Spurred by great reviews and a scary love for both Kirsten Dunst and Mary Jane Watson (and something equivalent to Tobey Maguire for my wife) we lined up to see Spider-Man 2 (imdb | rotten tomatoes). We weren’t disappointed.
Sam Raimi really nailed it: the anguish Peter feels for Uncle Ben, for Mary Jane, for Harry, for his failures as a student. He injects silliness & campiness, but not at the expense of the pain that Spidey – and all the great Marvel characters, really – struggles with every day. The action sequences were better, the rooftep-swinging looked more realistic, and Alfred Molina made a great Doc Ock. He walked just as fine a line as Maguire and Raimi did, between being a compelling movie character and being a comic book villain, and he pulled it off masterfully. Ooh, ooh, and Mary Jane even breaks out a “tiger”. That made me happy. Oh, and J.K. Simmons…I’m not sure they could have found a better J. Jonah Jameson anywhere in the world. What makes his performance that much more remarkable is that I still think of him as one of the most memorable characters to ever appearon TV: Vern Schillinger, resident Nazi rapist on Oz.
I liked the first Spider-Man, but I didn’t think it was a great movie. Spider-Man 2 is. I now have high hopes for the third movie, for which they introduced one obvious villain and another that’s only obvious to people who know their Spidey villains well. Hobgoblin and Lizard, please step up.