EDITORIAL: Why SPIDER-MAN 2 Is The Best CBM To Date (PART ONE)

Why is Spider-Man 2 the best comic book movie to date? Because of the themes presented? Characters? Direction? I try to throw down my opinion, leaving out ideas of "cool action scenes" for the sake of real, probing analysis.

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By BattlinMurdock - 2/6/2013


“It's a real movie, full-blooded and smart, with qualities even for those who have no idea who Stan Lee is. It's a superhero movie for people who don't go to superhero movies, and for those who do, it's the one they've been yearning for.” – Roger Ebert

How many superhero movies are relevant? Not to the needs of comic book fans, but to the general public? How many superhero films capture the times of the age of its debut? Films like The Dark Knight capitalize on psychological thrills and moral conundrum. Features like Watchmen find themselves firmly rooted in a fictionalized and terrifying past. Movies like the X-Men franchise speak, in allusions, to social themes. And while all of those films bring something new and fresh to the genre, ultimately, each falls short of a particular relevance by the time the credits roll.

Spider-Man 2 is an elevated picture. While providing the thrills, action, and emotion that should come standard with vigilante fare, it has at its core a message that is relevant and pervasive. Thematically, it’s a feature that remains true to both its characters and the story it promises to deliver. In this article, I’d like to go through some of the elements that make Spider-Man 2, in my opinion, the strongest superhero movie of all time.



Spider-Man 2 Defies Genre

While some claim that Spider-Man 2 does not know its own identity, my claim is that director Sam Raimi isn’t satisfied with portraying one genre. The movie, with masterful pace, shifts from soap opera theatrics to 1950s movie-monster homage in a matter of seconds. It relishes the idea of being a sentimental character study and then morphing into a bombastic, frentic action film, with glorious set pieces and spectacularly choreographed hand-to-hand battles. Simply put, Spider-Man 2 is not, in any way, lacking in an entertainment department.

It’s a movie that walks the high wire of action, using a meticulously balanced bar of comedy and drama to keep it from plummeting to the cliché, and it never misses a beat or waivers into territory where it abandons what has already been established in the scenes prior. All the while, it’s a film that asks you to read between the lines. A while back, I wrote an article about how Kirsten Dunst’s portrayal of Mary Jane Watson is easily the finest portrayed female in all of superhero cinema. The article was met with mixed reception. For many, it was Dunst, herself, that provided the sub-par character development. For others, it was the way the character was written and how it didn’t match the one from the comics. But Alvin Sargent’s script asks you to read between the lines of her character, eliciting a level of communication between audience and character often looked over in standard action movies. For those who don’t care for Dunst’s decisions as a character, for me it was a breath of fresh air to see her manage a lifestyle so independently, and to call her own shots in a way that wasn’t overly “masculine” by any definition of the word.



It’s a Redemption Story For Every Character

For a movie that balances a barrel of themes, Spider-Man 2 should be applauded for its devotion to its characters that work independently from each other. What I like about Raimi’s feature is that it presents all of its characters in a way that makes it seem as if each person could have their own stand-alone movie. You could easily follow Harry Osborn’s malicious obsession with the hero he claims killed his father for two hours. Mary Jane’s rise to stardom is definitely worth a shot for celluloid. Aunt May’s solitude and financial struggle has all the makings of an Academy Award-winning drama? And who wouldn’t watch a stand-alone feature of a Doc Ock slowly spiraling into madness. Case in point, those are four primary characters who, for all intensive purposes, don’t need Peter Parker in their lives, which, in retrospect, is the very definition of Peter Parker without Spider-Man...an everyday nobody. It’s one thing that bugged me about The Amazing Spider-Man: every character was dependent upon Peter for the story to progress. And that doesn’t mean that makes for a bad film; it just means characters can come off as expendable when that was never the intention.

