Who among us have not had the experience of being picked on by other people? Who among us have not felt inferior towards others, like we do not belong with the people who are around us? When we were little, how often have we had to fend off school bullies, who would pick on the little ones just because they can? When we were teens, how many among us have wished that we lived on the other side of the fence, living as the most popular kid in school, rather than being a mere blimp on the school radar? We’ve all had our share of being indifferent, when it seemed like everyone and everything is against us.
We sometimes feel isolated when people don’t understand who we are, and they hasten to judge our character by superficial standards. Even when we have all the potential in the world, we often fail to see it when everything else doesn’t seem to fall our way. It is the feeling of being an underdog: when the odds are stacked against us, and we have mountains of obstacles to face in order to succeed. None of the popular comic book characters exemplify this persona better than Peter Parker, more populary known by his superhero alter-ego Spider-man.
His story growing up in highschool and experiencing all the forementioned difficulties have made him the ultimate patsy: he was the small-framed, geeky, non-social student that hardly anyone ever knew or cared about. But it was this persona that has reached out into the hearts of millions, and made Spiderman a household name worldwide. Even before Spider-man appeared in the movie screen, its popularity could already be traced back to when it first appeared in the pages of comic books. It first appeared in a Marvel comic book back in 1962, and has since become a global phenomenon.
Spiderman is reverred today as arguably the most popular Marvel character, and has appeared in both the comics and television. In 2002, the famed superhero was finally adapted into the big screen, attaining unparalled success in the box office. Up to this day, The Spider-man movies remain as one of the best-selling movies of all time. In my view, the movie did not experience the success that it had because of the technical aspects that it brought. The movie version had no ground breaking special effects, no technical advances in terms of cinematography.
It basically had nothing that anyone hasn’t seen from other movies, in terms of special effects. And though the movie featured a variety of popular actors (Willem Defoe, among others), I believe that its commercial success in the big screen should be credited to a different reason. I believe that as already a well known character, movie-goers worldwide went to see the movie for one reason only – because it’s Spider-man, and everyone loves and relates to Peter Parker’s life. It is my personal belief that the movie is not what made the character Spider-man popular: rather it was Spider-man as a story that made the movie such a smash hit.
The film adaptation was merely just another tool in presenting the life of Peter Parker, but it was an adaptation the was spot on and loyal to the original comic book story. It was the story of Peter Parker, from being a nobody to being a superhero, that lured the viewers into watching the blockbuster movie. It was Peter Parker’s persona of being left out and being a loner that the audiences related very well to, and it is the reason why fans have and will continue to buy into the Spider-man phenomenon. The Creation of Spider-man
When Lee originally penned “The Amazing Spider-Man” in the early ‘60s, he purposely avoided a square-jawed stereotypical hero such as “Superman”. He denounced what one would visualize about how a superhero was supposed to be to create a flesh-and-blood, fallible teen-age super hero worried about being accepted by others and growing up in a seemingly hostile world. Peter Parker, unlike what one would expect out of a normal superhero, was highly vulnerable and self-consicious. He had anxieties just like any other normal person, and faced the same problems just like everyone else.
Being highly intelligent, he was immediately labelled in his highschool as a “loser”, someone who noone had any social interest whatsoever (IMDb. com). Such is the dilemma of Peter Parker that I believe, we all experienced when we were young. He was bullied when he was in school, just as any young teenager would in any school. He fell in love with his neighbor, Mary Jane Watson, but he could not muster up the courage to really talk to. These kinds of problems happen to the best of us. Who among us haven’t had a person we liked, but was unable to share our true feelings because of self-doubt?
Who among us haven’t encountered people who made us feel bad about ourselves, and made us feel small and insignificant? This was Peter Parker’s appeal to the masses: he had a lot of potential to be great, but his own doubts hinder him from becoming so. And this is what made him so appealing, and why a lot of people were able to relate to his character. Spider-man the Movie The movie version takes a similar approach by chronicling the everyday challenges Parker faces and then magnifies his anxieties by thrusting him into a position where he protects others and blossoms into a young adult willing to accept responsibility for his actions.
