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Spider-Man: Homecoming Discussion (SPOILERS)


#321

I think we need someone to do an Uncle Ben recap for Will as a DVD extra or this will never end. :smile:


#322

Is it wrong that I find the Ben stuff the least interesting part about the Spider-Man mythos in general?


#323

Will this link to a YouTube search not do?

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=uncle+ben+


#324

[quote=“Todd, post:316, topic:10222, full:true”]His real name is “Indiana”?
[/quote]

They named the dog “Indiana”.


#325

They named the dog “Indiana”.
[/quote]

I thought it was the spider, not the dog?


#326

#327

They’ve said they’re not.


#328

I think the origin is so well known now that it can be assumed people know it.

Yeah, in fact I’m totally sure it is.

So:


#329

I saw Homecoming twice but it fell a little flat. There wasn’t anything new to find, I was pretty let down considering that I enjoy most movies more on second viewing.


#330

#331

Heh. “Ferris Bueller with webbing”. Yeah, that fits well enough.

I loved it. For me, it did everything that a Spider-Man movie should do, and it did so very, very well. It was a surprisingly low-key superhero movie, really, but that made me like it more.

In fact, I would say that I like this one the best of all Spider-Man movies. Miles ahead of any of the Raimi movies for me, even the first one.

This, on the other hand, is basically what my girlfriend thought. Well, that and I think that it was too low-key for her in the action. She probably would’ve liked @RobertB’s version that he describes in his post above better.


#332

I don’t think it is. It is very clear that Peter is very motivated indeed, and it is easy to identify with his motivation. There is nothing unclear about his characterisation at all.

I think it is quite specific, actually; as has been pointed out above, one of his points of motivation is that he is trying to show his father figure that he is worth his love. It’s actually a little heartbreaking that it’s Tony Stark of all people that he’s trying to show that to…

Anyway: Yes, this is “normal” motivation, something that could be anyone’s background. But the thing is that in terms of the superhero genre, it’s actually the opposite of “generic”, because that’s never the origin*. It’s actually a new approach, not showing the tragic death that motivates the young hero.

That being said, though, I do think we experience his motivation going further than said everyday psychology. The scene after Keaton warns him off is very well done - this is the moment he should’ve caved, especially with him threatening Aunt May and being Liz’s father and all that. And he’s had to give up on being an Avenger anyway. So what is it that keeps him going? The moment is interestingly filmed, too - he almost seems catatonic, in a trance. And then he’s made his decision.

I think that moment hints at his deeper motivation that runs underneath the layers of, you know, a kid dreaming of being a superhero and wanting to find a father figure.

What I’m trying to say here is, showing instead of telling is an old rule of storytelling, and it’s working here. The writing actually is quite crafty, whether you agree with the decision they made or not.


*Well, I expect it actually has been in a lot of comic books at this point. But it’s quite new to the movie audience.


#333

What about Star-Lord? I know I’m diving a bit deep here, but since GotG2 it seems clear to me that he has daddy-issues of Spielbergian proportions.


#334

I do agree the writing is crafty but in this respect it left a void that it didn’t need to.

Showing not telling is a good rule of thumb but it’s also normal for characters in stories to talk about stuff that’s relevant to them. I think the only reason this film avoided any reference to Ben is writer anxiety, which is not a good reason imo to shut off a vital aspect of your lead character’s psychology. There were some hints to it but, going back to my original post on the topic, it felt weird/unnatural to me that they relegated it all to hints.


#335

The daddy issues aren’t the unusual part, the unusual part is that they’re caused by, well, growing up without a father and that’s it, as far as we are shown in this movie. There is nothing more outlandish behind it. Whereas Star-Lord’s daddy issues are caused by his alien world father killing his mum with cancer, so… well, you know.


#336

And his tumultuous relationship with whatshisblueface.


#337

He’s Mary Poppins.


#338

But why would you think that? Showing the same thing that’s been shown a hundred times before (even if only in a quick flashback), or making clearer reference to it (a newspaper clipping, a few lines of dialogue along the lines of “after what happened to his uncle Ben”) would’ve been the easiest thing to do. It’s a much more daring decision to leave it out entirely, and trusting your ability to show the character as he is to day and leave the gaps unfilled. You have to be pretty cocky to do that.

I actually felt it was completely natural to leave it at that, because that’s mostly how it is with people’s stories in life, as well. Usually, you’ve known people for years until you find out things like that.

But regardless of whether it worked for you or not, I got the impression that it wasn’t anxiety but cockiness: they trusted their writing to set up the character without spelling out his backstory, and leave that for a second movie (because there were themes that resonated, and it’s pretty clear they’re going to get to Uncle Ben sooner or later).


#339

That’s another instance of a character’s motivation not being spelt out, by the way. You already knew after the first movie how Yondu felt about Peter, without their needing to spell it out in any way.


#340

These are good points. I’ll have to think a bit more about this.