But keeping with the theme of redemption (my personal favorite theme), every character in the picture has an arc. Every character changes, for better or worse, in the running time of the movie. And all of them experience, to some extent, some form of redemption. Aunt May learns to forgive Peter for Uncle Ben’s death, while making independent strides to live on her own, which includes selling her home. Harry finds a time and place to forgive his friend, and then abandons those intentions to follow a specific legacy. Mary Jane leaves the high life for what she truly believes in. Octavius falls to evil and then to heroics. And Peter refuses his responsibility for the sake of normalcy and ultimately ends up finding a new definition of himself in the Spider-Man costume. For each character, there is a struggle, a descent, and (for most) a rising from the ashes. That’s strong writing, as numerous films skip over those elements to keep the protagonist front and center.



It Uses Both Practical and Special Effects

Maybe you’ve heard about me talk about Christopher Nolan and why I think that, despite his expository writing and lack of flair for dialogue, he’s easily one of the best directors working today. Why? Because he uses practical effects for his large stunt pieces. It’s insurance that his movies stand the test of time, because, for the most part, he refuses to allow computer generated imagery to overtake actual movie magic and stunt-work. And for straight-action films, I find that to be a tremendous philosophy. But when stepping into the realm of comic book adaptation, one must be willing to break those rules quite frequently, dependent upon the character.

Again, case in point, Raimi has an extraordinary balance between CGI and practical effect usage in this movie. Ock’s arms are only graphically superimposed in fight sequences. In others, they’re giant puppets. That’s a testament to the craft and knowing what looks good where and what just doesn’t work. Because of this decision, Spider-Man 2 still looks great and easily holds its own in the action department. And who could forget the hospital scene? That’s sheer terror.



It Abides by the Rules Its Universe Sets

The universe of Spider-Man 2 is a realistic one. Let’s talk about realism, for a second here, because there are two major trains of thought. The boundaries of realism can exist both in the structure of the film and outside. When people say “A man with mechanical arms that control his brain is unrealistic,” they’re referring to the perception that to an audience, that is unrealistic. However, by the nature and standard of the picture, included, in this case, with concepts of a man with spider-like abilities, living caricatures of New York stereotypes, and massive street battles with no forensic or judicial follow-up, the character of Doc Ock is completely legal.

Some movies abandon this logic for the sake of entertainment, completely forgetting the rules they’ve established. Note: “realism” has nothing to do with tone. In fact, one who identifies a dark movie as being “realistic” has done nothing more than project their personal perspective on the world into debate. Happy or light films can be “realistic.” To gauge the realistic components of a film, find the most explosive, ‘out there,’ but integral element of the movie, and see if everything else in the picture supports that while being less extreme. For example, in a movie where four mechanical arms are taking over the mind of a brilliant scientist, a man-made sun used as an energy source is “realistic.” However, that all changes if, all of a sudden, angels fly down from the heavens and introduce a new element of the picture and throws everything off track.

It’s why Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises got so much gyp. The film started off setting its grounds with the most integral element of the feature being that the villain, Bane, was a hyper-terrorist with malicious intent and couldn’t feel pain. The audience is willing to accept that, and for most of the run time, the movie abides by that universe. But when the movie begins to play with time, physics, and unrealistic expectations of character location, it’s an abandonment of the rules set by the filmmakers at an earlier time for the sake of thrills many would find cheap.

In conclusion of part one of this two-part article, Spider-Man 2 holds a relevance because of how it’s made, as well as the contents of the film itself. I’ll continue to probe into more of these themes in the conclusive article.

So ends Part One of why I think Spider-Man 2 is the best superhero film of all time. We’ll get to Part Two in the near future.
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Jollem - 2/6/2013, 10:21 PM
good read

DrHorrible - 2/6/2013, 10:35 PM
I disagree with your opinion of Spider-Man 2 being the best CBM to date.

