Monday, July 05, 2004

Film Review: Spider-Man 2

.:Film Review: Spider-Man 2:.

You know the drill, of course. SPOILERS AHEAD!!!

Spider-Man 2
He holds two jobs at the same time, and he's a student. Doesn't that sound like someone I know?

Spider-Man 2 is certainly following the trend of sequels improving on their predecessors. While the acting for the second film seemed almost campy, there were a lot of great moments in the film that more than made up for it.

The story picks up from where the first film left off, although this time, it showed a conflict that Peter Parker was being daunted with. While he wants to use his powers to the betterment of others, he also needs to juggle a social life, classes, and two jobs at the same time. This clearly becomes problematic for him because he can only do so much, to the point that he is asking himself where he should instead stand.

Like a house of cards, Peter's life was falling apart. His grades were falling, he lost his delivery job, he's barely breaking even in the Bugle, and now, his possible romance with MJ is all but shut out with her engagement to JJJ's son. What makes this all particularly nasty is that at the same time, one of Peter's personal idols, Dr. Otto Octavius, has turned himself into an eight-limbed super-criminal by the name of Doctor Octopus, through four tentacles attached to his back that ended up controlling him after an inhibitor chip he wore to prevent such an occurrence from happening exploded in his attempt to make a renewable and limitless energy source that led to the death of his wife and the near-bankruptcy of OsCorp, the company owned by Peter's best friend, Harry Osborn. All this time, Harry is searching for Spider-Man, believing that Spider-Man has killed his father.

It got to a point that Peter was starting to lose his powers, and with it, his motivation to continue as Spider-Man. He ends up wanting to live a normal life again instead, and decides to give up being Spider-Man, making JJ Jameson the happiest man on Earth. Of course, at this time, Doc Ock is trying to rebuild his failed experiment, and is robbing banks just to be able to amass the money for it. With Peter slowly getting back on track and even possibly stealing away MJ from her fiancee, the call for him to become Spider-Man again grows stronger with Doc Ock's presence culminating in Dock Ock's kidnapping of MJ.

In the end, Spider-Man rushes to rescue MJ, making his identity know to Doc Ock, MJ, Harry, and a few other people in the process. It turns out that Doc Ock had a change of heart at the end of the film, as he managed to regain control over the tentacles and somewhat undo his errors.

There were lots of liberties taken with the actual story in the comics, but I'm not particularly complaining about it. For instance, the main deviation from the comics this film would have to be how Doc Ock was characterized as a good-natured person instead of the merciless but personal rules-abiding villain that he is in the comic books. Still, it gave a more human side to Otto Octavius, who would've been a perfect villain had he not resorted going shirtless on far too many scenes.

The comedy in this film was top-notch, especially that elevator scene where Spider-Man, bereft of powers, decided to take the elevator instead, and encountered someone else who ended up asking him about his costume. Pretty funny stuff, really.

The action this film was top-notch. I personally liked the fight scenes in this film quite a lot more than I liked that of the first, whose fight scenes seemed even inferior to Daredevil's. Nonetheless, I had no major complaints, if any at all, about Spider-Man 2, especially when it comes to how the story panned out. Nobody needs to find the deeper meaning of life in this film, after all, although there was still room for philosophy in this film, as was characterized by the hero dialogue between Peter and his Aunt May.

Unless you genuinely hate Spider-Man with a passion, I see no reason for anyone to miss this film. This one has it all: great action, amazing characterization (If you forgive the deviation from the comics, that is.), and even splendid comedy. One can only hope that the third film wouldn't really feature another Green Goblin in the form of Harry Osborn this time... let's see someone like Venom or even Electro first...

Marcelle's “Fun” Evaluation: A+
Marcelle's “Critical” Evaluation: A

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