Archive for Peter Parker

Spider-Man: Homecoming

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Superhero Films with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 4, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Following the Battle of New York, Adrian Toomes and his salvage company are contracted to clean up the city, but their operation is taken over by the Department of Damage Control (D.O.D.C.), a partnership between Tony Stark and the U.S. government. Enraged at being driven out of business, Toomes persuades his employees to keep the Chitauri technology they have already scavenged and use it to create and sell advanced weapons. Eight years later, Peter Parker is drafted into the Avengers by Stark to help with an internal dispute, but resumes his studies at the Midtown School of Science and Technology when Stark tells him he is not yet ready to become a full Avenger.

Parker quits his school’s academic decathlon team to spend more time focusing on his crime-fighting activities as Spider-Man. One night, after preventing criminals from robbing an ATM with their advanced weapons from Toomes, Parker returns to his Queens apartment where his best friend Ned discovers his secret identity. On another night, Parker comes across Toomes’ associates Jackson Brice / Shocker and Herman Schultz selling weapons to local criminal Aaron Davis. Parker nearly drowns intervening, and is rescued by Stark, who is monitoring the Spider-Man suit he gave Parker and warns him against involvement with the dangerous criminals. Toomes accidentally kills Brice with one of their weapons, and Schultz becomes the new Shocker.

Parker and Ned study a weapon left behind by Brice, removing its power core. When a tracking device on Schultz leads to Maryland, Parker rejoins the decathlon team and accompanies them to Washington, D.C. for their national tournament. Ned and Parker disable the tracker Stark implanted in the Spider-Man suit, and unlock its advanced features. Parker tries to stop Toomes from stealing weapons from a D.O.D.C. truck, but is overpowered and trapped inside the truck, causing him to miss the decathlon tournament. When he discovers that the power core is an unstable Chitauri grenade, Parker races to the Washington Monument where the core explodes and traps Ned and their friends in an elevator. Evading local authorities, Parker saves his friends, including his fellow classmate and crush Liz. Returning to New York City, Parker persuades Davis to reveal Toomes’ whereabouts. Aboard the Staten Island Ferry, Parker captures Toomes’ new buyer Mac Gargan, but Toomes escapes and a malfunctioning weapon tears the ferry in half. Stark helps Parker save the passengers before admonishing him for his recklessness and taking away his suit.

Parker returns to his high school life, and eventually asks Liz to go to the homecoming dance with him. On the night of the dance, Parker learns that Liz is Toomes’ daughter. Deducing Parker’s secret identity, Toomes threatens retaliation if he interferes with his plans. During the dance, Parker realizes Toomes is planning to hijack a D.O.D.C. plane transporting weapons from Avengers Tower to the team’s new headquarters. He dons his old homemade Spider-Man suit and races to Toomes’ lair. He is first ambushed by Schultz, but defeats him with the help of Ned. At the lair, Toomes destroys the building’s support beams and leaves Parker to die. Parker is able to escape the rubble and intercepts the plane, steering it to crash on the beach near Coney Island. He and Toomes engage in an open confrontation that ends with Parker saving Toomes’ life from his own unstable equipment, and leaving him for the police along with the plane’s cargo. After her father’s arrest, Liz moves away, and Parker declines an invitation from Stark to join the Avengers full time. Stark returns Parker’s suit, which he puts on at his apartment just as his Aunt May walks in.

In a mid-credits scene, an incarcerated Gargan approaches Toomes in prison. Gargan has heard that Toomes knows Spider-Man’s real identity, but Toomes denies this.


With all the success Marvel has had with the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe), they could not say they truly were a success story until there was a Spider-Man film under their wing. With Sony holding the rights to the character (not to mention the Fantastic Four) hostage, many were wondering if we would ever see the day when Spidey would grace the big screen in the MCU…then we saw Captain America: Civil War. Now, Spider-Man: Homecoming aims to take that character introduction and flesh out a third cinematic version of Peter Parker. Hey, at least this one is age-appropriate, right?

What is this about?

Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, Peter returns home, where he lives with his Aunt May, under the watchful eye of his new mentor Tony Stark, Peter tries to fall back into his normal daily routine – distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man – but when the Vulture emerges as a new villain, everything that Peter holds most important will be threatened.

What did I like?

