Friday, July 23, 2004

The Last Spiderman II review:

Yeah I know it's old news, but I'm facing a layoff at work and what with the convention and last week's show at the Zeitgeist...I'm running behind.
Fortunately though, I had the good fortune to see the Spidey sequel at the Tri Town Drive In 3 Youngs Road Lunenberg Mass (978-345-5062)...which thanks to it's hu-uge outdoor screen is the perfect venue for any summer blockbuster no matter what!
So given all that was I impressed with Spiderman II...well sort of...
The whole subtext of the film revolves around Peter Parker (Tobey McGuire) and his ambivalence with his heroic role as Spiderman. For a brief time he seems to lose his powers and tries to live as a normal human being with mixed results. Now why exactly Spiderman's abilities fail him isn't made clear....the issue may be psychosomatic.
All this is fine, but since much of Parker's angst comes from his unresolved relationship with girl friend Mary Jane one gets a very strong whiff of Superman II off the script.
Which brings us to the film's strange repetition of un-maskings...Spiderman is un-masked by one of his enemies, he take it off inexplicably as a prelude to saving a subway car and then of course he has to show Mary Jane the truth. Once would've been fine, three time betrays a lack of creativity.
And then there is the film's villain "Dr. Octopus" (Alfred Molina) a reluctant cyborg who fulfills a contract taken out on Spiderman by Peter Parker's best friend Harry Osborne. The Doc needs money to finish off his dangerous fusion experiments...thus imperiling New York City quite nicely at the climax.
Or not....if case you are wondering a out of control nuclear fusion experiment can be safely doused with the salubrious waters of the East River.
However the film is impeccably cast, McGuire was born to the role, Alfred Molina is a suitably conflicted villain and everyone else rises to the occasion with wit and grace. The action scenes are even better than the original and Sam Raimi's direction has never been more assured.
It is just that the movie has these weird deadspots in them that could've been easily edited out. Peter Parker's schlep-like inability to score a canape' at a ritzy reception-once is funny but the gag is repeated three times in five minutes to the point where I felt like screaming "just track down a candy machine you jerk!"

All in all though, I give it a B+ well worth the money at the going rate.

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