Sunday, July 25, 2004

Spidey 2

Finally I had the chance to see "Spiderman 2". I wasn't dissappointed when I watched the first one -- "Spiderman", so I expected at least the same as that. And Sam Raimi did it very well. This time, the focus is on Peter Parker the human who is in love with MJ but cannot have her, because he is... Spiderman. The antagonist is Dr. Ock -- my favourite Spidey's villain. Looks like this version draws from "The Amazing Spiderman". Sam Raimi adds a lot of healthy jokes: 1) An employer named "Ditkovitch" --surely this is for Steve Ditko, the comic artist, 2) Relativity vs TS Eliot (Dr. Octopus was a physic geek trying to win a heart of Rosa, an English literature major -- as he friendly tells Peter in a dinner), 3) and many others (MJ's play is "The Importance of Being Earnest"!). However, the e-bay joke is a little too farfetched (Peter is sick of being Spidey. He quits. He throws his costume. Some guy picks it up from dumspter. He offers it to Jonah Jameson the Bugle's boss, for money. Jonah, as usual, is difficult, offering so little. That guy says, "I could get more from e-bay").

Other comments: 1). This draws from "The Amazing Spiderman" (I heard that was the chosen running title, before it changed to "Spiderman 2"), but expect some creative upgrading from Sam Raimi! For example, Dr Octopus controls his robotic limbs with a fuse chip on his backbone (in the comic, it's a panel on his chest). Also, he becomes the evil Doc Ock because there is a
miscalculation of incoming energy that happens to destroy the chip on his back (in the comic, it was a simple accident that made the limbs alive and became part of Doc Ock) -- of in both version, the limbs can occupy Doc Ock's mind. 2) Don't expect to see Human Torch here. In the comic we know that it's Torch who inspired Peter not to quit Spidey. In the movie, it's Aunt May's talking about "hero" (she was saved by Spiderman -- the hero he had been hating because "my nephew is so obsessive with him") and Peter's memory of Uncle Ben. I think Sam would have hard time to present Human Torch (in case you don't recall, Torch is the fire guy from the
Fantastic Four).

Other, other commets: 1). The revealance is staggering! I was shocked that Sam Raimi let the unmasking so easy (but realistic). I happened to think, oh maybe he wouldn't do the third sequel -- but then, he implied otherwise, by Harry Osborne got into the late Norman Osborne's secret
Goblin's room. I recall, only once Doc Ock succesfully unmasked Spidey, but even Jonah didn't get that Spidey was Peter ("I sent him to take Doc Ock pictures, not to pretend to be a stupid hero"). Was Stan Lee and Steve Ditko alright with Sam Raimi's version of revealing? I guess -- Lee is the executive producer of this movie! 2). The train scene was too much. Could Sam think of other things for substitute? 3). As one of my friends commented, if all metals got sucked into the energy sun, why didn't Doc Ock's limbs?

Anyway, it is a good movie. The "It's A Wonderful World" innuendo is nice (Parker decides to quit Spidey and he comes back to school: the background song is ... the rain is falling on my head....). It's very human(e), as said by Peter to MJ, his love: "I'm not an empty seat anymore... I'm different... Puch me and I'll bleed..."

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