FILM REVIEW: Go (see) Spidey, go
I don’t like comic books – especially ones in which I can’t look the main character in the eye. And I’m not a big fan of superheros, no matter how dashing their bold-colored spandex. But I love the Spider-Man movies. “Spider-Man” caught me in a web of intrigue from the moment the genetically modified spider bit Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire). Director Sam Raimi spun an intricate story of a teenager fretting about romantic love and supernatural powers.”Spider-Man 2″ swings higher and further by weaving human frailty with monstrous interactions.The film opens with an exhausted Peter Parker, who, even after using his spidery powers to deliver pizza, loses his job as a delivery boy. As a college student, he’s behind on assignments, and as a potential boyfriend, he’s afraid to commit because everyone knows bad guys always go for superheros’ girlfriends.
When Parker’s web-casting powers begin to fail him, he visits a physician. Unfortunately, the doctor can’t prescribe superhero Viagra but rather suggests the problem may be psychological.Cue Spidey’s coming-of-age story. Parker realizes he has a choice. He can throw his itchy, crotch-riding costume in the trash and go for the girl or continue to cocoon evil villains in his sticky webs.Like any male at the peak of his sexuality, he goes for the girl. But guilt and a sense of duty override his decision, and eventually he returns to superhero status.”Spider-Man 2″ soars with convincing, $54 million digital effects, meaningful dialogue, impressive action scenes and satisfying romance.But perhaps most impressive are the characters. Each character works, from the Asian woman on the street plucking her violin to the theme song to sweet, red-headed Mary Jane’s (Kirsten Dunst) longing to know if Peter loves her.
Dr. Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina) isn’t just a do-good genius gone bad. He’s multifaceted. His self-involvement makes him hesitant to take time for a student interview with Peter Parker, yet hours later he fully embraces Peter. When his experiment overtakes him, his humanity still ekes out, spawning a truly scary man-versus-machine dynamic.My only criticism is that a couple times, scenes go too far in the sappy or bad-horror-film-scream direction. But they’re short-lived.Even supporting characters such as Jonah Jameson (J.K. Simmons), editor of the Daily Bugle, deliver rousing performances. In fact, he generated my loudest laughs.
A variety of influences converged to create “Spider Man 2,” including writer Michael Chabon’s passion for comics, Raimi’s horror-humor fusion and writer Alvin Sargent’s propensity to delve deeply into the human psyche.The synthesis results in a balance of humor, heart and heroism. Go Spidey, go.Kimberly Nicoletti can be reached at (970) 668-3998, extension 245, or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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