That is all. :)
SageMode - 2/6/2013, 11:03 PM
I just hate how Raimi's vision of Spider-Man made him into a crying whoos like every 10 mins throughout the entire trilogy.
GuardianDevil - 2/6/2013, 11:30 PM
A nice read,

I agree on all points, but I'm not sure if I'd say it's the best one ever. There are a lot of good ones out there like the first Iron Man film, and Batman Begins and Dark Knight are all three in the top 5 no doubt. I'd include the first Spidey film too...Avengers was good but it's a tad overrated, it's not to say It was poorly written or directed and the acting was great, but it just had a real sense of cheesiness to it, and besides the general thrill of having six superheroes on screen at once, there isn't much to it, the story wasn't very deep or gripping in any way...unlike the Batman films and the first Iron Man, Id actually say the five best CBMs ever made were the first two Batmans, the first two Spider-Man movies, and the first Iron Man. One more? The incredible Hulk...it's SOOO underrated it was better than Thor, IM2, CA:TFA and TASM.

Regardless, nice write up!
GuardianDevil - 2/6/2013, 11:35 PM
I have high expectations of Iron Man 3 and Man of Steel however, both look like they'll be good movies and hopefully get a permanent spot on the greatest CBMs ever made.
Spideyguy94 - 2/7/2013, 2:17 AM
Great write up. While I do disagree with what you say, I do think spider-man 2 is the 3rd best CBM of all time and it is the best spider-man movie to date.
marvel72 - 2/7/2013, 2:51 AM
good read mate,i f*ckin love spider-man 2,for me its not the best comic book movie it was at one time but since then we've had the avengers & iron man.

the avengers is the best comic book movie with iron man & spider-man 2 battling it out for second & third depending on my mood.
AC1 - 2/7/2013, 3:53 AM
Good read, while I don't necessarily agree that it's the best CBM, you clearly have a very good argument.

Just wanted to point out something regarding the last paragraph: it's not a realistic movie. When you mention that 'It Abides by the Rules Its Universe Sets', and about it being realistic to 'the nature and standard of the picture', that's called verisimilitude; it's when a fictional narrative progresses while abiding to its own version of reality, so that all events portrayed are plausible, even if they aren't realistic by our own universal standards - it's basically how you maintain the suspension of disbelief. Sorry to nitpick, but I'm starting to become a stickler for film terminology, so I thought I'd give you a bit of constructive criticism since I'm not really sure how else I could debate the article.

And you're absolutely right about The Dark Knight Rises too, one of my biggest complaints is how they throw away their own verisimilitude for the sake of cheap thrills.
tonytony - 2/7/2013, 4:36 AM
it is propably the 3rd best comic book movie. Good read though
DrDoom - 2/7/2013, 5:09 AM
What about Spidey mysteriously losing his powers for no good reason?
EdgyOutsider - 2/7/2013, 6:33 AM
It's a very good read but, there are parts of Spider-Man 2 that bug me. I don't know specifically what but, there are certain moments that do. I will disagree that Spider-Man 2 is the strongest CBM to date.
DrHorrible - 2/7/2013, 6:53 AM
@BattlinMurdock I strongly disagree at your response to AcidicHeart.

The movie never explains anything like what you said. Peter goes to the doctor and not even the doctor can explain what's going on.

I think it does make the movie weaker, because, in my odd point of view, he magically loses his mojo because he can't get any poon from Snaggletooth.

You say that he lost his powers because of some psychological reason, yet it's never really expanded or touched upon in the movie. Sure, he had trouble with rent and cash, but who doesn't? It's not like someone loses their sex drive because they only have $10 in their pocket.

The plot point, in my opinion and many other people's opinions, was a hackneyed plot point that weakened the movie.

Good day. :)

*NOTE*: I am a sarcastic person. I like to joke around whilst making my point. I apologize if it offends you. :)
AC1 - 2/7/2013, 7:10 AM
@Battlin yeah I kind of agree with the 'Spider-Man no more' stuff people have said though. You're right in that it was an interesting idea to convey how stress would effect Peter, but the way it was implemented seemed a bit forceful. I think there was already enough going on that the story didn't need that extra subplot. Plus, the Raimi movies were always more about Spider-Man as the guy in the costume on his adventures anyway, so it did seem that we were a bit short-changed in Spider-Man 2 when there was a huge part of the movie where he gave up being Spider-Man.

