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Monday, August 04, 2014

Movie Review:Spider-Man 2

Premise:Whilst trying to keep his relationship with Mary Jane afloat, Spider-Man also has to deal with a scientist turned supervillain.

Cast:Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane Watson, Alfred Molina as Dr. Otto Octavius/Doctor Octopus, James Franco as Harry Osborn, Rosemary Harris as
Aunt May, J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson, Daniel Gilles as John Jameson, Donna Murphy as Rosalie Octavius

Director:Sam Raimi

MPAA Rating:PG-13 for stylized action violence

Genres:Sci-fi, action

Notes:Poster taken from IMP Awards.

Pros:Genuine grief. A couple of quips.

Cons:Annoying romance. Overhyped villain. Rehashes the first movie's plot. Several things don't make sense. Several pointless scenes.

Now in college, Peter Parker's still working hard as a superhero and a struggling student. Aunt May is still mourning Uncle Ben, Mary Jane is upset with Peter, and Harry wants revenge on Spider-Man.

Have you ever seen a movie that everyone went on and on about how it's so great, then you saw it and thought "What's the big deal?" That's what I think about this.

The creators seem to go out of their way to make you hate MJ in this film. She cheats on her fiance, abandons him on their wedding day, and plays the damsel-in-distress role again, as well as chewing out Peter for not coming to her show. I realize you're disappointed, but you don't need to treat your friend like crap over it. The fact that Peter spends the movie pining for her doesn't help matters.

I've heard people that Doctor Octopus (aka Doc Ock) is "deep" and "complex", and other such things that make it sound like he's on the same level with Loki or Mr. Freeze. The truth is he's not. Instead of actually making him an evil character, his arms control him. And it's not his wife's death that causes him so much pain. No, it's not successfully finishing his project.

Aunt May didn't seem to have much of a role here besides grieve for her husband and give Peter someone to get sweet, cheesy advice from. But I did like the part when they talked about Uncle Ben.

And now for the plot problems and coincidences. When Doc Ock takes a hostage at random, it just so happens to be Aunt May. When he needs someone alive, he throws a car at him. An entire train of people sees Peter's face, but somehow his identity stays secret. Spider-Man's powers stop working for an unexplained reason that barely has any relevance.

I can name several scenes that could have been left out without any problems. The opening credits where nothing actually happens, the elevator scene, the pizza delivery, the constant Peter-reaches-for-something-but-someone-else-grabs-it-first, Peter watching a guy getting beat up and doing nothing, testing his for-whatever-reason-not-working powers. And am I the only one who noticed the plot is almost exactly the same as the first movie? Peter crushes on Mary Jane, she's put in danger, they break up, a scientist turns himself into a monster.

So this one is not nearly as good as advertised. If you got really into the first, then you should watch this. But otherwise, I don't recommend it.

Sex:Characters kiss. Guys go shirtless. Women wear outfits that show their cleavage or midriff. Harry tells Peter Mary Jane isn't over him. As mentioned, Mary Jane cheats on her fiancee. Before that, she and Peter talk about picking up their relationship again.
Ursula, the daughter of Peter's landlord, has a crush on Peter. Spider-Man mentions his costume rides up in the crotch. A man is described as heroic, handsome, and delicious.

Violence:The first time Octavius tries to use his big project, it ends up destroying a building and injuring several people. A woman dies after she's hit by glass shards (though her body looks undamaged). A train almost crashes. A car is thrown through a window, nearly hitting a couple. There's a car chase which results in one vehicle going flying. The villain threatens to peel the flesh from a woman's bones.
When a group of doctors and nurses try to remove Doc Ock's tentacles, they're thrown, dragged, and killed. The tentacles also toss one car into another, rip the door off a bank vault, try to crush someone's head, and throw people and objects. The big evil plan puts the city (and Mary Jane) in danger.
Peter goes into a burning building to save a little girl. He overhears firefighters mentioning someone who didn't make it out. A hostage whacks her captor in the head with her umbrella. Another hostage tries to do something similar later, only to be thrown aside. Windows and structures are torn up. A guy is beat up in an alley. A man is electrocuted. Someone drowns. Guys shoot at Spider-Man. He and the bad guy beat each other up.

Drugs/Alcohol:A bad guy smokes a cigar. Characters drink a few times. A man grabs a bottle when the bartender tries to take it.

Language:"G*d", "h*ll", "a**", "crap", and "L*rd".

A woman grabs onto a statue of what looks like a saint or an angel to keep herself from falling. She looks at the statue and says "Thank you." Another woman mentions getting married in a church.

So what did you think? Was it a masterpiece, or a piece of crap?

© 2014 by M.R.R.

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