Fun. Audiences and critics have been noticing something in superhero films (and TV shows). A lack of fun! Think about how bright and vibrant Superman is and now think about what we were forced to sit through with Man of Steel. Somewhere along the way, our superheroes stopped being beacons of hope, and turned into examples of how to brood. Spider-Man has not been exempt from this curse. Toby Maguire’s version started out pretty good, but couldn’t keep it up. I never cared for Andrew Garfield or his take on the character, so I won’t waste time on him. Tom Holland brings a fresh take to Spider-Man in that we haven’t seen him as a high schooler, at least not an age appropriate high schooler. With that, the fun and innocence that Stan Lee intended for the character is front and center, as are the awkward moments of being a teenager. Again, this is what Stan Lee envision when he first created him, not some attitude having, puffy haired, British string bean who ruins the character of Peter Parker.

We know the story. Look, if you don’t know the origin of Spider-Man by now, either through comics, cartoons,, Wikipedia, or whatever, then chances are you either don’t care or just haven’t bothered to learn yourself something. With that said, I join the billions of fans who saw this and noticed the absence of Uncle Ben’s murder. As a matter of fact, it isn’t even mentioned! We are more than aware than Ben gets shot and its Peter’s fault, but in the last 5 Spider-Man movies, we have either seen this happen or been privy to a bevy of flashbacks so that we can relive the scene ad naseum. Thank goodness the 6th time they got it right and didn’t include anything about the murder…though I do hope in future films we get something on what happened. I’m mostly curious as to who they’ll cast as Uncle Ben to pair with Marisa Tomei’s Aunt May

Cap must’ve needed the money. One of the best cameos in the picture is Captain America doing PSAs. While I was laughing when Cap showed up in these videos, I couldn’t help but wonder why he was doing them. Did the government make him? Is he just being a good guy and attempting to help the youth? Just some thoughts that popped in my head. I’m sure that I am just overanalyzing and  these were nothing more than a funny thing to include in the film.

What didn’t I like?

Homage or ripoff? About halfway through the picture, there is a scene where Spider-Man has to use all of his strength to hold two halves of a dissected boat together. As I was sitting there watching him strain, I couldn’t help but recall the train sequence in Spider-Man 2 when Toby Maguire is called on to use all of his strength to stop the train. Many people have noticed this comparison and now I must ask…is this an homage or a ripoff? I see it more as an homage, personally. The scene in question is from what is arguably the best Spider-Man film to date, so why wouldn’t you bring something from that great film into this new version? Also, if it was a ripoff, I think we’d have a seen something involving the subway, I’m sure.

What a shock! Shocker is one of my favorite in Spider-Man’s rogues gallery. I can’t tell you why, but I have this affinity for him. Maybe it’s the Texas connection?!? At any rate, I was over the hills with excitement when I heard the announcement he was going to be in this film. Then I saw him and my jaw dropped. This is not Shocker. He doesn’t even really don the costume, save for the sleeves on his jacket. How is it we can get nearly every detail right with superheroes, but for the villains they just seem to wear similar colors to their comic counterparts. I wonder why that is!

A change will do you good. My first introduction to the Vulture was as an elderly gentlemen who was running part of the criminal organizations in NYC. Obviously, there are some differences between that idea and the one we see on the screen. Most importantly, the family man version of the character remained intact. So, why would I not like the change in history? Well, just this week, some promotional photos were released for Deadpool 2, specifically images of the mutant, Domino. I bring this up because she’s quite the curvy wonder in the pics, it is the sudden realization that she is now to be played by an actress of color…complete with afro and some weird face that causes her to look like a dog. What is the reason for this change? No real reason, they just wanted someone of ethnicity to play a character who has plae white skin.

Final verdict on Spider-Man:Homecoming? This is the superhero film we’ve all been clamoring for. It has action, humor, sci-fi, crime, and even a love story. What is there to not like? While Marvel and Sony are sure to fight over who gets credit here, really it is the fans and moviegoers that win. Do  I recommend  this? Emphatically yes! The cons are few and the pros are many. Go check it out!

5 out of 5 stars



The Amazing Spider-Man

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Superhero Films with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 7, 2012 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

A young Peter Parker is playing hide-and-seek with his scientist father when he discovers his father’s study has been broken into. His father, Richard, gathers up hidden documents, and Peter’s parents take him to the home of his Aunt May and Uncle Ben then mysteriously depart. Years later, a teenage Peter attends Midtown Science High School, where he is bullied by Flash Thompson and has caught the eye of Gwen Stacy. At home, Peter finds Richard’s papers, and learns his father worked with fellow scientist Dr. Curt Connors at Oscorp. Faking his way into Oscorp as one of a group of high-school interns, Peter sneaks into a lab where extremely strong “biocable” is being created from genetically modified spiders, one of which bites him. On the subway ride home, he is shocked to find strange spider-like abilities manifesting.

