Why Brad is wrong about Spiderman
In response to Brad’s post at What Culture:
1. Andrew Garfield is not a better Peter Parker.
He’s not a worse one, either. Toby Maguire is good and expresses well Peter’s pain and awkwardness. His transformation is steeper. Garfield’s Parker is fine, but for me, he starts out too cool, riding his skateboard through school (if anyone did that here, he’d be worshipped) and catching Gwen’s eye straightaway.
2. I also mourned non-Martin Sheen Uncle Ben. Plus, the “with great power comes great responsibility” line was great. I remember it. People remember it. Nothing Martin Sheen said was as good. All we got was that rambling phone message.
3. The superhero formula is indeed tinkered with, but so what? I’ll agree with Brad here and it was good to see TAS try something different. But as Raimi’s Spiderman was part of the genesis of the new superhero genre, you can’t really accuse it of being formulaic.
4. It kind of was a love letter to NYC. You get all the motifs: brownstone row homes, wise-ass cops, brave blue collar workers. And as Brad points out, given the spectre of 9/11, you can hardly blame Raimi for being less subtle.
5. Raimi’s Spiderman is neither kiddie nor camp. Brad is just wrong here. It was dark in the right places — notably the angst between Peter and Harry. For its part, TAS was wildly lame at times, especially Lizard Man whose actions make no sense and is woefully camped up by Rhys Ifans.
I liked TAS well enough. It’s just not any better than Raimi’s and maybe a little worse.
Also, Mary Jane > Gwen Stacy.