By my unofficial count, there were no less than 950 crying scenes. It was ridiculous. Which is unfortunate as the movie, outside the fucking emo, wasn’t horrible. At least from a CGI perspective.
As is his modus operandi over the run of this series Raimi ham-fisted the material and rendered barely adequate caricatures of the “real” people from the pages. I tolerated the organic web-shooters fiasco (a friend of mine ran that website!) but the Gwen Stacy thing bugs the living crap out of me. Ben Parker’s death formed the motivation for Peter to become a “hero” and to use his gifts to help people. The death of Gwen Stacy, however, truly changed the way Peter saw those gifts and crystalized the oft-quoted axiom: with great power, comes great responsibility. This moment is a pivotal one not just for Peter, but for the medium itself! Ignoring the story in favor of one that will get more teen girls and itty-bitty children in the theater is detestable, at best.
Instead of manufactured teen angst we could have had a movie with actual emotion and relevance for the viewer. Running away from this opportunity is tragic. Especially given that Raimi COULD have done a meaningful story given the unparalleled financial success of his little trilogy.
Note: The Venom and Sandman CGIs were fine. The Venom stuff, despite some whiners, is pretty close to the page and I found that I was genuinely impressed by their willingness to go that route. The Sandman stuff was wrong, but only “a little”. I don’t recall a point in time where he ever flew off as a cloud of dust.
The rotten tomatoes score is pretty close to how I feel. It was passable and rousing for a summer popcorn movie. Beyond that it remains in my memory only because of its failure.