After studying Richard’s papers, he visits the one-armed Connors at home, reveals he is Richard Parker’s son, and gives Connors his father’s “decay rate algorithm”, the missing piece in Connors’ experiments on regenerating limbs. Connors is being pressured by his superior, Dr. Ratha, who needs Connors to devise a cure for the dying, unseen head of Oscorp, Norman Osborn.

In school, attempting revenge on Flash, Peter gets in trouble, forcing Uncle Ben to switch a work shift in order to meet with the principal; he tells Peter to pick up May tonight for him. Peter later meets Connors at Oscorp, and, ignoring a call from Ben, sees the limb-regeneration formula work on a laboratory mouse. When Peter returns home, Ben scolds him for having neglected to pick up May. Peter storms off, and Ben goes out to search for him. Peter visits a convenience store, and while arguing with the clerk, a man steals from the till and dashes out. Despite the clerk’s plea, Peter refuses to give chase. The thief runs into Ben, who confronts him: They wrestle over a gun, and Ben is shot. The killer escapes as Peter finds his uncle, who dies in his arms.

Afterward, using a police sketch, Peter uses his new abilities to hunt criminals matching the killer’s description. After a fall lands him inside an abandoned gym, a luchador-wrestling poster inspires him to create a mask to hide his identity. He also adds a spandex suit, and builds mechanical devices to attach on his wrists to fire a biocable “web”. The mask, suit, and webshooters becomes a matching red-and-blue spider-themed costume. He later accepts a dinner invitation from Gwen and meets her family, including her father, police captain George Stacy. After dinner, Peter and Gwen go to her apartment building’s roof, where he shows her his abilities, and they kiss.

Ratha says Connors must begin human trials immediately if Osborn is to survive. Connors refuses to rush the drug-testing procedure and put innocent subjects at risk. Ratha fires Connors and says he will test Connors’ serum at a Veterans Administration hospital under the guise of flu shots. Connors tries the formula on himself, and, after passing out and awakening, finds his missing arm has regenerated. Learning Ratha is on his way to the VA hospital, Connors, whose skin is growing scaly and green, goes to intercept him. By the time he gets to the traffic-jammed Williamsburg Bridge, Connors has become a hybrid of lizard and man, tossing cars, including Ratha’s, over the side of the bridge. Peter, now calling himself Spider-Man, saves each fallen car with his web-lines.

Spider-Man suspects Connors is the Lizard, and unsuccessfully confronts the Lizard in the sewers. The Lizard learns Spider-Man’s real identity and attacks Peter at school. The police hunt both Spider-Man and the Lizard, with Captain Stacy learning Spider-Man’s real identity. The Lizard plans to make all humans lizard-like by releasing a chemical cloud from Oscorp’s tower. Spider-Man eventually disperses an antidote cloud instead, restoring Connors and earlier victims to normal, but not before the Lizard fatally claws Stacy. The dying Stacy makes Peter promise to keep Gwen safe by staying away from her. Peter initially does so, but later decides to see her after all.

In a scene during the end credits, Connors, in a prison cell, appears to speak with a man who asks if Connors told Peter the truth about his father. Connors replies, “No” and demands Peter be left alone before the man mysteriously vanishes


One of the most heavily anticipated films of this summer has to be The Amazing Spider-Man. The problem with this is that it isn’t a continuation of the Sam Raimi series of films. As a matter of fact, the day before they were set to start filming Spider-Man 4, th studio decided they wanted to rewrite things, which led to this highly unnecessary reboot. Why in the bloody blue hell would you reboot something so soon? Spider-Man 3, despite the rather dismal reviews from fans and critics, is still pretty fresh in most of our minds, as it was just released in 2007.

Before I get into this review, please don’t think that I went into this flick with some kind of prejudice. As far removed from the source material as the Raimi Spider-Man films are, they are enjoyable. However, I am a fan of Spider-Man, and the truth is, my dead goldfish that I had when I was 6 yrs old could come out with a movie starring old webhead and the chances are that I would watch it, after I figure out how he’s managed to make it, let alone come back to life.

So, what did I like?

Parents. With all the superhero films that have been released, the origin story is the Achilles’ heel of them all. There are a few that don’t suffer from these affliction, but this isn’t one of them. We get the same Spider-Man origin we got in Spider-Man, but with a different twist. I did like that they introduced something new in here by telling us a bit about his parents, though I think this more to create questions that anything else.

