I used to review films ages ago - I might start again now I'm unemployed
Wednesday, 20 October 2010
Am I not supposed to have what I want? What I need? What am I supposed to do?
No 411 – Spiderman 2
Director – Sam Raimi.
Disclaimer – I wrote all my notes and then I put my notes in a bag and then my friend went home with the bag and now I don’t got my notes or nuffink.
There is a moment in Spiderman 2 which gets me excited. The great scientist Otto Octavious has been experimenting with something which is either a precious ore called Tritium or an ore called PreciousTritium (I just can’t tell.... every one says Precious Tritium…). The experiment has backfired. Giant robot tentaclaws have fused into his spine. Bugger.
Doctors begin to operate, trying to prise the wires from the connections they’ve made in the Scientist’s nervous system. The claws flicker to life and all hell breaks loose. It is here that one thing becomes evident. Sam Raimi should be making lighting fast, visceral horror. The claws are such a clear homage to his Evil Dead days. We have POV shots which echo the insane skateboard mounted shots of his first film, we even have a chainsaw…. and there isn’t usually much need for one of those in a operating theatre.
However, Spiderman 2 is most definitely not a dark and visceral horror. It is a solid case of ‘more of the same’ with some nice little touches. The first touch being the wonderful Alfred Molina as Doc Ock. Again, we have a victim who is being manipulated by an external force. Here it is the slightly bonkers explanation that his ‘helping hands’ have overpowered his brain and taken control of him.
Doc Ock is not insane in the same way as the Green Goblin and Molina gets some surprisingly powerful moments as he acts against a series of CGI clamps.
The rest of the film remains fairly similar.
J K Simmons is still the best thing in the franchise – even though at one point he gets mopey…. However, thankfully, it lasts less than a scene before he is yelling out ridiculous demands again.
We even have the exact same set up for the final act. Villain dangles MJ off of an object and puts some other people in peril. Spidey saves the people.
The people all have a wonderful ‘We’re on your side Spiderman’ moment that is meant to be all heart-warming. But instead just makes you feel a little bit sick.
The main thread running throughout the film is the idea of identity. This is the film in which Spidey repeatedly fails to keep his identity secret and where Parker struggles with HIS identity (is he Parker or is he Spidey)… Whilst it is fun to watch Spiderman fall off things, I’m mostly annoyed by this development as it moves Aunt May from ‘annoying boring character who is mostly in the background’ to ‘annoying boring character who is pivotal to the plot and forever giving long long boring speeches about shit….’.