The Amazing Spider-Man ASM: The best character arc in a superhero movie?

Discussion in 'The Amazing Spider-Man Movies' started by MessiahDecoy123, Jul 4, 2012.

  1. MessiahDecoy123 Psychological Anarchist

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    Look at the many crucial lessons Parker learns from everyone and how they make him a better person and superhero. The process of a worthy hero is long and filled with trail and error. Does any other superhero movie come close?

    I guess you can argue Batman Begins but the ”clueless and lost adult” version of Bruce Wayne wasn't really true to the character.
     
  2. DACrowe Registered

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    Just heroes or villains as well?

    For the heroes, I think Peter Parker in Spider-Man (2002), Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins (2005) and Tony Stark in Iron Man (2008) all surpass him. And though he's more of an anti-hero, I'll include Erik Lensherr in X-Men: First Class (2011).

    However, I will say that Andrew Garfield gets as close to comics Spidey in his non-Aunt May scenes as Bale gets to Batman or even Jackman gets to Wolverine.

    My two cents on that.
     
  3. Spider-Who? ERMERGERD!

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    I found Magneto's "development" in First Class to be a joke, personally. Enjoyed the movie, but it was very poorly done.
     
  4. DACrowe Registered

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    Perhaps, it's because I like Michael Fassbender so much? ;)

    I thought his transition at the end and his friendship with Charles worked veryw ell. But on second thought, I would agree he probably isn't up there with the hero arcs of SM1, BB and IM1. Still a great performance, in my opinion.
     
  5. MessiahDecoy123 Psychological Anarchist

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    How was the character arc superior in SM1?
     
  6. MessiahDecoy123 Psychological Anarchist

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    The reason I feel Parker's arc in ASM is the best is because in other movies a single mentor becomes the sole catalyst for someone taking the heroic path.

    Parker in ASM is heroically inspired by many characters: CAPT.Stacy at dinner, the rescued boy and his father, Uncle Ben ofcourse, Gwen's bravery in a few cases, and even Flash who shows Parker the world isn't always against him.

    I think that's truer to life. It takes alot of inspiration and lessons along the way to take a heroic path not just a single event.
     
  7. Anno_Domini Registered

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    As in a superhero?

    Bruce Wayne in Batman Begins -> Tony Star in Iron Man -> Peter Parker in Spider-Man -> Peter Parker in The Amazing Spider-Man
     
  8. LegendAssemble Registered

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    Peters Arc that runs through Spider-Man 2002 and Spider-Man 2 was MUCH better. Bruce Waynes in Batman Begins was good, but I just didn't buy it at all. Actually the whole league of shadows origin ruins that movie for me entirely. I loved Amazing Spider-man, but you're taking it a little too far here.
     
  9. MessiahDecoy123 Psychological Anarchist

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    Again WHY are those arcs stronger than Peter Parker's journey in ASM?

    If it's so obvious it should be easy to explain.
     
  10. Tony Stark Armored Avenger!

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    The character arc in SM1 is better, because they showed better how his uncle's death effected him, and his relationship with his Aunt was his solid ground to build on. TASM completely botched the Uncle Ben's death scene.

    As for the others, I think Batman Begins showed a long journey of Bruce becoming Batman, and it wasn't tied to any single event, and even though there was no real threat in that movie, it was enjoyable to watch the transition of Bruce into Batman.

    In Iron Man Robert Downey Jr. just owned that movie. The cave scene alone was better than anything in this movie.

    Again, I like TASM, it's a good building block, but it's not a game changer, by any stretch.
     
  11. Anno_Domini Registered

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    Uncle Ben should have been the catalyst to really push him into becoming more, but it was more Captain Stacy in TAS-M while Ben's voicemail really made Peter believe in being a hero. With that idea, I didn't think it was the best arc for Peter into becoming the hero. Yes, things change, but there are certain things that needs to stick such as Bruce traveling and gaining knowledge on the criminal element and what not, Stark creating his greatest achievement in the Mark I, Peter realizing he needs to be more because of his uncle.
     
  12. Robin91939 Master Tim

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    I couldn't disagree more.