Lizard. I’m a little torn on the Lizard, but I’m glad that we finally get the chance to see him on the big screen. Nothing against Rhys Ifans, he did a great job as Curt Connors, as a matter of fact, but I think Dylan Baker got the “Billy Dee treatment”. What I’m referring to is how Billy Dee Williams portrayed Harvey Dent in Batman , only to be replaced a couple of films later with Tommy Lee Jones (his contract was bought out, but before that happened there was a stipulation that he was to play Two-Face). That point aside, seeing a somewhat lesser known villain start this franchise leads me to believe that they are taking a page out of the Christopher Nolan book and building up to bigger and better villains, such as Green Goblin (Norman Osborn is hinted at all throughout the film, and Oscorp is the company where Connors works) or Dr. Octopus, though I’m not sure anyone can top Alfred Molina’s performance.

Web shooters. In Spider-Man, we saw Peter Parker shoot webs from his wrists, but it was some kind of biological thing. It actually made more sense that a poor high school kind able to create web shooters on some kind of measly allowance. Not to mention, the wrist web thing doesn’t run out, so it makes sense. However, it is still great to see the web shooters. These are a staple in Spider-Man lore, after all.

What didn’t I like?

Reboot. There was no need to reboot this!

3D. I actually paid the extra rented sunglass price to see this, and was highly disappointed. The trailers looked like they were going to make brilliant use of the 3D, but the fact is, they didn’t do anything with it. The only thing that used it was the trailer for Wreck-It Ralph!

Lizard. I’ve already discussed what I liked about the guy. On the flipside, though, I was not a fan of the design. I may be spoiled by seeing him portrayed in the comics and cartoons, but it seems to be that he needed to have a snout. I could accept the human face before the full on mutation, but there comes a point where he needs to be a giant lizard! The director has been quoted as saying he wanted him to look human. Yes, you read right…the Lizard was supposed to look human. I just don’t know how to even respond to that.

Youth. They made a valiant effort to influx youth into the film. I could care less about that, except for the fact that, if you’re going to do that, then get some actors that are the right age and not nearly 30 playing teenagers! That’s not the worst part, though. Sally Field, who I have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for, just looked too young to be Aunt May. She’s always looked young (a little less so in recent years), but Aunt May is quite aged, for lack of a better term. They could have done better.

Investment. I’ve been reading and hearing reviews that have said that they really felt the connection between Garfield and Stone. I just didn’t see it. For me, it was just like any other actor and actress up there on the screen. I saw nothing special.

Romance. So, apparently, the filmmakers felt the need to really put the focus on the romance between Peter and Gwen, rather than give us lots of Spidey. Yeah, that was a stroke of genius, lemme tell ya.

Peter Parker. There has been some debate as to what people think of Peter. Personally, I didn’t care for him. First off, Andrew Garfield should not be playing Peter Parker. He doesn’t have the chops to do it, but because The Social Network was so critically acclaimed, he got the job. Second, Peter Parker is supposed to be likable at least, if not lovable. Instead, he’s kind of a douche. Parker is a social outcast nerd. That is not seen anywhere in this film. When he gets his powers, he doesn’t go flaunting them getting himself expelled, either. Finally, as Spider-Man, he’s supposed to crack jokes and be funny. This guy is not that. I complained that Tobey didn’t make enough jokes, and he didn’t, but this guy should stop trying because the jokes aren’t funny and he’s just coming off as a douchebag! Whatever happened to our “friendly neighborhood Spider-Man?”

Keep the mask on. One of the biggest frustrations for me is when actors, who are cast as superheroes, randomly take their mask off just so we can see their face. Look, we know who you are and there are plenty of scenes that show your face. Get over it and keep the damn thing on. They really need to go read a Spider-Man comic and see how many times he takes his mask off. It is rarely, if any. This begs to question why they felt the need to do it here.

Change. I give this film credit for being a little more faithful to the source material, but the things that were changed seemed as if they were changed just because they can do it. For example, Peter is supposed to be bitten by a radioactive spider. This is a big thing that changes his life, and yet, they don’t really say anything about it, but rather go back to shoving Gwen Stacy down our throats. Second, when he first gets his powers, he wrestles under the name Spider-Man. They don’t do that here, but while he is tracking down Uncle Ben’s killer, he falls through the roof into some abandoned wrestling ring. WTF?!?

