3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Facing Loss as a Path to Adulthood,
This review is from: The Amazing Spider-Man (DVD)
Peter, the protagonist, experienced a lot of loss during his childhood (both parents gone at the age of ten). In high school he is bullied while none of the onlookers offers help even after he helped someone weaker than him. Fortunately he gets in touch with his instincts as symbolized by the spider bite and discovers his power/vitality. He is now faced with the challenge of how to apply it. He considers using it for revenge and is encouraged to do so by the bully. He considers being indifferent to others but it costs him his uncle. He recalls the words of his father and uncle, that the responsibility of power is to be used in an adult-like way, and with this saves the city and wins the girl.
The Conners character also experienced a lot of loss. The pain is so great that the "lizard" side of him co-opts his higher brain functions and is unable to see that his desire for "a world without weakness" comes from the harm he experienced. He hasn't yet considered that he may be emotionally frozen in time, in a world, his childhood world, where he is, as all children are in the face of their parents, vulnerable and weak. What he doesn't realize yet, is that in the present, a man with his weakness is his connection to himself. His slogan could be also be code for "I feel pain and I want it to go away because long ago I was vulnerable and I wish I hadn't been. I was overwhelmed. I need strength to deal with this. My parents expected the world of me and I don't want to disappoint them. I love them and I don't want to lose them." Peter offers to "talk it out" with him but since he is experiencing such high levels of cortisol and adrenaline in his system, isn't able to see the point. He has also forgotten that he is more than his brain. In the end, in the nick of time, an antidote was found and he reclaimed his humanity.
For its entertainment value, I also think this is the best Spiderman movie made to date. The Peter character was very humourous and his relationship with Gwen made for a very nice partnership/romance. Since we are "wired for story," I found this line from the movie fitting, "I had a professor once who liked to tell his students that there are only ten different plots in all of fiction. Well, I'm here to tell you that he was wrong. There's only one." The answer offered is a classic paradox, something seemingly very simple yet very difficult at the same time. Three little words ...