It was just a sub-plot too many IMO. Raimi's Spidey movies have always leaned toward the lighter side of the Spider-Man mythology (I know some pretty dark stuff happened in the trilogy, but the movies were made in a way that would be far more enjoyable to children than perhaps The Amazing Spider-Man would be); they were goofy, fun, escapism movies, and the biggest strength of the first film (based on my memories of watching it for the first time as an 8 year old) was the way the movie made children, like myself, feel like we could BE Spider-Man, so for Spider-Man 2 to suddenly become really serious about the stresses of being Spider-Man was a bit of a strange turn.

Also, I guess the way it was handled was odd too, since Raimi seemed to struggle with the tone in the second movie (and then struggled even more in the third one). I mean, you have Peter go through a huge moral dilemma, in which he breaks his promise to his dead Uncle Ben that he'll use his powers responsibly, so you'd expect him to at least be a bit conflicted. Instead, you jump straight from Peter abandoning his responsibilities, to a montage of Peter having a whale of a time set to the song 'Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head', which is just as strange to watch as Saturday Night Fever Peter in Spider-Man 3.

I believe very strongly that the saving graces of Spider-Man 2 are Alfred Molina (he made a character who was written in quite a mediocre way into a very interesting and powerful screen presence of Shakespearean quality), and the Peter and Aunt May subplot, which seemed a bit out of place in the movie as it was a bit underdeveloped, but if that had been extended, and perhaps replaced much of the 'Spider-Man no more' sub-plot, it could have really elevated the movie and improved the human element of it, rather than struggling to balance the two subplots.
DrHorrible - 2/7/2013, 7:22 AM
@BattlinMurdock You stand by your opinion, I stand by mine. To each his own, man. :)

@ACira I agree with most, if not all, of your points. ;)
DrHorrible - 2/7/2013, 7:48 AM
@BattlinMurdock It's unfair to say that the Peter in TASM doesn't do his best to maintain his secret identity.

The only time that Peter took his mask off voluntarily was when he tried to comfort and calm down a child in immediate danger. Giving a child your mask, with you being a colorful "superhero," and saying it'll make him "stronger," is a perfect example of the heart that people say that TASM was missing.

Sure, looking back, it may have been a mistake, but it was him first starting out as Spidey. It's understandable to make mistakes. I'm not trying to defend the movie to death like certain people, but I'm just making my point.

Anywho, this isn't about TASM, it's about Spider-Man 2, which is only a decent film IMO. I loved it as a kid, but it has lost its luster over the years.

Like I said, you have your opinion, I have mine. I'll leave it at that.

DrHorrible - 2/7/2013, 8:31 AM
I didn't mean it like that, guys. I was talking about when he was in the Spider-Man costume.

Peter probably went around the school maskless because he knew no one would be in there, seeing as the school was evacuated. I assume Stan the Librarian didn't hear a thing, so he had no idea of that.

Plus, with him telling Gwen he's Spider-Man, do we know their relationship BEFORE the movie? I mean, we do get hints that they know each other, from the beginning where she defends Peter from Flash, the way they looked at each other in passing (like they both had crushes on each other, but didn't know if the other like them). That's high school 101.

They could've liked each other for a while, and when he finally gets to ask her out, he probably didn't want to keep secrets from her or he couldn't deal with not telling SOMEONE about his situation. Have you ever tried to keep something secret, something important, but it killed you to keep it that way? I'm pretty sure everyone has. I know I have.

Same can be said for Peter's jerkiness to Flash. Do we KNOW how long Flash picked on Peter? No. Peter finally decided to get back at Flash for potentially years of getting picked on once he had the power. He did realize his mistake afterwards, though.

Like I said, I'm not trying to defend the movie. That's just how I viewed the situations in the movie.
DrHorrible - 2/7/2013, 9:02 AM
Eh whatever. I'm done with this argument. I'm getting bored with discussing this stuff with people. All it does is start fights that don't even really matter.

