Why the Spider-Man Reboot Has Failed | Fanboys Anonymous

Why the Spider-Man Reboot Has Failed

Posted by Unknown Saturday, August 23, 2014
I'm a huge, huge, Spider-Man fan. He's my favorite fictional character of all time. I read the comics when I was a kid and enjoyed most of the animated shows of the past 50 years. Some are good, some are great, others are less than stellar. I even own the short-run live-action TV show from the '70s on DVD. Yep, it's out there and available and not that bad of a show.

Spider-Man 2 Doc Ock vs Spidey
When the first theatrical version hit the screens in 2002 I was excited. When the movie was actually above and beyond all expectations any of us fans could have hoped for, my excitement was through the roof. When director Sam Raimi followed this up two years later with the best superhero film of all time in Spider-Man 2, the stakes were raised even more. Sony then pressured Sam Raimi to add a character he had no interest in (Venom) and this studio tinkering led to mixed results with Spider-Man 3.

Although flawed, SM3 has the best CGI of the series and some of the best action sequences ever in a superhero film. Watch that Sandman creation scene again, it's amazing. One of the biggest complaints of the film is the "Emo" Peter scene where Tobey Maguire dances down the sidewalk. Here's the thing, though: anyone who complains about this simply does not understand the character. See, Peter Parker is such a nerd he even fails at acting cool. That's who he is. Parker isn't some smooth skater punk like Andrew Garfield attempts to be in the first Amazing Spider-Man. More on that later.

When Raimi balked at the rush job they wanted for SM4, Sony decided to reboot. Fine. But what's most frustrating is that if they had given him what he wanted (a release date in 2012), we would have gotten his film anyway that year! Unbelievable. Majorly influenced by the success of The Dark Knight, Sony decided to go the darker, grittier route, and the following is why they and the writers failed at portraying Spider-Man on film.
Amazing Spider-Man vs cops
There has been much talk about Garfield's Spidey being great because he quips and uses humor more. I agree Raimi didn't focus on this enough, but anyone who thinks this is why his Web Slinger is better is clueless about the character. Sorry, but it's true. Spider-Man uses his humor for two main reasons. The first is because he's scared to death about fighting dangerous criminals or super villains. It is a defense mechanism. He doesn't use it to humiliate people like Garfield did in the single scene he does quip in The Amazing Spider-Man when he stops the car thief. That scene was horrid; it made me sick, mostly because people just don't get it. Garfield was a complete and total jerk to that cop, too.

The second reason he uses humor is to distract someone who is more powerful than he is in an attempt to get them to make a mistake so he can beat them. Sports figures do this on occasion. Give me an example of where Garfield uses this tactic for this purpose. In the first scene with Rhino in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Spidey had the situation well in hand and there was absolutely no reason to ask the future Rhino to "roll the window down" or make fun of him or pull his pants down at the end when he was already captured. Funny scene, but not why Spidey uses humor.

Another reason they failed with these reboots, the biggest one, is shoving Uncle Ben's storyline to the background and then attempting (unsuccessfully) to add in something with Peter's parents. Uncle Ben's death is the sole reason Peter becomes Spider-Man, and neglecting the line "With great power comes great responsibility" undermines the entire basis of this character's core motivation. Webb and co. aren't concerned with character or story, just pretty lights and going with trends.

With great power comes great responsibility

This glaring offense is so egregious it stuns me to the core. How can anyone claim to be a Spider-Man fan and be okay with this? He becomes a superhero because he is tormented by his own failure to act when he could have stopped the thief who eventually killed his uncle. To omit this is to not mention the cross when speaking of Jesus' sacrifice. It's insane.

I'm such a huge Spider-Man fan that I have no choice but to be on board with these films, and I do think Garfield makes an excellent Spider-Man in the action scenes. His Peter Parker needs some work, but in ASM2 he was less of a jerk than in the first one, so it looks promising. Yes, I also enjoyed ASM2 more than ASM simply because it was more fun, more in tune with the spirit of the comic books, and more similar to Raimi's take on the character.

sexy Spider-Man couple Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield
Then again, we now have a film series that is fast becoming schizophrenic and can't decide what kind of tone it wants. ASM2 was a mess from start to finish, also failing with the characters of Gwen and Peter, but admittedly less so than in ASM. The only reason these characters are together is because they are hot, nothing else. They both look like models. This is geeky Peter Parker? Please.

Examine Peter and Mary Jane from Raimi's trilogy: he loves her because she was/is the girl next door, and every single man alive knows this feeling. She also talks to him, unlike every other girl alive, and sticks up for him. Mary Jane loves him because Peter represents the nice guy, a man who will treat her better than every other man in her life. Her father, Flash Thompson, her boss at the diner—they all treat her like garbage. Peter won't. He will protect her and be devoted to her hopes and dreams and support Mary Jane in anything she pursues. Peter Parker is the kind of man she needs in her life to make her life better.

Can anyone defend these choices? Does anyone really believe these films are in any way superior to the previous trilogy? Sound off below.

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