Over the long weekend, I joined the hordes of people checking out Spiderman 2. I enjoyed the first one as the summer movie popcorn fest it was, I had heard good things about this flick from quite a few sources, so I had pretty high expectations.
I rather enjoyed this movie. It was a good popcorn summer action flick — of that, there can be no doubt — but it also worked as a remarkably faithful adaption of the comic book series. More than just a retelling of the story (an epsiode here or there), this film captured the thematic concept of the Spiderman stories. A kid who doesn't have a charmed life (no invulnerability, no billions of bucks, just a desire to do the right thing) who has to make his way in the world as a real human (job problems, women problems, parent problems) while trying to balance it against what he feels as his calling.
In the sequel, Tobey Maguire gets a chance to actually do some acting, as opposed to just looking sort of stunned and kind of Keanu Reeves like. The best acting of the film is a tie in the same character: Alfred Molina provides a three dimensional, thoughtful villian who's transformation from reasonable scientist to sociopath while remaining the same character is quite remarkable, and the four metal tentacles attached to his body are animated/puppeteered in such a way that they are almost a character to themselves.
Analytical types (and I'm one of them) will have to turn off a good bit of thinking and just suspend disbelief. The laws of physics are contravened so many times that I stopped paying attention to it in fairly short order, and there are some gaping logic holes, like (spoiler warning) if there's one chip that would prevent the robotic arms from taking over the wearer, why leave the chip exposed so that it could get easily damaged? And, for that matter, why were the arms evil? Did someone forget to flip the switch to "good"?
Sam Raimi has set the bar against which all other comic adaptions will be judged (and there are a slew of them coming — I saw at least four in the previews for this film alone). I'd highly recommend this flick for a big screen showing — the effects alone are worth the price of admission.