Peace.
ToTheManInTheColdSweat - 2/7/2013, 9:30 AM
hmmm, not bad. but tdk, iron man, superman 1978, batman begins, batman 1989 all do every single thing you listed for sm2 and even better in some cases. so why sm2? what's unique about it? sm2 is one of the best cbms ever made, but best? how?

now tasm? that's a guide on how not to shit allover the best cbm duology (sm1 & sm2). i'm still mad my niece called out it's bullshit by describing it as twilight of superheroes... and she loved it. ugh.

splenda

[frick]ing awesome pic. stealing it.

OptimusBurgundyMaximus - 2/7/2013, 9:53 AM
This ends this debate once and for all ok. The character depictions and arcs were terrible, the leads were miscast. Seriously who here can say they prefer Tobey over Andrew? Well no one because he was never good enough. Honestly I could bitch and complain about every CBM (especially tdkr and avengers) batman begins is the only CBM to this date that is kinda flawless :)
AC1 - 2/7/2013, 10:24 AM
@Battlin sorry but I have to disagree completely with that Twilight comment, in fact that's an awful comparison.

In The Amazing Spider-Man it's the classic high school romance story - two people are attracted to each other, clumsily go about asking each other out, build up a bond (this is the point when Peter reveals his identity, which can be chalked up to a kid struggling to keep a secret) and eventually realise they love each other. That's all there is to it in most relationships, not this crap you get in movies when the guy chases the girl for years and wins her from some jerk, or anything like that.

In Twilight on the other hand, you have a stalker who wants to murder a girl, and the girl somehow immediately loves him despite how he seemingly can't stand her at first. Then she does some silly detective works, deduces that he's a type of creature that she would otherwise believe to be mythical, and the two somehow end up together. But at the root of it all, you have a story about a girl who gives up her independence, and instead decides that she can't function at all as a human being unless she has a man dominating her. The desire Bella has to become a vampire throughout the series is actually a reflection of her desire to be subjugated by a strong male, and the entire notion of men being dominant to women that hasn't been relevant since the '60s. It's not a love story at all, it's a story that preaches male superiority positively from a female perspective; classic brainwashing stuff.

@Cipher tell us! Rock the boat! Ruffle the feathers! Push the buttons!
thespiderkat - 2/7/2013, 10:40 AM
wouldnt go as far as call it "the best", but it is one of the best sequels next to the dark knight, x-men 2 and superman 2. a shame that , like batman x-men and superman, spider-man could not escape the threequel curse.
AC1 - 2/7/2013, 10:42 AM
I think the reason I prefer TASM over the other Spider-Man movies (and most other CBMs in fact) is that it's shot like an independent movie; it's far more of a character study than most superhero movies are. Again, it's obvious that this all stems from the clear influence of Batman Begins, but it works! Peter Parker, Gwen Stacy, Uncle Ben, Aunt May, Curt Conners... they all feel like real people, rather than movie stereotypes. They're believable, whether they strictly follow their comic counterparts or not.

In Raimi's trilogy, no matter how many clever insights the director managed to deliver, the movies were always held back by the weak character stereotypes. Peter was your generic 1970s nerd. MJ was the stereotypical struggling actress or whatever she was supposed to be doing. Aunt May and Uncle Ben were stereotypical parents or even grandparents in their characterization. Norman Osborn was the stereotypical crooked businessman/misogynist. Even Doc Ock was your stereotypical Frankenstein's monster rip off (again, the only saving grace for the character was Molina's acting). And it's all well and good relying on character stereotypes, as long as the actors and writing are good enough to elevate the characters - Tobey, in hindsight, wasn't that good as Peter or Spidey (always crying, very one dimensional), Kirsten was monotonous as MJ, Rosemary and Cliff were talented but never had enough to work with as Aunt May and Uncle Ben, Willem was a mixed bag (good as the crooked businessman, lousy when he had to play the dual roles of GG and Norman struggling for dominance)...

