Spiderman (Tobey Maguire) is back, this time fighting self-doubt, stress, exhaustion, and Aunt May's mortgage. Oh, and a new villain named Doctor Octopus, a brilliant scientist driven mad by his invention (aren't they all?).
What I Thought
I feel as if I need to write two reviews. Before I get to that, I saw the movie in IMAX format, which is the super-large screen with digital sound, etc, etc. It sounded and looked great! In other words, almost as good as my big-screen TV.
Here is my first review, addressed to non-comic book people:
You're probably not going to like the movie. It's slow, toned down, a lot less excitement and action, and contains some really cheesy scenes. Plenty of that sucky computer generated Spider Man that looks like CGI. And we get to watch a chubby villain (Alfred Molina) spew his boring lines.
Finally, for those of you who are true fans of comic books:
This movie rocks! Tobey is awesome as Spiderman (of course!). This is a very superior movie to the first one. The storyline takes its time to build, it doesn't hurry anything along. There's plenty of emphasis on Peter Parker's relationships with Mary Jane and Aunt May. You also see Mr. Superhero struggling with his jobs and getting fired, his classes and failing them, his rent, and finally his super-identity.
This movie is also a great comic book movie. No, it doesn't bring back the "BAM!" from the old Batman series. Comic books have to tell a fulfilling story in under 20 pages and with minimal dialog. They tend to be a little cheesy, moralistic, and to the point. So when Peter Parker dumps his Spiderman costume, we get a freeze-frame of his smiling face as bad music plays in the background. We also get Aunt May's wonderful "everyone needs a hero" speech. But these aren't negatives. In the context of this movie, they work, and you get a little flavor of comic-book-ness.
I also got a kick out of my favorite character of all time being mentioned. When going through the list of possible names for Doc. Octopus, J. Jonah Jameson mentions Dr. Strange. That made my day.
There's a great funny appearance by Hal Sparks (formerly of Talk Soup and Dude, Where's My Car (Zoltan!) and currently on Queer as Folk) as Elevator Passenger. Oh, and Stan Lee (the creator of Spiderman, the X-Men, Dr. Strange, and many others) is listed in the credits as Man Dodging Debris, but I didn't see him anywhere.
The only disappointment is in knowing who the next villain is. I'm not going to say more to not give it away, but I hope the costume department re-thinks it...
Anyway, to you Spiderman and/or comic book fans, this is a really fun movie to see.
All photos and text copyright Ryszard Kilarski, unless otherwise noted. Clip art, drawings, paintings are either free domain or copyrighted by the artists.