Andrew Garfield Too Cool For Peter Parker?


Does this look cool to you?

People nit picking Amazing Spider-Man 2 is expected. Given enough time I can watch Citizen Kane, Gone With the Wind, and Casablanca, 3 of the greatest movies in history, and find countless things wrong with those movies. Every movie is going to have diehard fans that will tear the movie apart no matter what; just take a look at some of the Harry Potter fans. After watching Amazing Spider-Man 2 this weekend I couldn’t wait to talk to fellow comic fans and see what they thought about the movie. Many of their points about what could have been done better were very valid, but the one point I cannot get over that people keep making is that Andrew Garfield played Peter Parker too cool. They argue that Peter in the comics was a bigger nerd than how Andrew portrayed him. Ugg let’s get started on how this is not as cut and dry as people think. Warning, spoilers are ahead.

By no means am I the be all to end all of Spider-Man history, but after 25 plus years of reading and collecting Spider-Man comics I know my fair share of Spidey history. When people say Garfield is too cool to be Peter it makes cringe a little. Let’s start with the Amazing Spider-Man. There is a scene in the movie where Peter beats Flash in a basketball game and Flash is greatly embarrassed that he, the star jock, was beaten by a nerd. However, did everyone after the game come and support Peter because he beat the school bully? No, as a matter of fact he was shunned even more after that. It’s been a while since I’ve been in High School, but when someone stood up or took the school bully down he became a big deal at my school. Times might have changed but I think this would still be a big deal.

“Andy, we see Andrew do all these cool things in the movie, like skateboard, and standing up to the clerk in the store, and going after the girl” as well as some other points. The skateboarding scene was set up so that way only Garfield and the audience were there. He wasn’t showing off for anyone, he was just exploring his new powers. There are countless moments in the comic books that we the fans see Peter do something that no one else sees. An example is in Amazing Fantasy #15 when Peter jumps out of the way of a car, climbs the a wall, and crushes a pipe with his bare hands. That was pretty cool and no one was around, like the skateboard scene. As for Garfield standing up to the clerk over being a few cents short for milk, this is very similar to the scene in the 2002 movie where Peter stand up to the Wrestling Promoter over his winnings for beating Crusher. In the comic the promoter gives Spider-Man the money, but in the Tobey Maguire movie Peter stands up to the promoter and lets the bugler get away.  People who think Garfield is too cool like Tobey’s portrayal of “nerdier” Peter more, however both the 2002 and the 2012 movies have a scene where Peter stands up for himself.  So if Tobey is a nerdy Peter, but your argument to Andrew being to cool is the clerk scene, Tobey did the same thing but in a different scenario.

“Andy, Peter would never go after a girl while he was still in high school, he wasn’t cool enough. But Garfield went after the girl; therefore he played Peter too cool.” Saying Peter wouldn’t go after the girl is not true. Let’s take a look at a good chunk of Peter’s past female interest: Mary Jane Watson, Charlie Cooper, Ultimate Kitty Pryde, Sara Bailey (look it up great story), Ms. Marvel, Debra Whitman, and Black Cat (ok that one was Spidey, but still counts). “Andy, all the women on the list Peter went after while he was in college. I said as a high school kid he would never go after a girl. Yes those girls were after college (except Kitty); however, people seem to forget early issues of Spider-Man had Peter go after Liz Allen and Betty Brant while he was still in High School. In fact, Liz was Flash’s girlfriend and he still went for her. Betty was an older woman that this high school kid tried to date as well. That seems pretty cool to me, and that was comic Peter.

Let’s move on to the second Amazing movie. During the graduation scene, Garfield only hung out with his Aunt and Gwen; if he was so cool wouldn’t he have more friends? Also, after the graduation he didn’t go to any parties he just went to Gwen’s dinner to break up with her and then head home. You never see Garfield with anybody his age beside Gwen and his 2 scenes with Harry. If you were “cool,” wouldn’t you have more friends?  Peter was a nerd in the Amazing movies and Garfield portrayed him as such. In the first ASM movie he explained science babble to Dr. Conner and helped him at Oscorp. Garfield made his own web shooters and in ASM 2 figured out how to make them shock proof, yea I never would had thought of that. The final point which shows that Garfield’s Peter was enough of a nerd is after he saved the kid from the bullies, he knew what the kid’s science project was after only looking at it for 2 seconds. I would have thought it was a windmill. Andrew’s portrayal of Peter was Amazing!

Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinions. My opinion is not right or wrong. It is right to me, and if you think Andrew was too cool, that’s okay too.  There are always going to be things someone doesn’t like. You can’t make everyone happy all the time. Trust me, there are some things in ASM and ASM 2 that I did not agree with. Until next time, keep enjoying your Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man.