On Friday at school they began a new drama project with the kids based around superheroes, so I thought it would be cool to brush up on the subject by finally getting some of the Marvel films watched. I just finished watching the third in the 2004-2007 Spiderman trilogy. I wish I could write something more positive here: I was expecting a serious, mature film, albeit one requiring some suspension of disbelief, about a character with extraordinary powers fighting crime. What I just watched, however, was some kind of puerile adolescent drama about a whiney little teenager who claims to be both a photographer and a physics student and his relationship with his next door neighbour. I found these films utterly nauseating and insulting to my intelligence. As a character, Peter Parker is a self-centred, arrogant little wanker; the actor who plays him, Tobey Maguire, is almost as irritating. We’re supposed to side with this guy, yet he treats his friends despicably. As for the script, I honestly think I could pull a better piece of writing out of my arse: the dialogue is pure cliche, the plot nauseating.
I could go on, but I think you get the picture. I found these films dire. Like Star Wars films, they are kid’s films pretending to be for grown ups. The thing that most interested me about these film, though, was their use of New York: all three are set entirely in the metropolis, so the city becomes a stand in for the world itself. I wonder whether anything has been written about that aspect of films like these, and now intend to look into it. Apart from that, however, based upon the films I just watched, I have to say I am very disappointed: they are just a derivative, adolescent mess which I’m struggling to engage with at any level. Admittedly, I’ve just whizzed through them in three or four days, but they made me cringe so much that I rather doubt they would improve with further viewings, especially the third. On the other hand, these films are just one adaptation/interpretation of the original Marvel character. What I’d like to do now is seek out other screen incarnations of Spiderman to see how they compare, and that way build up a better idea of the character and his relationship with New York city.