Monday, August 20, 2012

Happy 50th: Spider-Man's Best Movie

      Comic books and television can only do so much to market a superhero. As we have all learned quite recently that to promote anything effectively, make a big budget movie of it. Despite it’s conclusion, Sam Raimi’s Spiderman trilogy will go down as the second greatest superhero trilogy of all time (next to TDK of course), and with the Amazing Spiderman being almost as satisfying I cant wait to see the rest of the new installments. Keeping with the trend of this month, being Spiderman’s 50th birthday I’ve chosen what I believe to be, based on facts, common knowledge and overall personal opinion, the best Spiderman movie thus far: Spiderman 2.

      While Spidey 2 is my number one pick, we can’t knock how great the other three have been. Spiderman (along with the first X-Men movie) was really the first great superhero movie and without it we may not have all the Marvel movies we have today. Before the first film, fans could only read motionless panels and watch cartoons to see Spidey’s swinging action, but the first film introduced us to something we all dreamed about since August of 1962, Spiderman on the big screen. Along with great special effects (for it’s time) and an effective cast, the movie set box office records and became an instant classic. I’ll jump ahead to Spiderman 3; while it did not contain the gripping, almost flawless story that it’s predecessors had, the third and final installment of the Raimi films shattered the previous films’ records. Making up for a severely flawed story, a lot of redundant scenes and some poor portrayals of characters, the action and effects were nothing short of spectacular. No one can deny that everyone in the theatre received an excessive amount of chills when Peter woke up, upside down, in the black suit. In short, this movie was not a good movie with great scenes, but a mediocre movie with good scenes. About a month before it’s release I questioned whether The Amazing Spiderman was coming out too soon, too soon for a reboot and after viewing it several times my answer is hell no. Amazing had a stellar cast, more interesting then the original, a cool new Spidey in a “different” suit, and a new villain, never before portrayed in previous films. The story was intoxicating and the special effects were just awesome. I would have believed this was the best Spiderman movie yet, until I glanced at my DVD shelf, shattering my previous belief and making me realize I was very, very wrong.

     Spiderman 2 was named the second best superhero movie of all time on IGN, behind TDK (how great is TDK… I’m getting off topic). This was one of the most anticipated movies in my lifetime. Following the success of the first, Raimi and his cast and crew stepped up their game and created a near flawless picture. Spiderman 2 gives us the realistic struggles of Peter’s power and the responsibility it unfortunately comes with. Taking notes and literally images from “Spiderman No More”, Spiderman quits being a superhero only to realize that he has the power to save lives, and returning to battle his greatest foe yet, Dr. Octopus. He was one of the most interesting characters to recreate for the big screen, and as difficult a task it was the creative team behind the villain did a superb job, especially during the train sequence. It is one of the most fantastic scenes in any superhero, a fight on the side of a train ending with an incredible burst of strength from our hero. Spiderman 2 was intriguing, gripping, uplifting and truly taught us the lesson of power and that’s why it’s the best Spiderman movie, no question.

     No one ever thought the Spidey sequel would surpass the original, but it did. I’m hoping the same can be done during this new franchise. Doomsday & Beyond continues to celebrate Spidey’s birthday with a tribute/ thanks to Stan Lee, so stay tuned.

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