Entertainment Quantified

Jul 5, 2004 - Film

Spider-Man 2

Taking in more than $40.5 Million on the opening day, spurred on by an estimated $5 Million from midnight showings, Spider-Man 2 beat Spider-Man 1 for second place in opening day ticket sales. Number one is Shrek 2 with about $46 Million. Ticket sales do not normally relate to how good the movie is unless you take into account the drop from first week to second week sales. Usually word of mouth kicks in on the second or third week to help sales. Let me tell you though, this is a movie you should see. Rather than insult the loyal Spider-Man audiences by retelling everything that happened in the first movie, you are treated to an almost comic book version of the first movie during the opening credits. Unless you have seen the first movie, you might miss this. They cut out all the garbage and get down to the chase. Peter was bitten by a spider, won a wrestling match, watched his uncle get killed, bad guy emerges, Spider-Man kills bad guy who happens to be his best friend’s dad. All in the space of a 5 minute opening credit roll. Why did I even watch the first movie? Oh yeah, it was good. The second movie revolves around the premise that all you need is 6 lasers a magnetic field and a small amount of tritium (that is Hydrogen with an atomic weight of three having a nucleus of one proton and two neutrons) one can make a fission reaction. Not only that, but the fission reaction looks like a miniature sun. This means that Dr. Octavius has to have 4 mechanical arms attached to his spine to control the coronal mass ejections. But these mechanical arms have some sort of Artificial Intelligence and the only way that they do not totally take over the good doctor is a little plastic bit at the top of his spine that glows blue. When the fission reaction gets started only the doctor needs protective glasses. The rest of the group can look at it and surprisingly the reaction only emits light in one wavelength so nobody is really blinded by looking at it. Not only that but it doesn’t appear to be emitting any heat at all. How will this solve our energy crisis if it doesn’t emit any heat? Never mind the science, it is a comic book. Anything can happen. So the fission reaction gets out of control and acts like a gigantic magnet. Stuff flies about, the little blue plastic bit protecting the doctor gets smashed, everyone looses everything metal off their bodies, and Spider-Man unplugs the whole thing to stop the world from ending. Dr. Octavius, however, is now unconscious. This is where my favorite scene in the whole movie takes place. The doctors are going to have to remove the mechanical arms from the good doctor. What ensues is nothing short of brilliant filming that is taken directly from my favorite Sam Raimi film of all time, “Army of Darkness.” In fact I think this was deliberate due to carnage ending with a chain saw lying on the floor. What a great scene! I will probably pay another $9.50 just to see those 5 minutes again. I think the people around me were wondering what I was laughing at. This wasn’t the only scene that was reminiscence of Army of Darkness, but it was the funniest. Bruce Campbell, playing the usher at the play, also made an appearance in this movie. If you remember, he played the announcer at the wrestling match in the first movie. Now for an open letter to Sam Raimi and Bruce Campbell: Stop flirting with us and just make a fourth Evil Dead movie already!!! Back to Spider-Man 2: The special effects were great with only a few moments where they overpowered what was going on in the movie. Danny Elfman did a superb job on the music. In fact, I was not really excited about this sequel until I saw a preview where the music was so incredible that I had to see it. As is the case with any comic book movie, this probably will not win any awards, but if you are looking to be entertained for two hours and seven minutes this may be the movie for you.