Monday, July 12, 2004

Spiderman 2 kicks ass

I saw Spiderman 2 on it's opening night, but I wanted to wait to see it again before I posted my "professional" review. Suffice to say the movie kicks ass in so many ways. The action, humor, and performances are top notch. Especially Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker.

Light spoilers follow...

We feel this guy's pain. To live the life of a *superhero* is rough and the rewards are slim. The movie starts with Tobey Maguire delivery pizzas to pay for school and his dwelling which you could hardly call an apartment ... more like half a studio. His landlord is a dick, Mary-Jane is all but out of his life because he has decided that it is too dangerous to pursue her, his best-friend and him have had a falling out due to the fact that he takes Spiderman's photos, and to top it all off he still feels tremendously guilty over his Uncle's death.

This is all dealt to the viewer in numerous scenes interdispersed with a healthy does of web-swingingy and a bit of crime fighting. All in all the introduction to the movie is great, and holds its own against the beginning of the original Spiderman. I personally like the beginning of the original better because we see Peter Parker become Spiderman. Obviously that can only happen once, but Sam Raimi does a good job of reintroducing the character and his dilemma's in the sequel.

Where the movie steals the show from its predecessor is with the main conflict: Doctor Octopus, or Doc Ock as JJ Jameson aptly borrows from one of his underlings. (By the way JJ Jameson is spot on in this movie as well). There is a whole "fusion" plot device that seems quite contrived, but it is forgivable (to be honest I do not know if that is how Doc Ock gets his mechanical arms in the comic book). Once the Doc's arms become fused to his spine the fun factor of the movie jumps into a higher great. Especially cool is a scene where the tentacles are about to be surgically removed ...

I do not want to go into too much more detail about the plot; suffice to say the action is incredible and the romantic core of the movie is handled very well. It is not cheesy by any means.

I mentioned humor early. Although the movie takes itself seriously, it knows when to let up and show its lightheartedness. The comedic elements of the movie are sprinkled nicely throughout, sometimes even whole scenes are devoted to the laugh factor.

But each scene, whether comedic or not plays its part in the movie's ultimate message that "With great power there must come great responsibility" ... We are witnessing the growth of a young man who does not exactly want the power that he has been dealt. His life is by no means normal, he has a crappy job, the woman he loves and that loves him he has chosen to push away, his best-friend is Spiderman's biggest hater ... you get the point.  By the end we see Peter Parker come to grips with what he has to do and how he must act around the loved ones around him. To give anything else away would spoil the fun for you.
 
Four of Five stars.

1 comment:

Johnny said...

Stars? Stars!? What about webbies, or octo claws, or spiders even. C'mon, you can do better than stars.

Consequently, you are going to have to see this movie again for a third (or perhaps even your fourth by now) when I get back. To do any less would be a devastating blow to our friendship.

best from budapest,
johnny

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