Potter. With this whole missing parents angle they were using, they kept alluding, at least early on, to the way he resembles his father. I was half expecting someone to say he had his mother’s eyes! Peter Parker is not Harry Potter! Get a new idea, people!!!

Suit. I was watching the credits at the end and saw that this suit was designed by Cirque du Soleil. Ok, no problem with that. Personally, I think there is a bit too much blue on it and it looks more like latex. The thing to remember is that Spider-Man’s costume is made by a high school kid who sewed it together, not a quilt that his adopted Earth mom turned into a uniform! Still, I’m glad it doesn’t have that weird cage webbing that Tobey Maguire’s Spidey suit had. Also, I wasn’t a fan of the sunglasses that we sewn in there. It makes him look more alien than anything else.

Pacing. This film has 3 stages of pacing. The first is the ungodly slow beginning that just seems to drag on. I actually was more interested in seeing how many people were in the theater texting than the first half of this film. Then we get the meat of the flick, where it picks up and you realize that this is a summer action flick. Finally, we get the last act, which seems to be nothing more than some random scenes sloppily thrown together to make and ending, and not a good one. At least the post-credits scene adds some intrigue and mystery, as well as sets up a sequel (trilogy).

The Amazing Spider-Man is anything but that. I had a hard time getting excited to see this from the minute it was announced, but the past couple of years, films I’ve been not excited about have gone on to be the best of the year. I’m pretty sure that won’t be the case this year, though. I won’t say you shouldn’t see this film, because it is a good picture, but it pales in comparison to the pinnacle of Spider-Man films, Spider-Man 2, and doesn’t live up to all the hype they’ve thrown at us. I guess what I’m trying to say is that if you go in this with low expectations, that you’ll enjoy it, but the minute you start thinking this is going to be the greatest film of all time, disappointment will set in big time. For those of you superhero flick fans, fear not, we all know that The Avengers was awesome and The Dark Knight Rises is just around the corner, ready to wash any bad taste out of your mouth.

3 3/4 out of 5 stars

Spider Man 3

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Superhero Films with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2008 by Mystery Man


Peter Parker has begun to feel secure in his life and plans to propose to Mary Jane. One night in a park, while Peter and Mary Jane are on a date, a small meteorite crashes nearby, and an alien symbiote oozes out, attaching itself to Peter’s moped. Meanwhile, escaped convict Flint Marko falls into a particle accelerator, which fuses his body with the surrounding sand. The result allows him to shape shift at will, becoming the Sandman. Peter’s best friend, Harry Osborn, who seeks vengeance for his father’s death, which he believes Peter caused, attacks him. The battle leaves Harry with short-term amnesia, making him forget his vendetta.

Later, during a festival honoring Spider-Man for saving Gwen Stacy’s life, Sandman attempts to rob an armored car, and overpowers Spider-Man. Captain Stacy later informs Peter and Aunt May that Marko is the one who killed Ben Parker, and a vengeful Peter waits for Marko to strike again. The symbiotebonds with his costume while he is asleep; Peter discovers that not only has his costume changed, but his powers have been enhanced as well. The black suit also brings out the more vengeful, selfish, and arrogant side of Peter’s personality, exemplified by a near lethal attack on Sandman during a battle underground.

The shift in Peter’s personality alienates Mary Jane, whose stage career is floundering, and she finds solace with Harry. Harry recovers from his amnesia, and, urged on by an apparition of his dead father, forces MJ to break up with Peter. After Mary Jane leaves Peter, stating she is in love with another man, Harry meets him at a restaurant and claims to be the other man. Later, Peter finds him at the Osborn mansion. With the help of the black suit, Peter is victorious in a brutal fight, which leaves Harry’s face disfigured. Influenced by the suit, Peter exposes and humiliates Eddie Brock, Jr., a rival freelance photographer, who has sold fake pictures to The Daily Buglesupposedly showing Spider-Man to be a criminal.

In an effort to make MJ jealous, Peter brings Gwen to the nightclub where Mary Jane works. Peter gets into a fight with the club’s bouncers and knocks MJ to the floor. Peter realizes the symbiote-suit is changing him for the worse. He runs out of the nightclub and goes to a church bell tower to get rid of it. Initially he is unable to pull the suit off, but the sound of the church bell weakens the symbiote, enabling Peter to break free. Eddie Brock is at the same church praying for Peter’s death when the symbiote falls from the tower and takes over his body. The newly-empowered Eddie finds Sandman and suggests that they join forces to destroy Spider-Man.