The orphaned teen, who’s perceived as a nerd by his classmates and bullied in school, lives with his beloved Aunt May and Uncle Ben and aches to be noticed by his beautiful neighbor Mary Jane Watson. During a school trip to a high-tech biology laboratory, Parker is bitten by a genetically altered spider and then assumes the characteristics and senses of arachnids. Those include the ability to crawl up walls, spin incredibly powerful webs, contort his body in radical positions and move at lightening quick speeds (Rottentomatoes.
com). Important Aspects of the Movie At its core, the movie version of Spider-Man is a bittersweet love story, with Mary Jane slowly recognizing the strong moral fabric possessed by a classmate she previously failed to notice and Parker realizing that his place in the world as the protector of others could threaten his romantic happiness (Spiderfan. org). He knew that by having any deeper relationship with Mary Jane would put her life in parrell, so he chooses to stay away, despite signs of Mary jane taking a liking to him.
This is only one of the many aspects of the story that captivated the audience and kept them glued to their cinema seats from beginning until the end. There’s also a subtext involving the dangers of greed, represented by the villainous Green Goblin, who was the villain in the movie adaptation. It’s no accident that the Goblin is the color of money. His alter-ego, money-obsessed weapons developer Norman Osborn, loses sight of everything that’s important in life – including a son obsessed with pleasing his father – in a blind and ill-fated pursuit of money and power.
Some other aspects of the movie were the relationship between Peter and his uncle Ben. Peter is known throughout the story as an orphan, and it was his uncle and aunt who took him in and cared for him like they were his real parents. Although the story was the focal point of the entire movie, some movie goers did give credit to the actors themselves for properly portraying the characters of the famous comic book. One critic writes: The acting is the finest portion of the film with the leads giving us depth that I was unsure would be allowed by the style of story chosen.
Maguire was outstanding at being a guy who can rarely catch a break, but attract difficulty with ease and aplomb. He is awkward with the woman he loves, but eloquent when dealing with the familiar, just as most teenagers are even today (Carroll, 2006). With regards to the storyline of the movie, it is what captivated the audience the most. The conflicts between all the different characters made for a very well written movie. One critic points out: The script was far stronger than I expected with some wonderful dialog; verbal exchanges, solid plot points and pacing.
Many a good parenting lesson can be found in this film as well as interesting thoughts about the choices that we make in life that we might think are no big deal when in the heat of passion, but may well come back to haunt us if we don’t think before we act/speak: which is the trust of the film in my humble opinion (Baig, 2006). The relationships between the characters are also an integral part in helping the movie have a very good reception from those who watched it. One can’t help but anticipate how Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson would turn out.
Peter’s tendency to be shy towards the woman he loved made it easier for audiences to relate with their own romantic dilemmas. The father and son relationship between Norman and Harry Osbourne takes a tragic twist, with Harry being overly obsessed with pleasing his father. Then there is the conflict between Norman Osbourne as the Green Goblin against Spider-man, who was in fact the best friend of his son Harry. These conflicts kept the movie very interesting, and it is what made the story very pleasing from start to finish.
To conclude, the movie Spider-man turned out to be a bestseller without having to rely on dazzling special effects, as some movies would. Instead, it emphasized on the human relationships between the different characters, and how they further developed during the movie. The main focus of the movie was the story itself, which was indeed very well written and thought of. In the end, it is not really the visual effects that count when trying to watch a good movie. It is still the story and the characters that make us come back for more.
And since its creation in the sixties, Spider-man remains atop of the most popular superheroes ever, serving as an inspiration to those who feel like they themselves live like Peter Parker, as well as a role model for those who find themselves in a position to choose between right and wrong. Spider-man’s motto shall forever linger: “With great power comes great responsibility. ” References Baig, Daniel (2006). “Interviews: Spider-man. ” Countingdown. com. Retrieved 30 May 2008 from http://www. countingdown. com/features? feature_id=719988
Carroll, Larry (2006). “Reviews: Spider-man. ” Countingdown. com. Retrieved 30 May 2008 from http://www. countingdown. com/features? feature_id=717968 Characters: Spider-man (2008). Spiderfan. org. Retrieved 30 May 2008 from http://www. spiderfan. org/characters/himself/index. html Spider-man (2002). IMDb. com. Retrieved 30 May 2008 from http://www. imdb. com/title/tt0145487/usercomments Spider-man Movie Reviews, Pictures (2008). Rottentomatoes. com. Retrieved 30 May 2008 from http://www. rottentomatoes. com/m/spiderman/