SHAKING OUT THE COBWEBS
[Note to comic book lovers: Sharpen your swords.]
I'm running too much these days for erudite blogging. But I did see the new Spidey movie, and my Sicilian nature just can't resist the opportunity for some life-affirming snarkiness.
Here's what I think about Spiderman II. I will grant that it may be considered the top comic book movie ever (althought I really enjoyed Superman with Christopher Reeve), but ultimately, that is like saying that the Whopper is the best kind of junk food. This is a fun movie to watch for a while, but there really isn't that much here in terms of theme development.
The first movie makes the point (several times, with authority) "With great power comes great responsibility." This second installment can be summed up thematically as, "Great responsibility is, well, great rsponsibility, and that's something that comes with, well, great power." The story gets repetitive as Peter Parker wrestles back and forth with being Spiderman. There is one point in the film which seemed to me to have been edited out of place because it put the character back before he had already made a decision. Can't even remember exactly whether it was his "Yes, I'll be Spiderman" or "No, I won't", because he seesaws back and forth too many times to keep it straight.
Big problem in the project is that there really isn't any suspense over the main issue of the film. No one in the theater is the least bit worried that Peter Parker is going to walk away from being Spidey. So, all the time spent on watching his dilemma is ultimately cinema without suspense.
Several times I thought the characters choices were unmotivated: why would Aunt May be mad at Peter after his confession? What woman - read MJ - would really be pining after an underachieving, schleppy little pauper who keeps letting her down? I mean, really? Why hasn't the Green Goblin's son ever put together that his father was a super villain? Does this mean that every time Peter is in a funk, he will lose his super powers?
It's a fun film. The best parts are watching Spidey fling himself from web to web. But it should have been thematically richer. It should have been funnier. It should have been scarier. It's good fast food, but that's all.