man and was beautifully set to the late John Horner's score. Continuing the subplot would have been the perfect way to expand on Peter's struggle in dealing with Uncle Ben's death while also managing his relationship with Gwen Stacey and Aunt May.
4. Make Electro Grittier
The light tone of Electro made the film stylistically detached from its prequel. In the Times Square and power plant scenes, Electro resembled a CGI effect from a late 90s cartoon show and the overuse of blue lightening made his character seem like a wasted opportunity to create an effective villain. In order to maximize Jamie Foxx's acting strengths, Electro should have been grittier and less animated.
5. Keep Peter in High School
In the first film, we're introduced to Peter in high school and we leave him with seemingly a year left. Seeing the graduation so early in the movie made the overall timeline of the franchise feel a bit rushed. Continuing the high school setting would have allowed Marc Webb to maintain continuity and shorten the movie by cutting out the largely pointless graduation scene.
6. Introduce Harry Osborn earlier
The sequence where Harry Osborn arrives to see his father was one of the best and darkest parts of the film. Kevin Feige noted that this scene would have been a good way to open the film before cutting to introduce Spider-Man as he swings through New York.
7. Cut or reduce Captain Stacy
Captain Stacy's ghost appearances seemed not only pointless but also distracting. If his presence was deemed essential, maybe flashbacks to the first film or voice recollection would have been just as effective.
8. Incorporate the suit change into the story
Responding to some the negative fan reaction over the non-traditional suit from the first film, the creators opted for a more classic look but did not tell us how Peter got his new suit. In order to further dramatize the story, the first suit could have been used initially but later destroyed in a climactic fight with either Electro or the Green Goblin. The film could have then been ended with Peter not only being exhausted but also in need of a new suit.
9. Mention Dr. Ratha
One of the strong points in the first film was the performance of Irrfan Khan. His portrayal of the Dr. Connor's research colleague added a very serious tone and an interesting plot with an unseen Norman Osborn. Since Khan was unable to return due to other film commitments, he should have at least been mentioned for a potential reappearance in the third film.
10. Tease Mary-Jane
Even though Shailene Woodley's Mary-Jane was cut to shorten and simplify the film, a minor teaser or cameo appearance would have helped segway to the potential third film.