In The Amazing Spider-Man movie, after Spider-Man revealed his real identity to Gwen's father and tried to jump to the top of the building, he was shot in the leg by a policeman.

A few moments ago, he escaped a storm of bullets being fired by SWAT. He has a precognitive sensing ability (commonly known as Spider Sense) which alerts him about upcoming danger. Why didn't his Spider Sense work to alert him about that single bullet?

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    Is the spider sense really that powerful that he can avoid everything? If that was the case why can he not dodge everything then? E.g. punches, kicks etc. Which would make him totally invincible.
    – starcorn
    Jul 28, 2012 at 9:10
  • @starcorn Spider Sense just alerts Spider-Man. If something supernatural outruns his reflexes etc, he could be hit.
    – user931
    Jul 28, 2012 at 14:51
  • And, a single bullet can't outrun his reflexes. Mind it, he escaped a huge firing of SWAT.
    – user931
    Jul 28, 2012 at 14:53
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    Can you change the title/opening body so that it isn't a huge spoiler for those of us that haven't watched the movie yet?
    – NominSim
    Jul 29, 2012 at 11:50

5 Answers 5


Despite Marvel Comics depictions, Spider-Man's spider-sense is not infallible. While it functions as an all-purpose precognitive sense, as mentioned earlier, it functions best when it "hacks" Peter Parker's awareness and he is able to simply react to it without conscious thought. While his spider-sense is a potent tool in his arsenal, allowing him to fight opponents whose hand to hand skills far exceed his own or act as an extended form of intuition or precognition, it is not a perfect defense since it functions best when Spider-man is at the peak of his physical abilities. Any time he is stressed or distracted means it is possible for the sense to not function at peak efficiency.

However, it has had limitations over the years which make it potentially able to be either overcome or reduces its effectiveness.

  • It can be overcome by too much stimuli, just like any other sense. Even if the sense is aware of an impending threat, there may simply not be sufficient time to react, even with his enhanced speed and reflexes. His spider-sense will detect danger and allow the him to measure severity by intensity, but cannot indicate the danger's exact nature or origin.

  • When reacting to multiple threats, Spider-Man is forced to trust to his instincts to avoid injury. Sometimes he will suffer a lesser injury to avoid a greater one. He can also choose to completely ignore it as well.

  • His spider-sense can be distracted by injuries or stress, which may prevent him from being able to react to potential threats. He can also find himself confronted with multiple layered threats which may make the precognitive awareness less than useful since it may respond to every threat making Spiderman unable to effectively distinguish one threat from another.

  • Spider-Man's spider-sense has been removed temporarily through the use of drugs used by his enemies such as Mysterio. It has also failed him during periods where he has been very ill.

  • Certain types of threats simply fail to trigger his spider-sense at all. Venom or any of the spider suit symbiotes will fail to draw any response from his awareness. It is believed the symbiote having lived with Spider-Man it has learned how to not trigger his spider-senses. Spiderman's clones such as Khaine will also fail to trigger his spider-sense. The strange entity known as Morlun was completely invisible to his spider-sense.


It isn't officially answered, but my interpretation is that Peter was so focused that he didn't notice the bullet. The other idea I had was that he was in mid-jump (no web), so it makes sense that he would have no way of dodging it in mid-air (even the web takes time to shoot out of the canister).

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    In the mid air, he could move his leg..
    – user931
    Jul 28, 2012 at 6:08
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    And, "Spider Sense" hacks the focus. That's why it works..
    – user931
    Jul 28, 2012 at 6:10
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    it hit the outside of his leg he couldn't move his leg into his other leg, and if he moved both of them he would fall to the ground. Jul 29, 2012 at 3:27
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    and it does not "hack the focus" Jul 29, 2012 at 3:27
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    I am unable to understand how you are saying that moving legs was impossible. Clarify!
    – user931
    Jul 29, 2012 at 19:31

I've seen Spiderman ignore spider sense because there is more than one threat going on at once, he pretty much goes "I know I know shut up already" and he can't focus on everything at once. Mutated lizard men, his girlfriend about to possibly be attacked, SWAT trying to take him down. It overwhelms him.


I think it's along the lines of what was said earlier — he was in the air already and couldn't dodge. Even if his Spider-Sense did activate (it didn't — the audio cue didn't play), it could only warn him that there was impending danger, not specifically that a bullet was going to hit his leg.

And furthermore, his spider-sense was probably going berserk anyway — he was in the intersection with about fifty hostile SWAT members. I'm pretty sure that there's impending danger anyway.


I think it's because the movie maker wants to show that humans make mistakes and forget things, even in dangerous situations. Peter is eventually internally a blend of two species. Sometimes it can happen that the human ability, rather than disability, can overpower the spidy sense. This should be an understandable event for the viewers if we accept seeing Spiderman in the movie. :P

They also wanted the viewers to feel that "Oh! Spidy has got hurt but still he is in mood to help every one. Such a nice fella."

These can be understood as if a human being is in the middle of some work with a huge pressure on him and suddenly something happens near him but he simply didn't notice it. The maker wanted to make the movie more real w.r.t. the earlier Spiderman movies so that he can include that kind of reality in the next Avengers movie.

I don't think it's a big mistake.

Nice notice anyways. \m/

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