    I thought that the way that they handled the death of Uncle Ben was absolutely beautiful and powerful. To take an event that everyone sees from a mile away and still make it powerful, is no easy task.

    I'll elaborate...

    Ben and Peter argue. Ben tells him about responsibility and that if he is in the position to help a person, it is his moral responsibility to do so. This speech is compounded with the speech Ben gives Peter at school in an earlier scene where he tells Peter that life isn't about revenge or "getting even."

    Peter storms out and walks around the neighborhood -- angry at his Uncle, but more angry at the fact that his own Father isn't alive to give him this speech.

    Ben goes out searching for Peter, calling him on his phone with no answer... He leaves a voicemail.

    Peter goes to a connivence store, has a disagreement with the clerk, the clerk is robbed, and the thief runs into the street. Peter then sees the thief knock into his Uncle Ben, and a gun falls free. Ben sees the gun and sees that he has a chance to grab it and help the innocent bystanders, and acts on what he believes is his responsibility. Ben struggles with the thief for the gun. Peter watches, stunned, as the thief gets the better of Ben and fires of a fatal shot. Ben dies in Peter's arms...

    Peter then ignores everything that Ben has taught him. Consumed by rage and anger, Peter uses his newfound power only to avenge the death of his Uncle. He acts selfishly and recklessly.

    At the Stacy's house is where he is put in his place by George, and he begins to realize just how silly and selfish he is being. And that as much as he tries to justify what he is doing -- there is no escaping the fact that he is doing just what Uncle Ben warned him not to do. It's "not about getting even," it's not about revenge. And the powers he has aren't to be used for his own gain -- it's his moral obligation to help others with them... his responsibility.

    The lesson sinks in and is set in stone when he is fighting the Lizard on the bridge. He has the opportunity to pursue the Lizard but is torn by the plea of a father to save his son. Upon saving the child, and seeing him reunited with his father, he understands what Ben meant and totally takes the lesson to heart. He goes from "that spider guy" and becomes "Spider-man."

    The voicemail at the end -- when he listens to it in full is just symbolic of the lesson. Right after Ben's death, Peter played the message, but shut it off prematurely, he wasn't ready to hear those words yet -- he was still clouded by rage and acting selfishly. He wanted to kill only his own pain, that's all. By the film's end he has accepted his responsibility as a hero to the city and it's symbolized and reaffirmed by him now being able and ready to hear Ben's message out.

    It's truly a great arc, and a beautiful moment in the film.

    I hope maybe you see it a little more for what it is, and maybe I've swayed you... If not, you enjoy 2002's Spider-man. It's also a great version of the origin, and a favorite film of mine -- this was just better, I think.

    -R
     
    #12 Robin91939, Jul 5, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2012
  13. jacobed Registered

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    Hahaha no. The cave scene was good but this out does Iron Man in every way imaginable
     
  14. Sharkboy Tell em Steve-Dave

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    It certainly is good but I think Wayne has him beat in BB and Parker's arc in SM2 is still unbeaten in a marvel film.

    But if we are talking overall, Harvey Dent has them all beat.
     
  15. DACrowe Registered

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    It was cleaner and better told. Yes, that also means it was simpler, but that doesn't mean it was dumber or less compelling.

    Peter is established as a normal kid who stumbles upon these powers and as an everyday schmuck discovering one day he has essentially been given magical powers chooses to abuse them. Gets into fights, spends all day playing with them, and finally making some money. He gets pissed off and let's a criminal get away. A criminal who would later kill his uncle (le sigh for redundancy). An uncle who tried to give him life advice, but he ignored and insulted for trying to play the father figure. He stops the criminal who killed his uncle, but that won't bring him back or change the fact that he is somewhat responsible for the father figure's (who he rejected) death. He realizes on his own that his uncle was right and he should use his powers to help others, because it is right, and not to be a dark avenger. He slowly builds up to being a crime fighter and is confronted with another mentor who is actually a criminal. Peter realizes the only father he ever needed was Ben and....

