Film 2 - The Amazing Spiderman

Source:  Film 2 - The Amazing Spiderman    Tag:  radioactive spider
This epic reinvented tale of Spiderman tells the story of how Peter Parker was bitten by a radioactive spider, after visiting Dr Connors who he goes for answers after finding on of his fathers old pieces of work. Upon discovering his new found powers, Peter witnesses the shocking murder of his uncle and begins tracking down his killer. However in the process Dr Connors has made what he thinks is the cure to regrowing his missing arms. But instead he mutates into a massive rampaging lizard which Peter (aka Spiderman) has to stop once and for all.

In this film, it clearly defines the classic superhero conventions including:
  • Having special powers - after being bitten by a radioactive spider, Peter suddenly finds he can shoot ultrastrong webs from his wrists, climb buildings as easily as blinking and having highly developed senses.
  • A moral code - at first Peter seeks vengeance on the man who murdered his uncle but after his first fight with the Lizard on the bridge, he realises that there is more to just getting revenge.
  • A secret identity - Peter hides his powers from the world at first but then tells Gwen and is accidently revealed to both her dad and Dr Connors. It is also implied at the end of the movie that his Aunt May knows that he is Spiderman too.
  • Motif - Peter uses the spider as he motif to clearly define who he is.

  • Backstory - in the Amazing Spiderman, the backstory is very important to future event that unravel in the main plot. We learn that Peter's parents were fleeing from something when Peter was only a young boy, but Peter still has no idea where they were going.
  • Archilles Heel - Peter feels very strongly for his family and becomes temporary unhinged upon witnessing the death of his uncle. Further on in the film, Peter then becomes worried about the Lizard attacking Gwen while she is making the antidote.
  • Costume features - In this film, we see Peter at first inspired to make a mask so his enemies couldn't recognise who he was, however it became impractical so Peter is forced to re-adapt his designs to the signature blue and red look, which has become the most defining feature about Spiderman.
The film is rated a 12a, which shows that the film is targeted at mainly teenagers of both the male and female gender due to the fast paced action and the social awkwardness which many teenagers can relate too. It is slightly dark in content and the fact the Marvel have casted Andrew Garfield to play Spiderman and he has become a teen sensation suggest that it is for a teenage audience.

The binary oppositions which are present is the animal imagery of the lizard vs the spider (lizards are known to eat insects) where you can see the stealth and agility of Spiderman  compared to the strength and stamina of the Lizard. Another binary opposition is the superhero/police as although both try to fight the Lizard, neither of them are successful by themselves. The police are under the impression that Spiderman is out to spite them, where as Spiderman believes that they are more of a hinderage than help. 

However in this film, it does reinforce gender stereotypes; as you have the handsome male superhero who is the lead character and develops a love interest for a beautiful young woman. Also the antagonist is impaired in some way in which is one of his main focuses to try and change for what he thinks is the greater good. The gender stereotype is reinforced further as we see Spiderman rushing to the rescue once he realises that Gwen is in danger from being killed by the Lizard and when she is saved, she is forced out of the action making it an all male showdown.

Even though the Amazing Spiderman does greatly reinforce gender stereotypes, it is still a thrilling film which leaves the audience on the edge of their seats due to firstly the vast scale on which it is film. It takes place in New York City and although a lot of CGI is used to make up for the majority of shots (such as the ones that take place on top of buildings), when following Spiderman's journey through the city, it leaves the audience wanting to see more of the city through Spiderman's eyes. Another way in which the Amazing Spiderman seeks to entertain it's audience is the fantastic chemistry between Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy. The most riveting scene between the two is when Peter reveals his secret identity to her on the top of their apartment which Gwen remarks "I'm in trouble". Finally Peter's humour is often very amusing, especially with the audience as they see him play Bubble Pop whilst waiting for the Lizard to appear. Another instance is when the car robber bares his knife out at Spiderman, which he sarcastically remarks "You've found my weakness, it's small knives", before shooting the car robber with web.