SPIDER-MAN   2 -  A  Narada Film Review

    ALFRED MOLINA  as   
    Doc Ock
       
   TOBEY MAGUIRE  as   
   Spider-Man
     
   KIRSTEN DUNST  as   
   Mary Jane Watson
Spider-Man 2 - 2004   - Sam Raime -Director   &   Avi Arad - Producer
    Not having written the screen story, Director Sam Raime is only partly to blame for SPIDER-MAN 2 - or, as some at the theater were calling it, 'Teenage Love Angst 2'    Director Raime took the 'impossible relationship' - something that should have been an interesting sub-plot - and made it the focal point for the entire film.   Had Raime taken a page from Paul Verhoeven's immaculately produced Robocop, where Robocop's surviving wife, his 'widow', watches him from a distance with a mixture of broken-hearted grief and suspicion, the film could have been memorable.   Instead Raime slathers the screen with scene after scene of 'young adults' problems-of-the-heart - and seems obsessed with giving us a happy "Hollywood" ending.
         But what can be laid directly at Raime's feet are a couple of appalling scenes, the first is the elevator scene, where Spidey is explaining to a stranger how his Spidey suit rides up in the crotch. The second is where Dr. Octavius is having an embarrassingly simplistic 'good over evil' discussion with his prosthetic limbs.   You can do better than that, Sam, I've seen you do it.
         The special effects, while 'fancier', with more gymnastic twists and turns this time around, offer further proof that embellishment does not equal improvement.   But what couldn't have failed to have an impact were the 'animatronics'.   We are referring, of course, to Doc-Ock's four prosthetic limbs, making him much more spider-like than Spidey himself.   Felt, but unspoken was the visceral connection to our viewers' fear and disgust of real spiders.   
        It remains regrettable that a film will be remembered for it's special effects, and little else.   But credit where it is due - Rosemary Harris, as Spidey's elderly aunt, May Parker, takes the kudos for offering up the only real acting in SPIDER-MAN 2.   In that she was cast in such a frivolous film, we can only hope that her performance will not go unnoticed or unrewarded.   Also, James Franco as Harry Osborn was showing the potential needed to appear as the new Green Goblin, in what is sure to be the next sequel.   And, hopefully, we'll be spared the overdose of love-angst, they'll find a plot, and we'll get back to some hard-hitting Marvel Comics action.
      LEAST Enduring Line or Phrase:  "What are you doing here?"

Copyright 2004,    Bangkok Eyes / bangkokeyes.com
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