Spider-Man 2

I was meaning to write about Spider-Man 2 after seeing it during its opening week, but am just now getting around to it. Bottomline: it’s an awesome movie and is well worth seeing in a theater. The filmmakers, led by director Sam Raimi, tell a compelling story, one which would make a good movie even without the super hero angle. While the first movie spent a great deal of time telling the story of the origins of Spider-Man, this sequel shows the burden of being a super hero. Peter Parker, Spider-Man’s alter ego, is trying to live as normal a life as possible. He lives in a crappy apartment where he doesn’t have his own bathroom and where the Russian landlord is constantly hunting him down for his rent money. He can’t keep a job as a photographer for the Daily Bugle or as a pizza delivery boy. He’s going to college, but his papers are always late and his grades are suffering. Finally, his relationships are falling apart as well: Peter’s relationship with Mary Jane is as rocky as ever, and Harry Osborn, his best friend, can’t stand the fact that Peter knows Spider-Man, whom he blames for his father’s death (see the first Spider-Man movie for the full story). All in all, life as a super hero is not as good as it sounds.

I won’t go into too much more detail other than that. But I’ll say this: everything – the character development, the crazed villain on a personal mission, the romance between Peter and Mary Jane, is told very well. Spider-Man 2 is the best movie I have seen in a long time, and definitely the best super hero movie I have ever seen. That’s right – as good as the first Spider-Man was, number 2 is better. I liked the X-Men movies, but they lack the realism and character depth of the Spidy movies. Batman? Good with Michael Keaton, but all downhill from there (don’t even get me started on Batman and Robin).

It’s been a long time since I’ve picked up a comic book, but Spider-Man may compel me to give them another look. I grew up reading the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, with the occasional Superman and Batman thrown in. I honestly don’t remember reading any Marvel comics like Spider-Man, X-Men, The Incredible Hulk, etc. I have been looking on Amazon though, and they sell several volumes of The Essential Spider-Man, which reprint the first years of the Spider-Man comic as compilations. These are definitely on my reading list!