Monday, November 23, 2009

Spider-Man 2

Spider-Man 2; Action drama, USA, 2004; D: Sam Raimi, S: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Alfred Molina, J.K. Simmons, Rosemary Harris, Dylan Baker

Peter Parker found a new apartment in New York, but is unable to find a job. His big love Mary Jane became an actress and engaged herself to Harry, who still hates Spider-Man because he thinks he killed his father. The new villain is Dr. Octavius, a scientist with 4 mechanical arms, who creates a dangerous source of energy. He dies during an experiment, while Mary and Harry discover that Peter is Spider-Man.

A long time ago, only "Terminator 2" and "Aliens" were sequels considered better than the original. In the meantime, that stopped being an endemic phenomenon. "Spider-Man 2" is in absolutely every aspect, absolutely every detail superior to the 1st film, a story where director Sam Raimi and screenwriter Alvin Sargent somehow managed to gain the upper hand compared to the producers and actually dared to film something new, which is why the sequel is, disregarding the banal-wacky bad guy Dr. Octavius, truly interesting. The biggest change is that "Spider-Man 2" is this time a drama, a quiet social critique of the world (Peter barely survives due to his financial difficulties!) with enough emotions to fill even "Terms of Endearment" and a fantasy part that serves as a catalyst of the relationships of the characters.

The brilliant action choreography is still there, but this time it seems as if it is just a sly pretext for the long dramatic scenes in between in which the authors actually wanted to say something. The film is filled with memorable moments that flow so naturally: in one scene, Peter, with Pizzas in his hand, hides behind a corner and shows up again as Spider-Man, while some passer-by shouts: "Look! Spider-Man stole that guy's Pizzas!" After his powers start to fade away, Spider-Man has to get off a building in an elevator, where some curious man also enters it and observes the superhero. Some super-hero cliches are still there, yet there are also some scenes that have never before been seen in any kind of super-hero film so far. Especially fascinating is the montage of a carefree Peter in tune to the classic song "Rain Drops Keep Fallin' On My Head". Who ever placed that song there is a genius.


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