Thursday, July 01, 2004

Here comes the Spider-Man

I saw Spider-Man 2 today. I wasn't planning on seeing it yet, but the opportunity came up so I went. And yes, before anyone feels the need to point it out, I'm aware of the probability that ten million other blogs used the same title. It may not be very original, but it works.

Overall the movie was alright. It's long, almost two and a half hours, and it feels it. I've heard people say they prefer it to the original, and there is something to be said about that, but I thought the first one was only so-so anyway. Spider-Man 2 is more humorous, and once again JJ Jameson steals every scene he's in. The romantic triangle thing doesn't really work and was poorly developed, but still fun to watch. The effects were good, and the fights satisfying enough. The directing was a bit too cutesy for my taste, the intentional use of cinematic cliches, like the Jesus scene, detracted from the slightly more subtle wit found in other parts. Also, no matter how cold the East River may be, I don't think it is capable of stopping a fusion reaction. Even so, it is definetly a movie worth seeing, and I'd recommend it.

As I've already said, I wasn't the biggest fan of the first movie. I thought it was alright, it entertained me for a while, but I think it fell short. If I had made the movie, I would have included Gwen Stacy instead of Mary Jane Watson. This wouldn't be done out of any pedantic need for strict accuracy, as I haven't even read a Spider-Man comic in years it is a standard I would be incapable of adhering to anyhow. Rather, I would have used Gwen so that she could have died. My movie would have been basically the same as the one that was made, but it would have diverged sharply at the bridge fight. The Green Goblin would have killed Gwen, then Spider-Man would have killed him out of rage, only to learn the Goblin's true identity. This way you have a scarred, bitter Spider-Man whose rejection of Mary Jane's advances (in the ensuing sequel) have a much stronger base. That leaves the third movie to explore the development of their romance.

Peter's relationship with Harry Osborne would be more sophisticated too, because in the extant storyline, Spider-Man is innocent. He was just defending himself from the crazy Goblin, and hides the truth from Harry out of a sense of duty to his friend and his friend's father. Under my story, he'd have a real reason to keep the truth hidden, and that's the fact that Spider-Man really did kill his father. Now, to be sure, this makes for a darker Spider-Man, but that isn't really a bad thing. What's more, it's all the same themes that appear in the real movies, just with a richer twist.

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