Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Anybody call for a web-slinger? 

Spiderman 2. Its better than the first, but its nothing to rave about. I enjoyed the first installment, too, but the flaws in that one didn't really reveal themselves to me on the first viewing. Spidey 2, however, has several moments that made me cringe.

1. Biggest pet peeve is when characters verbalize their internal monologue. It happens at least three times that I can remember and is COMPLETELY unnecessary. It's the stuff that bad screenwriting and, hell, even bad comic books are made of. Example, Harry Osbourne rushes out of a building after chaos. Harry, "ARGH! I'm ruined! Now, all I have left is Spiderman..." Or Peter contemplating his choices while standing by the window. It's just plain stupid. Painfully stupid.

2. James Franco is simply awful. Quite a shame after I thought he turned in a rather decent performance in the first one. This, sadly, was the most poorly handed story line in the film. I say "sadly" because it is also the one with the most potential.

3. There are times when this film fails to use any real physical space which is very distracting. Example: Spiderman is in the middle of the Hudson River, no buildings or any such thing around, and shoots a web to sling away. This happens a couple times.

4. Is it wrong for Aunt May to have more screentime than Doc Ock? Yes. There was a point in the film when they returned to Doc Ock's lab and I thought, "oh yeah, he's still in this movie."


5. I don't understand taking the mask off in public as many times as he does. The first instance, on the train, fine. I'll give them that for they way it was resolved. But the climax versus Doc Ock? No, sir. Didn't make sense. His identity, remarkably, is anything but secret by the time the movie's over.

6. The one thing that confused me that most confused me were the terms of Peter's mental block -- the reason his powers were fading/faded. Follow me, if you please. When they recall the burning building scene and Peter rushes in to save a child, it takes place after the "Rain Drops Keep Falling on my Head" montage, a montage clearly indicating that things are much much better with him. Why, then, is it such a struggle for him to escape the burning building and save the child? He should logically have full use of his powers. It's something that bothered me while it was in play.

However, the action sequences are pretty great and I thought Doctor Octopus was very menacing. The scene with him slaughtering the doctors in the operating room is particularly cool. Reminiscent of Raimi's earlier days.

On the whole, its better than the first because there is simply more to it. Spidey 1 was really skin and bones, 2 has a little more meat to the story. I just wish the script had one final rewrite. It's so close to being a really solid movie. If you're going to see it at all, do it in the theater.

*Stupid Celebrity Glimpse Note*

George Carlin and Jack Black were among the many who had the priveledge of being in the same theater as me at 12:35 a.m. Feeling a little sleepy.

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