Cinerama: Spiderman 2

Posted: September 11, 2009 in Cinerama

Spiderman 2

Mike Derderian

Imagine a big hairy spider crawling on your neck; scary isn’t it? Well, not if you love the arachnid race. I was standing with my beloved Mary Jane at my former university, when I noticed a fairly sized spider cruising around on a person’s back. I tried to brush it off; however, using its web, it caught my finger. So there I was standing in a crowded place with a spider hanging from my index. How lucky can you be?

Steadily it dropped to the ground and crawled away, avoiding the fatal feet of passing students, by climbing up into someone’s shoe. I believe the Latin name for this type of spiders is “Arachnid Hitchhiker,” which is an eight-legged critter that uses humans as transportation—a part of a “tour the planet with homo-sapiens” insect tourism project. It soon crawled into a black tunnel—that was actually the man’s pants—and I never saw it again. I believe the unfortunate fellow never knew what bit him!

This was the second time destiny offers me a chance to morph into a Jordanian Spiderman, but again, I blew it. So I had no choice but to dream of Spiderman, a thing I have been doing ever since I got to know the amazing web-spinning super hero—created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko back in August 1962—when I first saw him in 1985 on Jordan Television climbing skyscrapers in the 1977 show The Amazing Spider-Man, starring Nicholas Hammond.

Compared to the 70s pilot show, this year’s summer blockbuster Spiderman 2 brilliantly, if not magically, resurrected the Marvel comic character again while sweeping cinema box offices all over the world.

The success began in 2002, when Sam Raimi directed the first Spiderman movie that introduced young talent Tobey Maguire as the greatest superhero ever—especially for a dedicated fan like myself who recently bought a twelve-inch Spiderman action figure and who as an 8-year-old used to wear a full Spiderman pajama.

Starring Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Rosemary Harris, J.K Simmons and Alfred Molina as Doctor Otto Octavius, Spiderman 2 undoubtedly topped the first part in visual effects and plot development allowing the viewer a more in-depth analysis of Peter Parker’s troubled psyche, not to mention allowing other characters like aunt May, Harry and comic relief Jonah Jameson to pass over the secondary character margin.

Spiderman 2 is 127 minuets of sheer spider web power—apart from the scenes where Parker suffers a decrease in web shooting ability—in addition to breathtaking perfect CGI Spidey sequences, detailed taunting romance and a major villain appearance with Doc Ock and his much admirable deadly four high tech tentacles that are attached to his spine.

The plot here is similar to the first spider flick where Spiderman faces a scientist turned villain, but this time it’s Doc Ock whose energy producing fusion machine using Tritium took the wrong turn. Unlike the first part where Parker (Maguire) had a clear vision of who he was, the sequel provides a darker view of his persona where he no longer knows if he is supposed to be Spiderman or just Peter, who wants to win over Mary Jane (Dunst)—his childhood love.

Surprisingly, as I sat at the theatre—and that’s where you should be in order to enjoy Spiderman to the maximum—I realized that Raimi decided to use the main theme of one of Spiderman’s Marvel comic cult editions entitled “Spiderman No More.”

Confronted by the choice of whether he still wants to wear the Spidey suit or throw it in an alley is quite a decision for the battered Parker—what would you do if you were in his place? Physically tired from saving people, emotionally drained by his inability to confess his love to Mary Jane in fear for her life, recurrent self-inflicted guilt due to his uncle’s death and, above all, a villain breathing down his neck.

This is where the originality of Spiderman 2 lies: finally a superhero who needs to go to the bathroom every now and then, who admits that his suit is itchy and, most importantly, needs love; all these elements helped in creating one of the most enjoyable comic based superhero films on all aspects that you won’t regret watching.

The way Raimi directed both Maguire and Dunst through their heart touching portrayal of two lovers was the height of the film’s complexity, where Peter’s down-to-earth beaten features mixed with MJ’s almost losing hope on him to ever admitting his love soon unravels to a memorable conclusion.

Molina’s much applauded depiction of one of Marvel’s iconic villains was a key element to the film’s gigantic success that overshadowed the evil presence of the Green Goblin in the first part, whom I assure you will be gliding back to the set of the third Spiderman installation with more than a spine chilling shriek and a pumpkin for Spiderman to chew on.

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