Q&A Friday #3: Spider-Man 2

Question: “Would you agree with me that Spider Man II is nothing more than a series of tired cliches and melodramatic, pseudo-tormented souls? Thumbs down on this one.” — huckupchuck

Answer: Maybe I’m biased because Spider-Man was my favorite comic as a kid, but I thought it was a blast to see a super-hero whose secret identity was interfering in his regular life. For heroes like Superman & Batman, life just didn’t seem that tough for them when they weren’t crime fighting. But, Peter Parker? His alternate identity is crimping his style. He’s working as a freelance photographer & a pizza delivery boy and he still can’t make ends meet. His aunt might lose her house and he really can’t help. He can’t date the love of his life because he’s afraid she might get hurt. His grades at college are failing because he’s missing classes and can’t find time to study. And why? So he can swing around the city saving people’s lives and get vilified for it in the Daily Bugle. You may think it was about “tired cliches and melodramatic, pseudo-tormented souls,” but I thought the movie did a great job of making you relate to Peter Parker because he’s struggling & sacrificing so much to do the right thing.

Furthermore, there were so many great characters in the movie. Peter Parker, Mary Jane, & Aunt May were all still very likable. Doc Ock was a magnificent villain, a character that was menacing and sympathetic at the same time (and on a side note, the operating room scene right after the fusion accident was incredibly well done). Heck, even ole J. Jonah Jameson did a great job of providing comic relief.

However, I don’t want to give the impression that I liked everything about the movie. My biggest beef was that Spider-Man kept taking off or losing his mask. I mean, is he not supposed to have a “secret” identity? Isn’t this the same guy who’s terrified his loved ones will get hurt? But heck, a bazillion people know who he is by the end of the movie. Furthermore, I thought the CGI enhanced action in the original movie was superior to the CGI only action in this one. That’s not because the CGI was bad, it wasn’t, but CGI only action (which was necessary because of Doc Ock’s tentacles I’m sure) just doesn’t look as real or believable as CGI enhanced action. Last but not least, I thought the dialogue was a bit stilted in places, particularly Aunt May’s dialogue with Peter as he helps her move a few things later in the movie.

That being said, I give the movie a thumbs up and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend that anyone take the kids to see it in the theater. It’s not quite as good as the first one, but it’s a good movie, with a good message behind it.

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