The (not so) Amazing Spiderman.

I would be the millionth person to say that the Andrew Garfield Spiderman is the worst, but I wasn’t sure what I’d heard was true, so I gave both movies a watch.

And I started the first one with it not seeming so bad…until it got further in, and I started wondering why they changed everything, why all the action scenes looked fake, and why they removed a very important part of Dr. Connors backstory. And then that stupid promise at the end of the movie…

I began to wonder what Gwen Stacy saw in this version of Spiderman and Peter Parker. Sure he did that one nice thing for that one kid, but after that he was consistently a jerk.

After I finished it I decided that the writers had shamelessly ripped off Raimer’s trilogy by copying a lot, but at the same time stripping it of any real meaning. Peter tries to do what Maguire’s version always did and convince the lizard not to be evil, but he lacks the passion for it and it only lasts about half a minute. Big whoop.

He also tried to be quippy, but whoreve wrote his dialogue lacked inspiration.

Gwen Stacy is a much more likable character. I like MJ as played by Kirsten Dunst, I consider her the perfect cast, but Gwen is nice too. I’m used to superheroes being paired off with different people now. I have no problem with Gwen except that she falls for a guy who seems like a jerk. Who keeps sending her mixed signals. Couldn’t she do better?

And when I’m asking if someone could do better than Spiderman, that’s a serious red light.

It’s worse than Homecoming, and I thought that has stripped Peter Parker of his maturity and spiritual undertones.

It’s funny, when I read the Spiderman comics, I didn’t really find Spiritual undertones. It talked about fate a lot. Even though it was written by Jewish guys, it’s not as poignant as Mr. Miracle, Superman, and some of the other big names. But I always trusted Spiderman to bounce back and do the right thing, and give it another try, and I always felt he really cared about people in his own simple teenage–young twenty something way.

I like the big guns of the superhero world just fien for what theyh are. I think we need both the over the top, and the regualr good guy in fiction, because we need to be reminded obthof hwat we could be and what we are.

Spiderman may swing from buildings, but he always felt more grounded then the others. You’ll see him on the floor or on walls more than in the clouds, and so he has a closer perspective of things. That’s what makes his love of humanity easier for us to see.

And the original trilogy nailed that perfectly. It was willing to believe in the goodness of people. Even J. Jonah Jameson. That people change, that they are willing to step up and help even Spiderman. Even someone they don’t know. That love is worth the risk in the end.

MJ’s speech to Peter Parker at the end of Spiderman 2 when she asks “Isn’t it about time someone saved your life?” puts everything into perspective. The reason even superheros need people, because saving your  life isn’t’ always about literally saving your life. MJ means that Peter is a person, who needs to keep their heart going, just like everyone else, and deserves the chance to do it. Even if it’s risky.

And the Amazing Spiderman just does not get it. It seems to blindly feel Peter Parker should have a girlfriend but it can’t justify why.

However that’s the lest of its problems. Aside from ruining his relationship with his aunt and with Harry, and making Harry really, really annoying and unstable; these two movies did something I found horrifying, and I mean in a real way, not just to my cinematic sensibilities.

Whenever you are working with Super villains you run the risk of making them either too appealing or too repulsive. Too repulsive and they cease to seem like actual people gone bad.

In this case the villains were repulsive. Electro was nutty before he got mutated. But Dr. Connors and him both did something I hate. The “embracing the monster” trope. The Green Goblin did the same thing, only when Norman Osborne slips over the edge he actually fights it…briefly, and then we are shown that his strength of character is too small. he won’t resist the goblin.

Dr. Connors on the other hand is immediately devoured by his Lizard formula, he doesn’t fight it. He embraces it and feels no guilt even when he reverts back to human form.  There is no choice anymore.

Electro is kind of the same, only he just likes being powerful and visible to everyone, and turns on Spiderman on a dime, because of stupid unhelpful cops. (Gee, at least in the trilogy the cops were nicer and non stereotypical.)

In Spiderman 3, Eddie liked being evil. But Eddie had been harboring wicked thoughts before the space goo took over, and he clung to it. Max seems like he’s only ever a victim of circumstance.

And in the end , I just appreciate the Raimer trilogy’s refusal to take the victimized attitude toward evil, and toward being special that so may media releases are taking. That attitude is disgusting.

Like Diana says to Cyborg in the new Justice League, his powers can be gifts. It really is his perspective that makes the difference. I liked Cyborg because he didn’t spend the whole movie whining about being a monster and slipping off his crackers. He gave it his best instead.

Which is why I still like Justice League despite its flaws. and  I now realize just how good we had it with the Raimer trilogy and how hard it is to find directors and actors who are truly passionate about the character enough  to make something meaningful out of it.

And that’s all for now, until next time–Natasha.

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