The only slightly complex character was Harry Osborn - initially the reluctant rich boy, he then becomes a spoilt brat, a man trying to avenge his father, and then a conflicted frenemy, before finally redeeming himself.

Then, when it all comes down to it - what are the movies about? Spider-Man is about a kid becoming a superhero and choosing right from wrong. Spider-Man 2 is about the stresses of juggling that life. I'm still trying to figure out what Spider-Man 3 is about.
And The Amazing Spider-Man? It's about a young man trying to fill the gap left by his missing parents; he's grateful to his Uncle and Aunt for trying to fill that gap but they're not enough. It's about an outcast trying to find his place in the world; in the Raimi films, Peter just has a crush on MJ, but in TASM, Peter finds acceptance with Gwen. It's about a boy trying to replace the father figures he keeps losing; initially, he's searching for a connection to his father, and gains his superpowers, and believes Dr Conners can be that person. Then when Uncle Ben dies, he realises too late that he had what he needed all along. It's a movie about a kid growing up, making mistakes and learning from them.
marvel54 - 2/7/2013, 11:22 AM
really Fenix122 you think the avengers overrated slap your self
Equivocal - 2/7/2013, 11:42 AM
this is one fine reading !!

I do too think that SPIDERMAN 2 IS
the best comic book movie out there,
it has a lot of valid points but mostly accurate.

I also think Begins is a close second.
GazelTGM - 2/7/2013, 11:47 AM
Spider-Man 2 is better than Spider-Man 3. That's about it.
spidey1994 - 2/7/2013, 11:49 AM
Spider-Man 2 is my favourite of the Spidey movies. The Amazing Spider-Man is a close second for me though, but still the best CBM is The Avengers IMHO.
GuardianDevil - 2/7/2013, 11:50 AM
@Marvel54
I wasn't bashing Avengers, I still like the film and it was great and fun to watch. The acting and directing and action was awesome, but story wise there wasn't much to it. I was t bashing the film I was just saying that it isn't the best one ever like everyone says. Was it good? Yes, was it great? Yes, was it the best cbm ever made? No, Iron Man, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, The Incredible Hulk and Batman (89) were all better than Avengers.

It was fun and entertaining to watch and I'll probably watch Avengers a hundred times, but it wasn't the best one ever because the story wasn't very interesting...there wasn't much to it.
GazelTGM - 2/7/2013, 11:54 AM
@Fenix122

I agree with you. There was very little to the Avengers. Right at the beginning Fury declares that "we are at war." But there was no war until the movie's climax.

And why did we have to watch the Avengers "assemble" after Fury spent the previous Marvel Cinematic Universe movies doing exactly that? It was just wasted time.
THEDARKKNIGHT1939 - 2/7/2013, 12:22 PM
Yes. Yes it is.
DonaldBlake68 - 2/7/2013, 12:36 PM
Another element that Spiderman 2 brings is a real love story. No Comic Book Movie has even come close to the Peter Parker/Mary Jane relationship that Raimi found in this movie. I agree with it being the most complete Comic Book Movie to date and the best. Now I just wish I could forget Peter Parker Emo Jazz Dancing.
TheBaroness89 - 2/7/2013, 1:08 PM
oohh gee.
Well I will give it 4th best. If we are talking Spider-Man 2.5 then tied for third.
Solely based on entertainment value-
Avengers/The Dark Knight

2. Iron Man/Batman Begins
3. 1989 Batman/1978 Superman
AmazingFantasy - 2/7/2013, 1:18 PM
@Acira-



Well [frick]ing done
batman1216 - 2/7/2013, 1:32 PM
I really do love this movie and the first one. despite some issues I have with it. I can't say its my number 1 any more, but it was, until Batman Begins came out. I still believe its the greatest Marvel movie ever. The only 2 Marvel movies I put on this level are X-men 2 and Ironman. Avengers was very good, but definitely overrated and to me personally lacked a certain personal and emotional core of these movies. Part of what I like about superhero movies is the emotional arc of the characters and a bit of a grounding to the real world that mirrors our own reality. The best movies have done this. Avengers was just a big action/comedy spectacle.
CaptainObvious - 2/7/2013, 1:35 PM
It's hilarious that people say Peter in Raimi's trilogy is whiny, but Peter in TASM is FAR more whiny and selfish.

