Friday, July 7, 2017

Movie Review: Spider-Man 2

The sequel to the original live-action Spider-Man film has an exciting new villain and updated effects but amps up the corniness and cheesy dialogue to make for a mediocre superhero film. Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) earns a meager paycheck as a pizza delivery man and a freelance photographer while he matriculates the university though he keeps showing up late to everything, even his own birthday party. Surprising him is Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst), Harry Osborn (James Franco), and Aunt may (Rosemary Harris). Harry is obsessed with avenging his father's death, Mary Jane is distant after being spurned, and Aunt May struggles to pay her bills. Peter is also late on his rent and has a demanding landlord taking every last dollar he receives.

Peter hopes to write a paper for his science class on the brilliant new scientist Dr. Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina) and his experiment to harness power. Hoping to woo Mary Jane, he tries to attend her play but a high-speed chase sends him on a detour, making him late and the usher (Bruce Campbell) prevents him from going in. The failure disappoints him so much that his powers stop working. At the Dr. Octavius's demonstration, the fusion reaction destabilizes and breaches containment killing Dr. Octavius's wife and exploding the chip on his neck, allowing the artificial intelligence in the four mechanical tentacles to take over before Spider-Man can shut it down. Harry funded the experiment and blames Spider-Man for the humiliation. The tentacles come alive in an operation to take them off and murder all the surgeons in a brief moment of horror. Doctor Octopus emerges grief stricken from the loss of his wife. 

When Aunt May tries to refinance her home, Doc Ock breaks into the bank and Spider-Man has to fight him in one of the coolest action scenes in a superhero movie. Dr. Octopus snatches Aunt May but Spider-Man manages to save her, though the scene ends way too quick in my opinion. J. Jonah Jameson (J.K. Simmons) hires Peter to take pictures at the planetary to celebrate his astronaut son and his new fiance, Mary Jane. Harry drunkenly confronts Peter for making money off of Spider-Man's pictures. Distraught and discouraged, Spider-Man finds his powers continuing to vanish. Peter decides that he won't be Spider-Man anymore, much to my disappointment. In one of the worst scenes in a superhero film, Peter finds happiness as a normal citizen even making it to Mary Jane's play, but he's too late to win her over and convince not to marry.

Feeling guilt over the crimes he can't stop, Peter confesses his mistake that led to Uncle Ben's death to Aunty May. Meanwhile, Doctor Octopus rebuilds his fusion reactor and confronts Harry the rare element he needs to complete his project. Osborn wants Spider-Man dead and tells Doc Ock to find Peter to get to Spider-Man. Peter saves a child from a fire but someone else dies as crime in the city increases tremendously. Even Aunt May wonders where Spider-man has gone. Still, his powers don't come back easily. Mary Jane confesses to Peter that she still loves him at a coffee shop just before Doc Ock bursts in and kidnaps her. This sparks a return of his powers and he steals his suit back from Jameson. Another cool action scene ensues as Spider-Man battles Doctor Octopus on a train. There was so much potential for this scene and it is still a cool action sequence but I couldn't help but feel a little let down when I saw it in theaters. 

Doc Ock captures Spider-Man and brings him to Harry but Osborn stops when he discovers Spider-Man is Peter. Learning Octopus's plan, Spider-Man heads to the villain's lair and frees Mary Jane. The fusion reactor breaks down again as Spider-Man fights Doc Ock. The building collapses and Spider-Man tricks Dr. Octopus into shocking himself before giving him a speech about doing what is right. As Spider-Man struggles to save Mary Jane, Doctor Octavius has an attack of conscience and brings down the machine. Mary Jane and Peter decide to be together in the end and Harry discovers his father's Green Goblin equipment. This film was not good when I first saw it and did not hold up well watching it again. The dialogue is awful and the acting is poor. The action scenes and interesting villain are not enough to redeem a story that is filled with boring parts throughout the middle and an ending that is far from stunning. Sam Raimi seemed to already be over the franchise in this sequel and his campy nature of storytelling does not serve this movie well. I don't understand how some still argue this is the best superhero movie ever. 

No comments:

Post a Comment