When asked to analyse a super hero movie, I looked no further than Marvel. I decided to analyse the 2012 reboot of Spider-Man, ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ directed by Marc Webb and starring Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker AKA Spider-Man. When watching the film I discovered I discovered many discourses some obvious and some not so.
The first discourse I picked up on was that of Loneliness. The film starts with a flashback of Peter Parker being left by his parents as they leave him with his uncle and auntie. You then see today’s Peter who still seems lonely this time in school, it is clear he doesn’t have many friends and he is also picked on. The discourse continues after Peter gains his super hero status, as he looses the only man that he is close to; his uncle. Then towards the end of the film Peter is forced to say goodbye to his true love Gwen. I feel this discourse is trying to tell me that no matter what you can have or achieve in life in Peter Parker’s case this is his super hero status you can still suffer from the feeling of being alone. There is also a scene in the midst of battle where Spider-Man watches a father and child whilst they are reunited. Even though he has his mask on the feeling of reflection and the thought that he himself had never had this is played across to the audience incredibly strongly, adding to the discourse of loneliness.
‘Cross Species Genetics’ is mentioned throughout the film. OSCORP a Genetics company headed by scientist Dr. Curt Connors, an amputee striving to create a world where limbs and organs can be grown in the way a lizard regenerates its own body parts. It could be said that the underlying discourse in this particular case is the moral panic of the world’s governments experimenting with the human body and the dangers it could bring. The danger in the case of the movie is a giant Lizard attacking the streets of manhatten but this helps to push forward the point.
Another discourse is that of the united America. In the film Spider-Man is shot in the leg and is struggling to reach his enemy at the top of OSCORP towers, the builders of Manhattan unite to create a path of cranes that he can swing from with his web, Spider-Man uses these cranes and reaches the towers and the city is saved. I feel that there is also links to the city of New York and that they stick together. I am reminded of 9/11 and the countless stories that went with it, New Yorker’s sticking together and helping eachother to the point of risking their own lives.
The film has now doesn’t aim to completely tie up Spider-Mans problems. It does though give us hints that he is going to have a relationship with Gwen against her fathers wishes. I believe the discourses are left unsolved to make way for the sequels to tie them up as the production company has already revealed plans for a second and third movie.
These are the main three discourses that stood out for me, lots more could have been mentioned. I firmly believe that the critics that say there is no meaning behind the blockbuster super hero movies are wrong. M stance is backed up extremely well by ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ a film that touches on lots of different subjects and issues.