“People often say that there are basically 10 stories that people tell, but they are wrong, there’s only one. Who am I?”
If truer words were ever spoken, I have yet to hear them. There’s been a lot of talk about The Amazing Spiderman since the Sam Raimi era of Spiderman films was cut off at the knees while gearing up for the fourth installment in order to reboot it with the recently released Amazing Spiderman. Is it too soon? Does the film series really need a reboot? Is Sony just trying to cash in on the franchise by pandering to the newly minted tween audience made popular by the Twilight series?
I was one such inquisitive mind as I was a big fan of the Sam Raimi Spiderman series. After coming home from seeing the new film not a few hours ago I can honestly say that I don’t have those questions anymore. Comics are notorious for reinventing their characters to fit the generation that’s reading them. Is it any wonder that the films would do the same? Yes the thirty year olds who grew up reading the comics and went to see the first movie still remember it quite well, but the ten year olds whose thirty year old parents took them to see it are now twenty and can now appreciate the journey of Spiderman all the more. Why should they be denied the greatness of that journey simply because a similar movie was made not ten years ago?
It’s a different time, the story is being told to different people. We’re different. Stan Lee has often been quoted as saying that superheroes are the mythology of the day. Mythologies change over time. They evolve and grow based on who is telling them. In 2002 we needed a hero. To quote Rosemary Harris as May Parker from Spiderman 2:
“I believe there’s a hero in all of us. That keeps us honest, makes us noble. Even if we have to give up the thing we want the most.”
We needed someone to teach us that. We needed someone to look up to in our time of need. That’s the Spiderman that Sam Raimi created for us when we needed it the most. But that isn’t who we need anymore, and that isn’t the Spiderman you’re going to see in The Amazing Spiderman. In this you’re going to see “the man in every hero”. The guy who wants to do the right thing but isn’t always sure what that is, the orphaned kid who misses his parents, the boyfriend with a thousand masks.
That’s the hero that we need now, and that’s the hero we got. Was this reboot necessary? You’re welcome to your own opinion on the subject, but I’m going to go with yes. Not because Sam Raimi did a bad job with the first three films, he didn’t, though I have my issues with the third film. But because whether he’s in a friendly neighborhood, or spinning spectacular webs, Spiderman will always be...