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Go See Spider-Man 2

Published June 29, 2004 in MOVIE REVIEW
By Ryan Parsons | Campus Resource
Peter Parker [Maguire] faces performance anxiety, M.J. is fed up, and there seems to be no solution in sight. At least until Peter is introduced to his own identity crisis as he abandons his hero stature in order to get it on with M.J. [Dunst]. All while crime continues to rise with a mad, eight limbed, scientist on the loose.

Spider-Man 2, directed by the returning Sam Raimi, has a lot to live up to as it follows a wonderful original film along with tons of hype. And, as all have hoped, the film does for the Spider-Man series what X2: X-Men United did for the X-Men series, raises the bar so much further for comic-based films and action films in general.


Spider-Man 2- The Story


We are re-introduced to Peter Parker as he continues to fight crime in New York City. However, Peter's largest problem in Spider-Man 2 is not the villains but himself, or his identity. Peter Parker continuously faces performance issues such as web-slinging and wall-climbing; issues that get him needlessly hurt. Confronting this problem, Peter goes to his physician to figure out what is wrong. He soon discovers that the solution lies within himself as he must choose who he is, Spider-Man or Peter Parker.

Even though this idea seemed to reflect a lot of the central Batman issues [Bruce Wayne is Batman and must act to be Bruce Wayne, another case of a super hero identity crisis], Raimi gets the situation to come through even better in Peter's case as he is a young man faced with a betrayed best friend, a fed up love, poverty, and a depressed Aunt May. The idea of identity adds tons of dimension to this film as Peter must discover who he truly is and face the consequences of his decisions.


Spider-Man 3- The Film


Spider-Man 2 seemed to have a strange off pace beginning as it attempted to re-introduce the idea of its hero to the audience. This pace finally shrugs off after about fifteen minutes into the film. After this time the movie takes off and never seems to look back. Not only is it a great film in general, but it also offers some of the best moments of action, emotion, and comedy, enabling it to be remembered as a truly rare Summer film.

Just by watching the film it is apparent that Sam Raimi attempted to have more fun while also appeasing all fans, and I do mean all. A person of any sex or age should be able to see this film and enjoy it. Raimi gives each element [comedy, action, romance] of the film its own time to stand out and make itself known. You will see more tears in this film [a well executed attempt to show the heart involved in the Spidie story] along with much more brutal action.

In the case of Spider-Man 2, the 'G' in CGI should stand for graphic. For being a PG-13 rated film, Spider-Man 2 offers computer-generated scenes that are extremely graphic [except for the lack of actual blood] and dark. The action sequences also move much quicker with faster moves and attacks. Raimi repeatedly uses the power of CGI to power a larger portion of this movie than the original Spider-Man.

As noted in the previously released trailers, the entire cast is back including Dafoe. All of the cast continue to do a wonderful job as they excel their performances from the original. On that note, I found two characters to stand out above all; Doc Octavius played by Alfred Molina and Harry Osborn played by James Franco. Molina does a wonderful job playing the charismatic scientist gone mad as he attempts to do whatever it takes to finish his experiment for the 'betterment' of mankind. Franco, who I believed to be only a side character in the original film, now offers some of the deepest moments of the film. Blinded by the success of Oscorp, Osborn [Franco] begins the film as a young high-roller with not a care in the world [except, of course, a never ending desire for revenge on Spider-Man] as he works in the higher levels of his late father's company. However, when business turns to the gutter we are introduced to a new Harry Osborn who releases all of his problems onto Peter including the loss of M.J. and the death of his father. The rivalry between these best friends was a great addition to Spider-Man 2 and a perfect seg-way for Spider-Man 3.


Multi-Dimensional


I love it when action/comic book movies are able to give viewers a comic style script while also proving that comics can be just as deep as any other story. I thought this was very apparent in Spider-Man as Peter must face his 'responsibility' that came with his newfound powers. In Spider-Man 2, Peter faces a continuous barrage of real life matters including family, friends, love, money, and life. All of which are affected by him being Spider-Man. Many of the viewers will be able to relate to Peter as he is not a true Super-Hero but rather a Hero that must deal with the same problems that we all encounter in every-day life.

Final Judgement: Sam Raimi shows that even the best of films can have even better sequels. You will enjoy this film for its energy and heart with a cast and script that enables it to pull any person along for the ride. A
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