Spidey is back, trying to have a life and fight crime…and it just ain’t working.
I was going to see this movie in the theatre, but life got busy. The first Spider-Man movie was very good, and I looked forward to the sequel…but things happened, and there was just no time for movies for a while.
Many people told me about this movie…their responses ranged from ‘awful’ to ‘too talky’ to ‘just like the comics, he agonizes over everything’ to ‘great’. Hm.
So I finally got it from Netflix. I had it at home for a while, then I took it on a trip with me, then I got back home, and still didn’t make time for it. It’s not as long as the five months it took us to actually watch Moulin Rouge, of course, but I was putting it off. And Mr. Otter didn’t want to see it, so I also had to find a time that was convenient to watch it without him (not as easy as it sounds, actually)
Then yesterday, I was home all day. Mr. Otter decided to spend the afternoon with me and the cats, reading and napping…then, he said, after he got home from work at 8 and we had had dinner, he was going downstairs to write for a couple of hours. Perfect! I said, I’ll watch this movie that I’ve been dragging around with me and we can send it back and get another movie.
So he came home from work. And we had dinner. And he decided not to write after all, since a book he really wanted to read had just arrived. That’s fine, I said, I’m still gonna watch Spidey, and you can read your book and ignore it. You want to sit in the living room and I’ll watch it on my pc? or go in the video room and get comfy on the couch? He opted for the back room, and we ensconced ourselves, festooned with cats, it being pretty cold that night.
And doggone it if this movie was not only as good as the first, maybe even better, but it also sucked Mr. Otter in! After pooh-poohing any notion of watching it, he came in 20 minutes after it started, asked me what was happening, and kept trying to read his book…but it was a losing battle, and he finally gave up.
Me? I was so pleased with this movie. Not only was it wonderful to see a super-hero who actually has problems like a real person-not enough time or money, worrying about friends and relationships, forever a day late and a dollar short, but doing his best (and it’s not really good enough) to keep his head above water.
The actual plot was really good…sure, there’s a super-villain…but he’s almost a subplot. Peter Parker’s efforts to find balance in his life, protect those he loves from danger, keep his identity secret and still have a life are the centerpiece here, and does this ever work well. Unlike most of the current crop of comic-books-made-into-movies (and don’t think I’m not waiting for Constantine, which I expect to be a HUGE dog) (and it was) this one is thoughtful, insightful and interesting…instead of just having special effects, snappy dialogue and a plot ranging from ok to totally sucky. Which is why Mr. Otter was so determined not to watch it…I had made him sit through League of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Hellboy and he was not enchanted with either of these experiences, to say the least.
But even he thought this was good. And he was right. Tobey Maguire is growing up VERY nicely, may actually be a serious honey soon. He was really wonderful here, a nice combination of clueless teenager and caring, dedicated person trying to take care of business. Kirsten Dunst is gorgeous and they interact well, and Alfred Molina is kind of evil yet hapless as the bad guy who is taken over by his own creation.
The special effects were stellar, must have been amazing on the big screen…but because the characters are the major focus of this movie, it moves well to a tv set, and doesn’t lose anything by doing so.
The ONLY false note was a rather silly setup for the third (of course) Spider-Man movie, which is probably even now in production…but it didn’t detract from the wonderfulness of this movie, one of the very few examples of a sequel being as good as, if not better than, the original. Rent it, buy it, love it, you’ll be so glad you spent time with Spidey and his friends.