Thursday, June 28, 2012

Getting Spider-Man Right

There were problems with the first three Spider-Man movies but they got a lot right. Tobey Maguire was perfect as Peter Parker. He embodied the everyman quality that made the character so popular.

Watching trailers for the new version, I keep wondering what they were thinking?

The guy playing Peter Parker doesn't come across as an everyman. He seems more like a character from Twilight. He isn't picked on, he is angst-ridden over his parents. And he already has a girlfriend.

But what really seems wrong is Spider-Man himself and his mouth.

Stan Lee's comics were full of wisecracks but these came across as Groucho Marx style commentary. Sometimes the villain seemed puzzled by Spider-Man's quips. That was ok. The reader knew that he was talking to us. Here's an example:

Green Goblin: After I finish you there will be no one to stop me!
Spider-Man: There's always Irving Forbush!
Green Goblin: Who?
Spider-Man: It's an in joke.

Prior to this, Stan used the name Irving Forbush as a recurring joke in the credits.

So, in the trailers for the new movie we hear Spider-Man making a joke about "You found my secret weakness... a small knife!" before disarming a petty crook. In a different trailer he makes some comments about how people are dressed.

I couldn't put my finger on what seemed wrong about this until I saw an article about the reboot including a lot of sarcasm. There is the problem. Someone with super powers makes some sarcastic comments then beats you up. That isn't how Stan's hero acted. That's how a bully acts. Stan's version didn't use sarcasm, he made jokes. It's the difference between Groucho Marx and Don Rickles.

The trailers may be misleading but I suspect that the new team doesn't understand Spider-Man at all.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

nice posting.. thanks for sharing.