Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Spider-man 2: Holy tortured soul, Batman!

I resisted Spider-man 2 for a long time. I really enjoy superhero movies but I remember distinctly disliking Spider-man 1 enough so that we stopped watching in the middle of it. I can't remember what irked me so - was it Peter Parker's annoying Aunt May, or the saccharine-sweet MJ? I borrowed Spider-man 2 from my library so the price was right. This was the second time I did so because I chickened out the first.

My second problem with Spider-man is that while Tobey Maguire embodies Peter Parker's youthful spirit his appearance is so...youthful. That makes it hard for me to find him "hot" in any sense of the word. I have to look on him as "cute" in a motherly sort of way and that makes me feel old. Maybe that's why I like X-Men so much. I'm salivating over X-Men. It has attractive superheros for all ages.

Spider-man 2 starts out with Peter in crisis. He is living in one of the most expensive cities in the world and he's broke. MJ has ditched him for his unreliable loser ways, he's just lost his job delivering pizza, he's about to fail his class and Aunt May is losing her home because she's broke too. Plus he's late on the rent in his crappy apartment. It really needed a shot of the cockroaches because a hole like that surely has them. I thought we spent a little too much time detailing his loserdom but maybe all the young whippersnappers needed to truly understand where Spidey was at. I could have used more crime fighting during this period.

I really liked Alfred Molina as Doc Ock. He brought a sensual earnestness to the role. He wasn't just a cold hearted scientist he was a lover with a beautiful wife. I liked the creepy way they attached the arms to his body. It made my skin crawl. J.K. Simmons again made a perfect J. Jonah Jameson. He seemed like a cartoon character himself, brash and loud with his mustache and buzz cut hair.

MJ. Mary Jane. I know she's supposed to represent the girl next door, vibrant, sweet and alive. But she just doesn't do it for me. The one thing I will say is that Kirsten is a good match for Tobey. She doesn't look too old and she doesn't have any boobs. Any sexier and it would have given folks that uneasy feeling I was worried about in paragraph two. Casting should be credited for that.

While I liked this movie overall I did have a teeny problem with the CGI. Spidey looked great swinging between the buildings but the fight scenes looked like a cartoon. Spider-man looked too much like a Stretch Armstrong doll as he fought Doctor Octopus. I guess it was to be expected. No stunt people could jump around and stick to buildings the way the computer Spidey can.

The movie proceeds as expected and has a boring ending after the big fight. The filmmakers do leave a nifty option open for a third movie. Will I see it? Only if I can borrow it from my library.

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