Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Pretty Much Okay Spider Man

I know, I know.  I sound like a curmudgeon.  It's my understanding that most folks are quite happy with the rebooted Spider-Man and that's dandy.  I certainly didn't dislike it, but Spidey is all about heart and I think it's missing here.  I can niptick some other things I did dislike, but let's keep to the main point.  Spidey's story is one that resonates with so many of us because we get Peter Parker.  We know him and often he is us.  Face it, in the comics, Peter is a nebbishy sort of fellow, sort of the anti-Bruce Wayne.  Super bright, but socially inept.  He's uncomfortable in his own skin and that remains true after he gets superpowers from the bite of a radioactive spider.  (Note that he's neither "born this way," as our mutant X-Men are nor are his admittedly amazing superpowers something that he actively sought out.  Right place, right time.  Or maybe wrong place, wrong time, depending on your viewpoint.)  Peter's just trying to get by and, in the process, make New York a better place.  Noble goals, but getting there isn't smooth sailing.

Tobey Maguire nailed this.  He was greatly aided by Sam Raimi, who is a giant-sized comics geek - and having Raimi at the helm also gave us Bruce Campbell cameos, which is always a plus as far as I'm concerned.  The second film has one of those moments that actually makes me choke up.  Oh, you know the scene - when the community comes together to protect their protector.

"We won't tell nobody."  See, that's what good movies do.  The most recent Spider-Man just made me appreciate the air conditioned theater and the buttery goodness of the popcorn.  Nothing wrong with that, but movies can be so very, very much more. 

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