Monday, 24 October 2016

Film Review: Opposing Characters - Spider-Man (2002)

Fig 1

Sam Raimi’s action packed superhero film, “Spiderman” (2002) is an excellent example that focuses on the breakdown of two opposing characters. Beginning with the personal history of the protagonist, Peter Parker, he is a University student who is prone to bullying and is not popular at all. He lives with his Aunt May and Uncle Ben and leads a normal life. Norman Osborne (a.k.a the Green Goblin) is a wealthy scientist who produces advanced machinery and inventions. His son, Harry, is best friends with Peter.

The inherited world is the present day of the films production – 2002 America. Peter begins at University, is seen graduating, and then battling the green goblin on the streets. 

Fig 2

Peter Parkers wants his crush, Mary Jane, to like him back, and Norman wishes to continue to make something advances and amazing to impress the board of examiners. However, it is more clear that Peter needs to avenge the death of his uncle, and to forgive himself for letting the robber escape and end up killing Ben. Norman needs the funding from the board to continue is research, but his funding is threatened if he doesn’t produce something incredible. 

Peters internal vs external traits: as discussed, at the beginning of the film, he is a bullied “geek” who is walked all over by everyone. These are also his flaws. By the end, he is Spider-Man: a powerful superhero that everyone looks up to and relies on for their safety. Norman is initially a committed scientist, but he ends up taking things too far by experimenting on himself and losing his mind. 

Fig 3

The overall story arc includes Peter being bitten by a modified spider, and slowly discovering he has super powers. Peter is also facing conflict as he becomes very ill once bitten, and then doesn’t know how to use his powers. He then graduates and uses his abilities to fight crime, and makes his own costume and dons the name Spiderman. 

Fig 4

Norman’s meanwhile experiments on himself with performance enhancing chemicals that ultimately makes him go insane and kills his assistant as well as destroys the laboratory. Norman is at conflict with himself, as one minute he is normal, and the next, he hears voices and then returns to being evil.
 Another conflict is when Peter unknowingly lets a robber escape, and then finds his Uncle Ben shot and dying in his arms. Peter is determined to get revenge and races after the murderer and realises it’s the same man he let escape. The robber eventually falls to his death, but Peter can’t forgive himself.
Norman then goes on to interrupt a military experiment and kills scientists and General Slocum with his modified weapons. 

Fig 5

The Green Goblin and Spider-Man face off against one another in an action-packed fight, and they are both wounded, and once again Peter is facing conflict as he is forced to choose between saving a bus full of children, or Mary Jane. He ends up saving both and they continue to fight, but it comes to an abrupt stop (and value change in a scene) as Norman reveals himself to Peter as the Green Goblin. Norman begs for forgiveness, but that the same time is waiting for his glider to impale Spider-man. Peter dodges, and this Norman is killed. At the funeral, Normans son, Harry, swears to get revenge on Spider-Man for killing his father, and Mary Jane finally confesses she’s in love with Peter. However, as Peter wants to keep her safe from any more of his enemies, he hides his true feelings and tells her they should just remain friends. 

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