Okay, so it took me a week to get this out, but I was busy. This is the spoiler-free review of the film Spider-Man 2. The LAST review was filled with spoilers, so if you read it, don't blame me.
What can I say about the best Comic-Based film made to date? There is emotion, character development and humor. This you already know unless you've been living under a rock and missed the waves of praise that CRITICS have poured over this film. (Most of you know how little I think of critics).
This sequel succeeds where the first film did not, which is to say that director Sam raimi corrected the few problems in the original and kept in the parts of the original that worked. Toby McGuire shows more zeal as Spider-Man and more maturity and emotion as Peter Parker. Albert Molina shines as the villain of this film, the utterly creepy, yet strangely sympathetic Dr. Octopus. However, the greatest surprise in this film comes from Tommy Franco's portrayal of the tormented Harry Osborne. It was commented that Franco appeared "strung out" throughout this film, which was a brilliant touch. I'm not sure if Raimi intended it, but it conveyed in a way one thing most comic fans know, that after his father's death, Harry became a drug addict.
Franco plays Harry Osborne in all his haunted, vengeful and obsessive mannerisms. He makes the transformation from the innocent kid who was ashamed to be seen coming out of a limo in the first film to a near villain in this one. An amazing performance worthy of note.
Also worthy of note are more scenes with the surrounding characters. Jameson gets more screen time and Aunt May even has an action sequence. Both of these characters are central to the make-up of the character of Peter Parker as well as his alter-ego. Greater inclusion of these characters gives greater depth and richness to the world the story is set in.
Are there complaints? Of course there are. Nothing's perfect and everyone has complained about one thing or the other. One complaint, not so much a spoiler as it may seem, is that Spider-man took off his mask too much in this film. I take issue with this complaint. These scenes were not gratuitous and were either necessary in conveying emotion or forwarded the scene. There is a scene where Spider-man stops a train. He takes off his mask due to circumstances that seemed clear to me. However, without being able to see the strain on McGuire's face, the scene would not be nearly as gut wrenching. Yes, the people on the train do see his face, but because of that we're given a very touching, emotional scene where one of the passengers remark "He's just a kid, no older than my son!"
My complaints are not major, yet may spark some offense. My complaint is basically Kirstin Dunst. She just looked bored throughout the entire film as if she didn't want to be there and despite excellent acting by Toby McGuire, I just didn't feel any actual chemistry between the two. Still, it was not a major impediment to the film, believe it or not.
This is the best film of the year so far and almost a guarantee of a third installment. If you haven't already seen this, then what the hell is wrong with you?
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