Monday, June 28, 2004

warning: do not read the following entry if you are not a self-confessed nerd.

i just got back from a sneak preview of spiderman 2 and it was rad and, like everyone is saying, better than the first one. everything that was good about the first movie is there in the second, except multiplied by two or three. this franchise is really proving itself as a standout from typical comic book fare in a number of ways. first of all, it's funny. there are some genuinely humorous moments in the film that feel natural rather than forced. the j. jonah jameson character continues to prove laugh-worthy and peter parker as a can't-win charlie brown, while overused, is well-acted by tobey maguire. another exceptional quality is the movie's humanity. it makes peter the sort of personality with whom one can identify in the way that a bruce wayne type never is. the action scenes were a million times better as well. there was far less noticeable computer imagery, though the scene in which spidey acts as a cross between stretch armstrong and mel gibson in braveheart proves an exception to that. many of the sequences at the beginning left me with the realization that i had not managed to breath for minutes at a time as i was so stressed out. one unfortunate oversight was the fact that not enough fights took advantage of both spiderman's and dr. octopus's ability to walk on walls. that considered, most any fight would be an improvement on the green goblin. i'll be honest, for a while, i was thinking to myself that the movie was not really proving itself that much better than the original, but the many endings made me eat my words. i am usually unhappy with the endings of most films, but this one left me pleased. sam raimi is truly dedicated to making these quality films and it shows.
there were bad aspects, of course. james franco, who is so awesome at the end of the movie, is so irritating at the beginning. he, as harry, keeps whining to peter about spiderman, using nearly the same lines each time. also, there is the standard comic book cheese: "the delicious john jameson"? mj remains an un-engaging character and a lot of the interraction between her and peter is hard to swallow. she kind of redeems herself in the end, though.
so basically, if you liked the first movie, you will love this one. if you're not susceptible to the charms of a well-made comic book film, clearly, stay away.