The pair use Mary Jane as bait to force Spider-Man to confront them. Peter approaches Harry for help, but is turned down. However, Harry learns the truth about his father’s death from his butler Bernard, and arrives in time to rescue Peter, teaming up against Brock and Sandman. As the fight progresses, Brock attempts to impale Peter with the glider, but Harry sacrifices himself and is fatally wounded. Peter recalls how the church bell’s toll weakened the symbiote, and frees Eddie from it by clanging several pipes together. Peter throws a pumpkin bomb at the symbiote just as Eddie attempts to rebond with it.

After the battle, Marko tells Peter that he had no intention of killing Ben Parker, and that it was an accident born out of a desperate attempt to save his daughter’s life. Peter forgives Marko, who dissipates and floats away. Peter and Harry forgive each other, before Harry dies with Mary Jane and Peter at his side. After Harry’s funeral, Peter and Mary Jane begin to mend their relationship.


Many critics and fanboys have panned this film. I’ll admit, I’m not the biggest fan of it.

They try to go to deep into Sandman’s past. I understand they have to give him an actual character and whatnot, but as with the first film and Spider Man’s origin, there is no need to know every detail on film.

Mary Jane is bordering on PMS-esque bitchiness throughout most of the film. It’s really annoying, and makes one not like her. That could be the intention, though, so as to sway the audience towards Gwen Stacy.

The New Goblin, who doesn’t exist in the comic, is just a waste of screen time that could have been used to tell us more about the symbiote or do more with Venom. Seriously, the symbiote just crashes on Earth, hops a ride on Peter’s moped, eventually latches on and other than a brief meeting with Dr. Connors (who should be the Lizard by now), there is no real interest in it.

Venom was the major selling point of the film, yet he doesn’t appear until the last 30 minutes where he is pretty much shoved in there. Topher Grace does not do a good job with this role, and what is up with the teeth and the constant revealingof his face? Do these people not read the comics, or are they so hell bent on showing the overpaid actors’ faces that they have to sacrifice the source material?

The ending gets a little sappy, but, until further notice, this is meant to be the last in the series, so it’s a little understandable as they have to tie up all the loose ends, but that just seemed to drag on.

Many of Sandman’s effects reminded me of the first 2 Mummy films. Of course, that may be becuse of the sand.

Bryce Dallas Howard was a welcome addition to the cast, though. Peter’s “emo” scene is a welcome bit of comic relief as it lightens things up after all the heavy stuff.

I’m not going to sit here and tell you that this is a bad film, because it isn’t. However, if you’re a Spidey fan, be wary, there are parts that will leave you scratching your head wondering WTF?!?

4 out of 5 stars

Spider Man 2

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Superhero Films with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 5, 2008 by Mystery Man



The story begins two years from where the previous film ends, and Peter Parker is finding his double life increasingly difficult. Precariously struggling to balance his crime-fighting duties with the demands of his normal life, Peter often finds his personal life taking a back seat. He loses a job, faces financial difficulties, and struggles to maintain his physics studies at Columbia University. Moreover, he has become estranged from both love interest Mary Jane and best friend Harry Osborn, and Aunt May is threatened with foreclosure.

Harry, now head of Oscorp’s research division, has invested in the research of brilliant scientist Otto Octavius, Peter’s idol. To perform a sustained fusion experiment, Octavius has developed a set of artificially intelligent mechanical arms, which are impervious to heat and magnetism. Though the experiment overloads and becomes unstable, Dr. Octavius refuses to halt it, with devastating results: his wife is killed; the neural inhibitor chip which enabled him to control the arms is destroyed; and the arms are fused to his spine. Unconscious, he is taken to a hospital to have the tentacles removed, but the tentacles kill the surgeons, and he escapes. Uncontrolled, the tentacles begin to influence Octavius’ mind, playing on his vanity and ego, and he decides he must complete his experiment at any cost. J. Jonah Jameson names him Doctor Octopus or “Doc Ock.” Doc Ock attempts to rob a bank where Peter Parker and his Aunt May happen to be present. After a short glitch in his powers, Spider-Man manages to recover shortly after that and soon the two take their fight outside the bank, but Doc Ock takes Aunt May as a hostage. When Spider-Man rescues her, she revises her former opinion of him and realizes that he is a hero.

