The product of an era when superhero movies weren’t yet in vogue, Spider-Man 2 (2004) arrived in theaters 17 years ago with the difficult mission of outdoing its true critic and predecessor. box office phenomenon of the early 2000s. To do this, Sony brought back the entire main cast, kept Sam Raimi in the management and added the “exotic” Alfred Molina to play one of the classic villains of the Pantheon of Spiders: Doctor Octopus.
And since the first film was an absolute success, Raimi proved to executives that he was more than capable of being a hero’s adventure and gained more freedom to dare to tackle a delicate subject that had yet to be tackled. been worked on at the time: what if the Amigão da Neighborhood abandons the red and blue costume and returns to anonymity? The combination of all of these factors has given us a masterpiece of the genre, so much so that Spider-Man 2 is considered by many to be one of the best superhero movies in history.
Whether or not he is one of the best passes, but what is undeniable is his benchmark role in Pop Culture.Structurally perfect, the script is a real lesson in how to build and deconstruct characters on big screen. Starting with the protagonist, Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire), who begins by experiencing the glories of being a hero as well as the storms of being a hero. This duality of being more worthy of being Peter or the Spider is a trademark of the comics and has been adapted in a masterly way. As his masked life got better and better, his personal life suffered from delays, issues with college deadlines, an abusive boss, and infamous bills to pay.
Plus, the love of his life builds up a string of disappointments with the goofy Peter Parker – but he has some intense moments with his other “person,” Spider-Man. Raimi makes it clear in the first act how exhausting the hero’s life is and how much it demands absurdities from the man behind the mask. And there are several moments that make it open, such as when Dr. Octavius claims that Peter is known to be “bright but lazy”. It’s a gripping scene that differentiates the gulf between the image of the Spider and Parker.
Along with these daily dramas, Harry Osborn (James Franco), his best friend, puts him between cross and sword by making Peter endure the pain of mourning. Harry blames Spider-Man for his father’s death, and Peter, Spider-Man himself, sees the situation grow more and more untenable and doesn’t know how to act. Having a murder behind your back is not good for anyone, especially when the press, represented by JJ Jameson (JK Simmons) ‘s Daily Clarim, turns public opinion against it. Faced with this pressure and the feeling of never being enough for New York, Peter begins to question his role as a hero in society.
Discouraged and emotionally destabilized by personal issues, like losing his love, not being able to help his aunt financially and failing at college, the young man sees his powers start to falter. It’s a dramatic turnaround from the concept of heroes in cinema, as the trend in hero movies is to approach the powers that be as the big change in the lives of the protagonists. Steve Rogers, for example, went from being a joker to being the ultimate symbol of his nation; Peter Quill was a loser before establishing himself as Star-Lord. Clark Kent is no longer a lonely journalist to assume the form of Hope… in short, there is no shortage of examples of the positive effects costumes have on people.
Here, Sam Raimi turns the tables. Spider-Man’s influence on Peter’s life takes a back seat, putting Peter Parker’s influence on Spider-Man’s life as the protagonist. It’s spectacular!
Having the choice between returning to anonymity and devoting himself to common issues, Peter abandons his responsibilities as a hero and, in an iconic scene, tells his uncle Ben that he will no longer be the hero. The way this dialogue is conducted consolidates Uncle Ben as the boy’s mentor, even when he is dead. His legacy of responsibility transcends his own death and (Cliff Robertson) continues to influence his nephew’s behavior and morals. And it is precisely in a country without Spider-Man that Doctor Octopus appears. After losing his wife in the exhibition of his project, Otto loses control and begins to act under the influence of mechanical tentacles.
It’s delightfully ironic how the villain was born under Peter’s nose. The character of Octavius is transformed from idol to villain in a believable and natural way. He is a character who speaks directly to Peter, since both are men of science, full of dreams and perspectives. When this reality is taken away from Otto, he acts irresponsibly, focused exclusively on the realization of his project. Regardless of the lives that may be lost along the way or how his project may act negatively in the lives of others, he commits crimes just because he can.
Peter came to act irresponsibly when acquiring his powers, and it ended with the death of his uncle. Doctor Octopus is a projection of what the boy could become if he ignored the weight of the responsibility of having the powers at his disposal.
As Octopus continues to structure his plans, Peter feels the benefits of no longer having a double life. Everything becomes absurdly easier, but at what cost? Crime in New York is soaring, and people are calling for a hero. Even JJ Jameson surrenders and admits he was wrong to judge Stubborn as a criminal the whole time.
Then, moving, Raimi puts Peter in to resolve his personal conflicts and brings Aunt May (Rosemary Harris) to one of the finest speeches in comic book history: “I believe there is a hero in everyone.” from U.S. It keeps us whole. It gives us strength. ennobles us. And finally, it allows us to die with dignity. Even if sometimes you have to be firm and give up what you want the most. Even our dreams ”. My friend, this is creepy! It is a sentence that provokes such an impact, such a force… faced with this shock of reality, the boy becomes a man and embraces the reality of his hero. It doesn’t matter if that means living with financial hardship or moving on without the love of your life. He has a unique gift and must use them for good, after all “With great power comes great responsibility.”
This is where he understands his role as a hero and where despite the influence his personal life has had on life in uniform, being Spider-Man is what he should do. Not because it’s cool, not because it’s fun, but because it’s your duty. Your greatest gift is your greatest curse. It’s a fantastic duality and very well explored by management. Then Octopus kidnaps Mary Jane and Peter, embracing his Spider-Man character, returns to action. A visually fantastic fight begins, which culminates in one of the most awe-inspiring moments in 2000s cinema: a fight streak that is interrupted when Peter has to stop the train with his bare hands.
You can see that he is ready to sacrifice himself for the lives of the passengers, even if it means losing Mary Jane. It is at this point that New York recognizes him as a hero and sees Spider-Man as his greatest asset. Unmasked, but morally supported by the passengers, Peter manages to save them and is ready for battle. Taken to Harry, the Spider is unmasked by his best friend. Upon discovering that Harry gave the tridium to Octopus, Peter breaks free from the shackles and teaches his friend a painful lesson: “We have problems and disagreements, but there is something more important than us at stake.” And that’s how he goes, leaving Harry unmoved, toward his ending in Spider-Man 3 (2007).
In the final showdown, Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus face each other physically, but it is through dialogue that Peter wins the final battle. He sees himself in the bad guy and uses his humility to try to make him see that he was a good person. If Harvey Dent, four years later, continued to say, “Either you die a hero or you live long enough to be the villain,” Peter Parker refused to let evil win and believed until the end that goodness in we were able to act when we act with conscience. In this heroic act of empathy, Peter gets Otto back in control and makes the choice not to die a villain.
It’s almost poetic because the hero and the villain interact directly with the personality of Peter Parker throughout the film. After the conflict is resolved, Mary Jane leaves their relationship and, almost as a reward of fate, puts it back in the boy’s life. And so the film ends: a hero aware of who he is towards the duty inherent in his personality.
17 years ago, Sam Raimi defined the concept of Spider-Man’s heroism in the movies with great simplicity and honesty. And while the most current approach, which the franchise stars Tom Holland, is a lot of fun and true to the comic book megalomania, it still hasn’t managed to reach the level of depth of the original trilogy. I think that might change in the third movie as Spider-Man: Away From Home begins to introduce more dense concepts, but I doubt we have a heroic job as well executed as the memorable Spider-Man 2.
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