The first time I watched this movie I went in already biased against it. I wanted Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe where I believed he belonged. As far as I could tell, Sony (and by extension this movie) was preventing that from happening. From my perspective, the only thing keeping Spider-Man from joining the Avengers was sheer corporate greed. Nevermind that the only thing creating more Avengers movies was... sheer corporate greed.
It's been a while, but Spider-Man is back. Last time we saw him he was... dancing? But now we've got a new cast and a new villain, you know what that means: ORIGIN STORY, BABY! Peter Parker is an outcast high school student who is going to become Spider-Man - but how on Earth will it happen?
Since the days of Christopher Reeves as Superman, there's been a pretty consistent standard for comic book movies: Superhero movies are for everyone. That means they need to be kid-friendly, or at least PG-13. Sure, we'll let Tim Burton make a creepy Batman, every Punisher reboot can be an occasional exception, and Chris Nolan can haunt our nightmares with the Joker, but at the end of the day, comic book movies are PG-13. This is because in conventional wisdom, comic book movies are for kids and teenagers and so the movies should be made with those audiences and mind. Oh, and PG-13 is the sweet spot for making the most money, the driving factor behind every blockbuster film.
When I looked at my list of Marvel movies for my next article and saw "The Wolverine", I thought for sure there must be some mistake. After all, I wrote about that Wolverine movie last week! It took a moment to refresh my memory - there was another solo Wolverine film. And it involved Japan somehow. But when did it take place again? Was it after "Origins" but before "X-Men"? Or after "Last Stand"? I have definitely watched this movie before, but couldn't remember almost anything about it except the Japan part. So this week I got a chance to watch it for the first time... again.
Remember after the shaky ending to the X-Men trilogy, when it was announced that there would be a series of movies focused around individual characters in the X-Men Universe? They were going to start with Wolverine, then do Magneto, then maybe branch out to Gambit? Why on Earth didn't that happen? After all, the only thing they needed to do to ensure that this was a good idea was make sure the first "Origins" installment wasn't a total mess.