A lot of people thought I was way too hard on The Amazing Spider-Man in my review. But honestly, I'm still mad at that movie. Any time that Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone weren't sharing the screen, the movie felt perfunctory to me. I was frustrated by all the loose ends and lowest-common-denominator motivations.
And I feel somewhat vindicated by this Badass Digest investigation of The Amazing Spider-Man's promotional materials, which all suggest that a massive amount of story was cut out of the thing, possibly at the last minute:
It seems to me obvious that The Amazing Spider-Man got a huge last minute recut. Marketing was still using concepts and imagery related to a completely deleted storyline - the ‘Untold Story’ - as recently as May. This fits in with rumors I heard that a spring screening for Sony execs went poorly and changes were made. Excising the ‘Untold Story’ seems to have been the brunt of that change.
What looks probable to me now is that Sony saw director Marc Webb's cut, thought it was too strange and/or off-tone for a four-quadrant blockbuster, and then hacked it into a super-generic superhero movie. The Amazing Spider-Man relies on an audience that's seen dozens of superhero movies in order to fill in the blanks that the movie isn't willing to fill in by itself. I'm not saying that Webb's original cut was a great movie, but I bet it would've at least been interesting. The Amazing Spider-Man that I saw was not, by any means, an interesting movie. Go read the whole story.