Spider-Man v. The Cops

No matter how much I think the Spider-Man reboot is utterly unnecessary, I have to admit it looks like a lot of fun:

A couple of thoughts: I’m relieved that the movie is acknowledging that someone other than the scientific community, riders of random subway cars, and J. Jonah Jameson notice that a dude in a funny suit is messing with the city’s criminals. It makes sense that an escalation of tensions in the underworld that leads to massive property damage and physical fights would pop up on the NYPD’s radar and that they’d have an interest in what’s going down. Dennis Leary is great as a cantankerous, drunk, or otherwise difficult representative of city government (he is the best part of The Thomas Crown Affair remake), and he’s got the perfect mein to pull off a portrayal of a man who is personally and professionally deeply irritated by Spider-Man. If the Powers adaptation ends up not happening, at least we’ll have something.

Second, the Gwen Stacy storyline in the Spider-Man universe is awesome and heartbreaking. And if this iteration of the franchise wants to honestly grapple with superheroic hubris and the limitations of superpowers when the go up against the laws of physics and the odds, it would be wonderful if they followed that original template. Being a teenager—as well as being a depressed middle-aged billionaire—is a dark thing. And I don’t mean in a getting-infected-with-venom-and-going-to-jazz-clubs kind of way. It’d be nice to see a movie franchise that recognizes that not everyone makes it out of that period okay, and that having superpowers may increase the kinds of risks you can take, but it doesn’t mean you’re utterly protected.