K. and I took in Spider-Man 2 this weekend. There was some choosing among that and Fahrenheit 9/11 and Dodgeball. With the former, I didn’t really think I’d see anything I didn’t already suspect and with the latter, well, I think that’s why the DVD was invented. So summer blockbuster it was. Besides, if it’s a film based on a comic, especially one that was the first one I’ve ever read, you can pretty much guarantee that I’ll be there.
And it was, as these things go, pretty damn good. They kept a lot of elements from the comic’s storylines as they existed in the 1970’s – Peter Parker’s desperate situation trying to pay both his and Aunt May’s bills, Harry Osborn’s alcoholism and flirtation with madness, Mary Jane’s modeling and “acting” career, Peter’s inability to have a normal life due to his nightly super-heroics. It’s pretty good the way it uses those themes (I don’t know how many times Peter’s quit the job over the last 40 years) that the film has an old school feel to it: The editors of the Daily Bugle still cut and paste their headlines before sending them to press.
I always liked Spider-Man because Peter Parker could be someone you know. What does Bruce Wayne have to worry about? He’s stinking rich. Yeah he lost his parents when but Alfred was always there for him and he seems like a solid dude to raise a kid. Clark Kent? The guy’s basically God.
The film also manages to avoid dumbing-down for the tweens as there is a welcome absence of Nu-Metal MTV tracks over the soundtrack. It manages to be a pretty good two hours of entertainment. It works on pretty much every level, which is good because I was beginning to despair after Daredevil.
Also, if you’re a fan of Sam Raimi and liked the Evil Dead films, watch for a chainsaw and the obligatory Bruce Campbell cameo (though, sadly, not in the same scene).
Anyhow, there are plenty of reviewers already giving the movie high marks that I don’t need to mention it much more. However on the theme of Spider-Man, Ape Law offers us a remembrance of Spider-Man’s ill-conceived team up with the Not Ready for Prime Time Players. Yup, Spidey and Belushi, together at last. It’s funny – I don’t remember Spider-Man doing that much cocaine in the 70’s. The link comes from their Gone and Forgotten series, a compendium of the worst ideas in comic book history.