    You know, as I typed that out I realized that TASM is almost the exact same arc (this shouldn't be surprising as it's the origin), except they underline a few things more and take a lot more scenes to tell it in a less satisfying way. They have stuff that Raimi added like Peter and Ben's last conversation being Peter throwing Ben's "responsibility" advice in Ben's face and insulting both Ben and his dead father. In this one though he slams a door and smashes a window. The villain is also a would-be surrogate father figure and scientific mentor, except Peter only knows Connors for about five minutes before Connors goes evil. The big difference is that Peter never really uses his powers like a normal person would. He gets them not by luck so much as destiny, as he is searching for his father's secrets and is bitten by the spider his father designed. He never tries to make money with them, but instead uses them to hunt down his uncle's killer, night after night, but failing to find him. Then, he only actually starts using them to help people not because of what Uncle Ben said, nor because he figured it out for himself, but because Captain Stacy spelled it out for him, by giving Spidey a tongue beating at a dinner table with Peter about how going after thugs who all look the same and is only about revenge and not helping other people or being a hero.

    It's the same arc. It's just told more satisfyingly and cleaner in SM1. I thought there were bigger differences, but as I typed this I realized the only difference is that TASM takes more scenes to repeat the same arc in a less satisfying way and leaves major plot threads dangling in the air.
     
    #15 DACrowe, Jul 5, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2012
  16. Iron_Burger Registered

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    I don't see how anyone can call Iron Man a movie with much "character development" when Stark goes from a egocentric arms manufacturing smarmy jerk to a egocentric green energy manufacturing smarmy jerk.

    But back to Spidey. I'm sick of people saying he's just a normal guy, anybody could have been Spider-man blah blah blah. Wrong! Peter might have the same sort of problems regular people do, but he is not normal. He is one of the brightest minds in the Marvel Universe and an incredibly inventive engineer. How else could he build those web shooters? Or impress a brillant scientific mind like Connors or in SM1 Osborn or in SM2 Octavius?

    That spider bite would have killed or seriously harmed most people, even in the comic origin. Doesn't matter how "accidental" you find the accident to be.

    So to sum thing up: genius level IQ with unusually strong moral fiber and just the right physiology not to become a mutant freak, sorry but joe sixpack audience member ain't Spidey material.

    No Parker means No Spider-man or his Spider-friends.
     
    #16 Iron_Burger, Jul 5, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2012
  17. MessiahDecoy123 Psychological Anarchist

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    Amazing post, Robin91939.

    It's exactly how I felt inside, but you summed it up perfectly.
     
  18. kedrell Fork&SpoonOperator

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    Best? No, there are plenty others that top it. But it was good. Better than SM1 by a long shot.
     
  19. J.Howlett Guest

    And the Academy Award goes to....

    Excellent post, sir. Excellent. This is why, for all it's faults in the second half of the film, this arc and his relationship with Gwen remains the glue as to why this film still works...even with it being HEAVILY re-edited.
     
  20. Oscorp Registered

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    Beautiful post to read I must say!
     
  21. Project862006 Registered

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    pretty much all of this!!!
     
  22. The Guard Registered

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    I think, if nothing else, that this is one of the more realistic and more subtle character arcs we've seen from a superhero film. He didn't have to be told everything, and figured much of it out on his own.
     
  23. Ajendo Registered

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    Agreed and don't forget Connors' misguided attempt at wanting to "help" people which of course is contrary to what Ben told Peter before Peter stormed off. Also aunt
    May. Her line about secrets having a cost and of course her unwavering love and devotion to Peter. That scene where Peter comes home late and forgets the eggs and May shouts that she can't sleep after Peter tells her too was so powerful. It really showed that despite all the grief she was going through she still had a duty and responsibility to care for her nephew, regardless of how old, big and mature he may think he is.
     
  24. Spidey_62 You just don't get it!

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    I don't think it can be better explained than by Robin91939's post. :yay:
     
  25. Jack O Lantern Mad Jack

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    It is by far the best.

    It's a two hour journey instead of forty minutes.

    I loved that he was already Spider-Man for a good part of the movie before he actually becomes a hero. I don't think it's until he looks over the city at the end of the movie that he releases how important he actually can be
     

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