Not a review of Spiderman

This is not a review of the new Spiderman film because I don’t have an awful lot to say about it. I went to see it yesterday with the kids, and we all enjoyed it (verging on ‘enjoyed it very much’.)

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I certainly enjoyed it more on the whole than The Avengers. That is, while I loved The Avengers immoderately for the first three quarters, I came out of it bitterly disappointed in the end. Partly I think this was because there had been enough time spent on the characterisation in Spiderman for me to really care about what happened to the characters. And a 17 year old can get away with being emotionally constipated and unable to express himself far better than the more grown up heroes. Also because the end of the film made sense in the context of the rest of it. The build up was good, the climax fitted it, and the whole thing reinforced the film’s theme of there being something noble in everyone, which is a theme that I like to see.

What I like about Spidey (as opposed to Batman) is that he’s light on the angst and the manpain. Batman, frankly, takes itself far too seriously. I don’t want my superhero films to be ‘realistic’ – where ‘realistic’ means ‘believes that everything is shit.’ I want my superhero films to defy that, to dare to have hope. This version of Spiderman’s origin story didn’t quite escape the canon angst, but at least there were some moments early on that made me laugh, and a genuinely heartwarming moment later (with the cranes) that made me think ‘yes, humanity is worth saving, so there!’

I didn’t come out with a buzz and an urge to write fanfic, which is my test for a top quality film, but I did enjoy it more than most things I’ve watched recently. Hm, I think for me that makes it good but not great.

Do I want to go and see The Dark Knight Rises? I’m not sure. Because of the ‘realism,’ Batman is often too nasty for me. I like Nolan, I like Tom Hardy and Joseph Gordon Levitt, but I don’t like the nihilism. I don’t think it’s really realistic at all, though like all ideas it forms human reality around it. I may pass and watch it on DVD later.


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