Spider-Man 2, to me, is the epitome of Spider-Man stories. It takes everything that makes Peter Parker such a compelling and complex character, the world he lives in, and the people around him and ties it all together and never comes across as overstuffed or convoluted. That is an incredible feat.

I really like what BattlinMurdock said about how every character in SM2 is not dependent on Peter to move the plot forward and are all capable of doing it individually. While almost every CBM movie (and most movies in general) rely on the protagonist to get the plot going, that's not a problem. Most movies work fine like that. But what SM2 does with it's story and characters is so ambitious and so engrossing, that the movie never becomes boring, even when Spider-Man isn't swinging threw the air and stopping bad guys.

I remember seeing SM2 in theaters opening weekend. It was me, my father, and my two older sibilings. We all saw the first movie in theaters together and we all agreed this exceeded the previous film in every way. This is as good as a Spider-Man movie can get.

All right, I'm done swooning over this movie.
Bread - 2/7/2013, 1:47 PM
Personally, I think that Iron Man is the best CBM yet.

I just like what it stands for, a man's work is being used against him and his country, so he makes something that will let him shut it all down.
Pending - 2/7/2013, 1:52 PM
Really good read especially the part about the tone and realism aspect of movies that many people seem to miss.

SM2 is definitely up the with the CBM greats, but my personal fav has gotta be SM1 which is not that far behind.

In the case of TASM...no need to compare it's a train wreck all on its own.
RedHoodFan - 2/7/2013, 2:05 PM
"But let me assure you, this, like any other story worth telling, is all about a girl"

Therein lies the problem with all three of the Spiderman movies. Raimi's obsession with MJ. Why must every climax be about saving her? Why are we subjected to that God awful scream so often? Why couldn't they have done a better job of writing her, and why did they have to cast the abysmal Kirsten Dunst. TASM had its flaws, but Emma Stone can act and her character was intelligent, not self-obsessed and actually had objectives other than being the perennial damsel in distress. Okay rant over.

There is a lot to love about SM2. Ock is the perfect villain for Spiderman. Alfred Molina portrayed him superbly. Peter suffering from multiple angles is classic Spiderman storytelling, and him losing his powers is a solid plotline. JJJ, Harry Osborn and Aunt May are brilliantly written and acted.

But there are flaws as well. The aforemention MJ issues for one. Raimi cheesiness for another. Having an entire subway car see his face, and then saying "We won't tell". Completely pointless. Also, Tobey Maguire doesn't have the charisma or acting chops to lead the movie. I really wish they had gone with James Franco as Peter/Spiderman.

SM2 is a spectacular (pun fully intended)CBM and easily the best Spiderman. But if the writer claims that it is a better movie than X-men First Class, Watchmen, Batman Begins, Dark Knight and Iron Man, then I would respectfully disagree.
Durf - 2/7/2013, 2:06 PM
I disagree with it being the "best" CBM, but it's certainly up there and in my top 5. However, I REALLY disagree about Dunst's portrayal of MJ. It is one of the few things that I dislike about this movie and the first.

That being said, this is a fantastic article. Very well written, and I look forward to part 2
CaptainObvious - 2/7/2013, 2:31 PM
@BattlinMurdock- On top of all that, it's just a horrible lesson to teach kids. "If you have the opportunity to avoid responsibility and take the easy way out, do it and never consider the consequences."

Along with that bullcrap "the best promises are the ones that are can be broken" line.
Christuffer - 2/7/2013, 3:03 PM
So basically everybody just came to your article to disagree with you. Real nice guys.

But I have to agree, it is the strongest one to date. The train sequence summed it all up for me, especially the part where his mask is off and they realize he's just a kid. Epic.
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