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  • Writer's pictureWill Scarbrough

Review - Spider Man: Lotus

Following the tragic death of his former girlfriend - seemingly caused by his own attempt to save her - Peter Parker lingers in his guilt of the past, questioning whether the curse of his alter ego should be buried for good. When he's met by the news that a terminally ill child has requested to meet Spider-Man, Peter contemplates the decision to comfort him in his final days.

Warden Wayne, Sean Thomas Reid, Moriah Brooklyn, Tuyen Powell & Maxwell Fox-Andrews.

Spider-Man: Lotus certainly has a presence on the internet with its extreme popularity coming from twitter and instagram following the leaks. But, it’s important to note that not everyone involved in the making of this film were involved and should be mentioned in the same sentence. So, controversy will be put aside.

Gavin talked about a lot of his influences for the film & while I could see ones such as Smallville, a lot of the others feel lost in the editing and overuse of music. There are lots of moments in the film which definitely could have been more effective with a lack of music, or use of a more subtle track. However its score often distracts you from the dialogue & performances on display. Warden delivers a great Peter Parker in the kinder interactions between characters, but I found his performances rather flat and stale in the more emotional moments. Moriah is a fantastic MJ, who I thought impressed in all her moments, certainly proving herself to be a proper actress & not a fan made pretender. Maxwell is a really sweet kid and delivers a good performance with Warden. Along with Tuyen & Sean, who makes for a great Gwen & Harry.

Unfortunately I think the editing & narrative structure tends to fall flat which really effected the pacing of the film. It’s heavy focus on the Gwen/Peter loss storyline makes for a lot of rough moments, due to the film constantly going back to it without a real connection with the ongoing narrative until a very clear emotional scene that didn’t resonate with me So much weight thrown on me as an audience member so quickly, so I found it quite difficult to connect as the emotional connection with the overarching arc faded. Scenes tend to feel randomly placed & go on for a little too long.

I do think it’s a really well shot film at times, but mostly inconsistent. It jumps between a proper film look, and then the traditional student cinematography and grading. The lighting tends to change a lot during scenes. The VFX is really admirable & the sound design is sometimes well rounded, although certain lines of dialogue don’t particularly match with the actors lips and the dialogue feels more ADR than on set.

I think it’s an okay directed and written film, the dialogue flows but the narrative structure is all over the place and awkwardly edited together to hammer home any of the emotional weight. Almost every cast member delivers great performances & with a bit of restructuring, there’s certainly potential here. Spider-Man: Lotus is definitely one of the better fan films out there, it’s respectful and delivers a good adaptation but the flaws lie with the actual filmmaking and I often struggled to connect with many characters, certainly Peter. It’s ambitious is admirable, but Gavin should definitely lower the stakes if he takes another shot at a film.

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