spiderman and the neo united states image

spiderman 3

the recent showing of the third installment of the spiderman movie brought the world closer to a hero that shares the same experiences and trials with it. the audience embraced the development of a character who longs for acceptance, a persona who experiences defeat, an individual who enjoys moments of prestige, a lover who feels the pain and the joys of love, and a hero who faces the opportunity costs of juggling his priorities over his responsibilities.

since spiderman’s entrance to the big screen, superman’s all-powerful, testosterone-oozing patriarchal image has been replaced by the web slinging hero’s flexible, and more humanistic image.

superman, being the epitome of the indestructible hero and the man of steel, has long been taken by scholars and analysts as a subtle symbol used by the united states to showcase their power and dominance over the world. the presence of the man of steel on cinemas around the globe somehow brought a stiff figure of a savior to its audience’s psyche; a figure of a savior far from their experiences, a hero in the sky.

spiderman, the hero who faces internal and external issues with himself, his family, his love-life, his friends, and his society, broke the myth that heroes are nothing but more than human. the film’s presentation of spiderman having more human than superhuman qualities made the hero a more effective figure closer to the hearts of the audience.

the humanistic qualities (someone who experiences
love, hope, anger, pain, revenge, friendship, betrayal and jealousy) of spiderman in the film made him the best candidate to carry the colors of the american flag.

as much as i would like to veer away from thinking that the movie may have been filled with political and social undertones, that one scene from the movie where spiderman had the american flag as his background confirmed all my fears. the signs were all there; laid perfectly for the audience to decipher the pretty obvious subtext of the movie- that anyone may have done grave and ugly things to the eyes of the world, but it has its reasons to back it up.

spiderman’s battle with the sandman, can be interpreted as america’s war with iraq. despite the sandman’s unyielding power, he still explained himself to our hero. of course, as expected, spiderman forgave the sandman at the end of the film. what i liked about the spidey-sandman scene was the confession part where both parties’ confessed their shortcomings and their basis for doing their acts. that very scene was one of the many reasons for the movie to be considered great.

aside from the web shots, the black suite, the spine tingling eye rolling, neck straining fight sequences with the goblin, venom and the sandman, the movie has matured in storyline as well as the actors’ delivery and interpretation of their acts. the facial reactions, the timing of the line delivery and the acting of the actors contributed much to the film’s overall success.

the recurring themes of addiction to power, love, jealousy, betrayal, trust, success, acceptance, anger and lust made this movie installment better from the first two.

delving deeper on the human aspects of spiderman’s persona, the movie has told the audience that anyone can be spiderman. anybody can be a hero in their own; a hero who experiences success and defeat, a hero who faces trials and tests, a hero who loves, a hero who does stupid things, and a hero that is human.

i was an audience caught among the strands of the political, the social and the emotional webs of spiderman 3. i was an inspired audience who saw from the movie the values of life that all things have a basis, all things are interrelated and all things change.


L.A said...


Hindi yata kayang i-relate si SM3 sa Irag wars nice analysis.

Wait is this superman vs. SM? or is it iraqi vs. americans?

Well if both goes the same way am buying for spiderman!!!

again nice preposition of data between spiderman and iraq. :)

Anonymous said...

My god. A popup. ^_^
I couldn't agree more, bulitas about the sociopolitical issues tagged with Spidey that you raised. Also, spiderman is more loved because he's more human than everybody else. Not superman. Not the X-Men.

Oh, is it true that Spidey is bland?

Anonymous said...

I agree with the argument between Superman and Spiderman. Spiderman's human enough, and well, in the third installment, he even had issues about himself - which made him, I guess, more of a 'hero'.

Hmm, I've seen that scene. But never thought of anything symbolic.

Well, I never expected that the movie wasn't that good. It lacks action scenes. It's drama. T_T


Billycoy said...

I never thought of that.

but still, i felt bored watching the movie, they could have deleted some scenes to hasten things a bit.

the movie is 2 hours, but it felt like 3.

i will rate it to mediocre.

but your analysis is great.

Jhed said...


This is a very interesting review for Spidey. Well, it's not actually a review, isn't it?

At least may nabasa akong bago tunkol sa latest installment ng Spiderman. People say it's bland and boring.. well, malalaman ko yan sa Sabado. Haha!

But nonetheless, interesting way to look at Spidey.

Anonymous said...

bakit parang ngayon lang nakabasa ng ganito mga readers mo? dapat lang naman na maging kritikal tayo sa lahat nang napapanood natin. yung play date pa nga lang ng spidey, may 1, (3 araw bago ang premiere sa amerika) isyu na saken yun, itapat ba sa labor day! paano ipaaalala at ituturo sa mga mas nakababata sa'tin ang esensya ng labor day kung ang atensyon ay nakatutok kay spidey?!
agit ako, may reklamo?

di ka pa nagtetext saken, huy, naisip ko pwede tayong maglagay ng videoke machine sa entrada ng makiling gallery. discuss natin sa meeting. babayu!:)

leia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
leia said...

Yep, I too did not miss Spidey with the American flag in the background. And I couldn't help but recall an old article of U Eliserio in the Perspective about Spiderman and its politial/social implications.

Story-wise, I though S3 was too crammed, resulting with characters whose depth was half-baked. But the action packed scenes were eye candy enough. Haha, and especially seeing Peter Parker with the goth/punk look!

Raein said...

I really don't think it was meant to be symbolic :| Hardly. Far far far from it.

Yeah (@leia), half-baked is the word you're looking enough. And they focused too much on eye-candy. For me, anyway.

Anonymous said...

anlalim ng spiderman view mo ah..

ako naiisip ko lang d2 ung kaaway ko, este kaibigan ko (kunwari) haha :P - ako si harry cya ang bida. awww...

pero nde ko pa pala 'to napapanood! ampness!

rhyme bud ung raket naten!! haha
ung tungkol sa tinext mo saken na movie wala ata eh.. nde ako sure. nde ko pa napapanood lahat eh. mononoke palang. wahehe.. dami kong on queue na dvd titles eh.

sephthedreamer said...

yo irvin. nice analysis. eh noong pinanood namin to, namangha lang ako sa action scenes eh. meron palang ganun yun. hehe. wassap.

Ocnarf said...

The flag really disturbed me. I mean, they knew all along that this movie was expected to be something big ALL AROUND THE WORLD. They're either doing yet another shameless plug of America, or positing the idea that Spider-Man is an American who can only save his fellow Americans, something EXCLUSIVE to Americans. Or something.

Either way, it pisses me off.

Nice metaphor for Sandman, by the way. To think that a character whose first appearance was about forty years ago could be put in an issue as current as this.

Anonymous said...

Waw man... your interpretation is waaaaaaaaaaaaay deep LOL... anyway man good luck looking for a job!

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