During a party, Peter learns that M.J. is planning to marry John Jameson. He also gets into a physical altercation with Harry, who is under the influence, over his loyalty to Spider-Man; shortly after he loses his powers while web-slinging across town. Meanwhile, Doc Ock rebuilds his experimental reactor. Peter questions if he could ever have what he “needs”, a life as Peter Parker, which involves a vision of Uncle Ben, and resolves to give up being Spider-Man. Back home, after visiting Uncle Ben’s grave, Aunt May is distressed by Peter’s confession that he was somewhat responsible for his Uncle Ben’s death. Aunt May and Peter reconcile, and she tells Peter of the hope that Spider-Man brings to others, in spite of what dreams he may have to sacrifice. Peter attempts to re-connect with Mary Jane, but she informs him it is too late. In the meantime, Doc Ock has completed rebuilding his reactor, and needs one final item: the tritium which fuels the reactor. He goes to Harry Osborn for it, dangling him over the edge of the Osborn mansion balcony when he refuses. Harry agrees to give Ock what he needs in exchange for capturing Spider-Man. Mary Jane meets Peter in a coffee shop to ask if he still loves her, but Peter tells her that he does not. Amidst this exchange, the two are ambushed by Doctor Octopus, who abducts Mary Jane in a ploy to lure Spider-Man into a trap. Peter’s powers return, and he dons his costume and engages Doc Ock in a battle, which starts off at the top of a bell tower and then on top of a subway train. During the battle, Doc Ock manages to destroy the brakes to the train, forcing Spider-Man to rescue the runaway train.

Spider-Man manages to stop the train before it can plunge over the end of the track, but at great physical exertion. Weak, he is captured by Doctor Octopus and delivered to Harry Osborn. Harry unmasks Spider-Man and is stunned to discover that his sworn enemy is also his best friend. Peter awakens and convinces Harry to reveal Octavius’ whereabouts so he can rescue Mary Jane. Spider-Man finds Doctor Octavius in an abandoned warehouse on a waterfront pier, where he’s restarted his fusion experiment. After battling with Doc Ock, Spider-Man manages to stun the villain with an electric shock. Peter then reveals his true identity to Octavius and pleads with him to stop the machine. Returned to his senses and determined to end his doomsday experiment before it causes more harm, Octavius uses his mechanical arms to collapse the floor of the building, successfully drowning the device at the cost of his own life. Mary Jane sees Peter without his mask on, but Peter tells her they can never be together, as he will always have enemies.

Across town, Harry has visions of his father, the late Norman Osborn, in a hanging mirror. The illusion demands that his son kill Peter Parker to avenge his death. Harry refuses and hurls a dagger at the mirror, shattering it and revealing a secret room, containing the Green Goblin’s war gear. At the end of the film, Mary Jane leaves her wedding and finds Peter in his apartment, telling him that she has decided to be with him – despite the risks. She persuades Peter to finally let her in while accepting the need of his vows by letting him respond to a sudden call for help.


This is the best of the series! The fights between Doc Ock and Spidey are some of the best in comic book movies or any movies for that matter!

A negative note for this film is that they spend a little too much time on the Mary Jane/Peter drama. I understand they needed to put it in there, but for me it was a bit much. Even though, Kirsten Dunst looks even hotter as a redhead than she does as a blonde.

The way the film ends leaves a little to be desired. One cannot be sure what that expression on Mary Jane’s face is, or what the fate of Doc Ock is. Perhaps he may return in a future film. We can hope…and even more so, hope that it’s as good as this one!

5 out of 5 stars

Spider Man

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Superhero Films with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 29, 2008 by Mystery Man


Peter Parker, his best friend Harry Osborn, and secret crush Mary Jane Watson visit a genetics laboratory at Columbia University with their high school class. While taking photos in the laboratory, Peter is bitten on the hand by a genetically engineered “super spider”. Feeling unwell, he passes out shortly after arriving home. Meanwhile, scientist Norman Osborn, Harry’s father, is attempting to preserve his company’s military contract, knowing that its loss will mean the end of his business. He experiments on himself with his company’s new, but unstable, performance-enhancing chemical vapor which increases his speed, strength, and stamina. However, it also causes him to become insane and he kills his assistant, Mendel Stromm. The next morning, Peter wakes to find that his previously impaired vision has improved and that his body has metamorphosized into a more muscular physique. At school, he finds himself producing webbing and having the quick reflexes to avoid being injured in a fight with bully Flash Thompson. Peter escapes from the school and realizes that he has acquired spider-like abilities from the spider bite. He quickly learns to scale walls, long jump across building rooftops and swing via webs from his wrists.

