Forget Spidey, When Will Movies Give Us a Decent Peter Parker?

Forget Spidey, When Will Movies Give Us a Decent Peter Parker?

The recent Sony hack has given some insight into just how unsure Sony is about its Spider-Man franchise, but whatever happens next, here’s hoping they know how to show Peter Parker and Spider-Man on the big screen.

The Sam Raimi films have a lot of fans, and the Marc Webb films had some good bits too (primarily Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone), but both films only achieved half of what makes Spider-Man great.

Raimi did an amazing job grounding the Spider-Man mythos and Tobey Maguire was a great choice as Peter Parker. He captured the insecurity and desperation of Peter Parker and epitomized “Parker luck.”

Forget Spidey, When Will Movies Give Us a Decent Peter Parker?

But he never really got into the spirit of Spider-Man.

See, Spider-Man is supposed to be fun, out-going, exciting. The kind of guy that tells inappropriate jokes that somehow still work.

Sure, the initial “Tallyho!” moment was great, but after that Peter’s personality was kind of a drag on an otherwise great two-and-a-half films. He never loved being Spider-Man.

Unlike, say, Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man.

He’s funny, he’s confident and he enjoys every moment of webslinging – as it should be! Sure, the movies themselves were so-so, but here was a Spider-Man to laugh with.

The problem this time was that he had the exact same swaggering bravado as Peter Parker, and that doesn’t always work. If he’s thinks he’s too perfect, he forgets what it means to be human. For example:

This scene epitomizes everything wrong with the current(?) Amazing franchise. In the comics, Spider-Man makes fun of villains who are as strong or stronger than him. Sure, he’ll crack some wise at White Rabbit and Walrus in good fun, but he really picks on the likes of Doctor Octopus or Vulture. In the above scene, you have Spider-Man, who can lift 10 tons, toying with a common criminal – a criminal who, while armed, was not directly threatening anyone’s health or safety. Don’t get me wrong, criminals should pay, but this guy should’ve been trussed up in front of the local precinct with a note from the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, not played with like a cat catching a mouse. With the idea in mind that Spider-Man could, if he so chose, crush a fire hydrant, watching him play with that criminal is as funny as a cop telling jokes while aiming a loaded gun at the head of a handcuffed suspect.

So what should Peter Parker/Spider-Man be like?

Forget Spidey, When Will Movies Give Us a Decent Peter Parker?

In the comics, Peter Parker is insecure and full of self-doubt – yes, even when he was with supermodels and hanging out with the Avengers – but when he puts the mask on he has uninhibited fun. As Spider-Man he can joke, put out false confidence and even advise other heroes on right and wrong. That’s the lure of the mask.

Whatever they decide to do next with Spider-Man, let’s hope they give him a fully-rounded Peter Parker this time around.

This story was originally published on the Kinja blog Observation Deck on Dec. 18th, 2014.

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