Lying to his aunt and uncle about where he is going, Peter decides to enter a wrestling tournament to get money to buy a car and impress Mary Jane. During an argument, Uncle Ben advises Peter, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Peter lashes out at his uncle and leaves for the tournament. Peter wins, but is cheated out of the contest money. In retaliation he allows a thief to escape with the promoter’s gate money. Afterward, Peter finds his uncle has been carjacked and killed. Peter tracks down the carjacker only to find out it was the same thief he allowed to escape earlier. After Peter disarms him, the carjacker tries to get away but falls out of a window and is killed.

Upon graduating school, Peter decides to use his abilities to fight injustice, and dons a new costume and the persona of Spider-Man. Peter is hired as a freelance photographer when he arrives in newspaper editor J. Jonah Jameson’s office with the only clear images of Spider-Man.

Norman, upon finding out that Oscorp’s board members plan to sell the company, attacks them at the World Unity Fair. Although he successfully murders them, Spider-Man arrives and drives him off. Jameson quickly dubs Norman the “Green Goblin”. The Goblin offers Spider-Man a place at his side, but Spider-Man refuses, knowing that it is the right thing to do. At the Osborn and Parkers’ Thanksgiving dinner, Norman, unknown to Peter, figures out Spider-Man’s true identity; the Green Goblin subsequently attacks Aunt May. While Aunt May recovers in the hospital, Mary Jane admits she has a crush on Spider-Man, who rescued her on numerous occasions, and asks Peter whether he ever asked about her. Peter reflects on his own feelings, during which Harry enters. Feeling betrayed by his girlfriend and best friend, Harry tells his father whom Peter loves the most, unintentionally revealing Spider-Man’s biggest weakness.

The Goblin holds Mary Jane and a tram car full of children hostage on top the Queensboro Bridge where Spider-Man arrives. The Goblin forces Spider-Man to choose who he wants to save, and drops Mary Jane and the children. Spider-Man manages to save both Mary Jane and the tram car, while the Goblin is pelted by civilians showing loyalty to Spider-Man. The Goblin then grabs Spider-Man and throws him into an abandoned building where he begins to beat him [similar to how The Joker’s black goon beats up Batman in the 1989 film]. The tables turn as the Goblin boasts of how he will later kill Mary Jane, and an enraged Spider-Man dominates over him, forcing the Goblin into being unmasked. Norman begs for forgiveness, but his Goblin persona attempts to remote-control his glider to impale Spider-Man. The superhero evades the attack, causing the glider to impale Norman instead, and he dies asking Peter not to reveal his secret to Harry. At Norman’s funeral, Harry swears vengeance toward Spider-Man, who he believes is responsible for killing his father, and asserts that Peter is all he has left. Mary Jane confesses to Peter that she’s in love with him, but Peter, feeling that he must protect her from the unwanted attentions of Spider-Man’s enemies, hides his true feelings. As Peter leaves the funeral, he recalls Uncle Ben’s words about responsibility, and accepts his new life as Spider-Man.


When it was first announced that Tobey Maguire would be cast as Spider Man, I joined in with most other people and was skeptical. I had recently watched him in Pleasantville. After watching the finished product, I was pleasantly surprised.

Kirsten Dunst was brilliantly cast as Mary Jane Watson, although, I think they could have done a bit more with her character. She does look even hotter with red hair, though.

It’s not often that someone looks like they were plucked out of the funny pages, but J.K. Simmons is a dead on ringer for J. Jonah Jameson.

I understand that this is the first in the series, but they spent the first hour developing the origin an backstory of Spiderman and the Green goblin, then rushed all the action and plot into the last 30 min. To me, it seems as if they could have come to some sort of better balance.

My other qualm is with the differences from the comic. Yes, I’m a purist when ti comes to movies like this. They shouldn’t change just to make an extra buck. Fact of the matter is, if you make it they will come. If you make it and its good more people will come.

In the comics, Harry is a nerdy kid who fears his father. In the movie, he’s a spoiled rich kid, who has flunked out of private school.

Also, Goblin’s demise is taken from an issue from the 70s, I believe, but don’t quote me. They pretty much have it dead on, but if I remember right, Mary Jane gets transported to another dimension and Goblin is impaled by his own glider (which they did happen). The whole Spider Man carrying Norman back to his mansion and Harry seeing him and vowing revenge is not in the books to my knowledge.

I love that they chose to go with the lighter side of things. Not every superhero is dark. As a matter of fact, only Batman is a brooding and emo. Spider Man actually has fun with his crime fighting. I think they captured that for the most part with this film.

5 out of 5 stars