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Spider-Man vs Doc Ock – it's on!
Next Tribute ♦
About the Movie
Minor Story Spoilers
Character
Secret Identity.
It's no big secret that I am really into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s a genius way of making superhero films. Before the MCU, there were a couple of superhero films that stood out from the crowd. One of these was the first Spider-Man, way back in 2002.

The director Sam Raimi and the folks at Marvel did an awesome job of successfully bringing Spider-Man to big screen. It wasn't without it’s flaws, but it laid a solid foundation for the future. Swinging by two years later, Spider-Man 2 arrived. And you know what? It improved on the first film in every way. Let’s find out why Spider-Man 2 is the go to film for Spider-Man.
Quote So the first point of call for a new Spider-Man film is who is the main villain? If I asked any Spider-Man fan who is Spider-Man's greatest villains, there's always two that are always mentioned – the Green Goblin and Doc Ock. Green Goblin was in the first film, and here we have Doc Ock. Alfred Molina does a great job of being Dr. Otto Octavius and then turning into Doctor Octopus, nailing both parts of the character. His design is also fantastic, the special effects for the mechanical arms I cannot praise enough, with attention to detail and realistic movement.

I'd come out and say it now – I think Doc Ock is the best villain we have seen in all the Spider-Man films. (In contrast to Spider-Man: the Animated Series where I preferred the Green Goblin) Like the other films, we get to know the character before he changes into a villain. Doctor Octavius is just a scientist wanting to make a difference. But when a freak accident changes him into a villain, he’s misunderstood. He’s not in full control and turns into a dangerous threat to not just Spider-Man but the whole of New York.

Spider-Man has his work cut out for him, as Doc Ock with his scientific knowledge, coupled with those massive mechanical arms make a formidable opponent. The fight scenes were ok in the first Spider-Man, they did feel a bit “Power Rangers”. Here it’s different, the special effects and CGI is much improved, so much so that they still look great today.

The fight scenes are a lot more engaging with the three main fight sequences taking place at different locations with different tactics from both sides. These sequences are longer than the first film, but are not overly long in duration – an important balance for a superhero movie. The most well known one is the train fight. This is Spider-Man at his best and is still one of the best Superhero fight scenes ever. But don’t worry through - Doc Ock gets plenty of character development and screen time (a minor problem of the MCU that this film doesn't have)
[Spider-Man 2]Can you see Doc Ock on the train? That little speck? Trust me, he's a lot bigger when you get closer to him...
Some Spider-Man films in the past (mainly Spider-Man 3 and the Amazing Spider-Man 2) cramed in too many sub-plots into one movie, overloading the film meaning none fail to be exciting and become quite boring (like it’s three or four smaller movies). The first Spider-Man kept things simple. You have two central sub-plots, Peter Parker's “normal and superhero life, and a side plot for the villain. Spider-Man 2 has a similar structure, which keeps the story relatively simple and doesn’t get weighted down.

Sam Raimi made sure that Spider-Man 2 doesn't turn into a “Peter Parker and his friends” movie, a trap that Spider-Man 3 and the Amazing Spider-Man 2 fell into. There's plenty of Spider-Man scenes, and with Mary Jane, Harry, Aunt May and all connected to Peter's personal life, all of these problems and situations are all in turn loosely connected with his life with Spider-Man, so it never feels like two different movies.

All of these supporting characters I have just mentioned work well, there is one supporting character that fans still have in high regard. The one character that everyone agreed was perfectly cast and everyone unanimously agrees is one of the strongest aspects of the whole trilogy. I am talking of course about J. Jonah Jameson.

J. K. Simmons becomes the character, it's as simple as that. He has plenty of scenes, with the chaotic nature of the Daily Bugle is represented spot on and Jameson's knack of having three different conversations at once is uncanny. The Daily Bugle staff gel well with his way of operating things and gives a good representation of what a top class newspaper office in the Marvel universe works. It's no wonder the character doesn't appear in any of the future Spider-Man films, how could you top him?


Closing Thoughts
Very Good Very Good
Spider-Man 2 is one of the best Superhero sequels. It corrected minor problems with it’s predecessor and improved everything else. With a whole Marvel universe and two more versions of the character on screen since the release of Spider-Man 2, it is still regarded as one of the best superhero films of all time. It's down to the faithful representations of the characters, excellent action scenes and a relatively simple story, this is the test on how to do a Spider-Man film. Go Spidey Go!

My One Big Highlight
Spiderman Opening credit sequences seem to be becoming less and less of the norm these days, that's why it’s my big highlight. Spider-Man 2 has on-screen credits, with a great web effect and features paintings of various scenes from the first film. It brings you up to date quickly and also has something that even Marvel Studios don’t really have – a real strong theme for the character.
Elephant In the Room
elephant The extended edition of Spider-Man 2 is excellent but I do think that the two new scenes hinder and doesn’t help the film. The guy in the elevator scene now goes on for a lot longer, which worked better in the snappier format. The other scene with MJ talking to her friend about getting married. Was that scene really necessary? We already worked that as an audience that she was having doubts.
List
My Favourites
Minor Story Spoilers
[Spider-Man]There were some great shots of Spider-Man that were Amazing! Like this one that closes the movie.
Ever since Christopher Nolan rebooted the Batman film franchise with Batman Begins back in 2005, film studios have been doing reboots ever since, with varying degrees of success. In 2012, Spider-Man was the latest film franchise to be rebooted. While we can all agree that the Sam Raimi trilogy had faults, Spider-Man 2 was almost a perfect film. So the big question: is the Amazing Spider-Man better than Spider-Man 2?

A lot of people at the time thought it was a bad idea to reboot, but I'm always up for change as long as it is better than films that preceded it. So first things first, it doesn’t fall into the trap of Spider-Man 3 or The Amazing Spider-Man 2 by having a confusing and complicated story with too many villains and not enough Spider-Man screen time. That’s a good start.

Unlike most other comic book movies I’ve seen, I have actually read the original Spider-Man comics. You get a better understanding of what they’ve kept the same or changed. The Amazing Spider-Man takes a lot more from the original comics than the original trilogy. Things like Gwen Stacy appearing instead of Mary Jane, Peter using mechanical web shooters, and briefly seeing Peter's parents when he was a child. That’s something that is at least on par with Spider-Man 2.

So let's talk about Peter Parker. Aside from minor things that don’t really effect the character (Peter Parker to my knowledge wasn’t an avid Skateboarder), it's a better representation of the character. Andrew Garfield does the whole slightly geeky teenage Peter well, meaning you gel with the character quickly. So for the record: I do think Andrew Garfield is a better Peter Parker than Toby Mcguire (that being said, I still think he’s good just not great)

The character himself has some great moments. I really like the scene where he first gets his powers, as the sudden strength and stickiness of his hands are shown with comic effect. I also like the design of his bedroom, with geeky posters and clever little device which opens and locks his door. However, I do prefer the scenes in which Peter is experimenting with his web powers better in the original, along with the actual scene where he gets bitten. So a mixed bag.

With a superhero movie, you must also make a good superhero too. Does Andrew Garfield pull this off successfully? This isn’t a simple answer. Yes, he makes a great Spider-Man with great movement and the famous Spider-Man querks make a return from the comics. CGI has come a long way since the original Spider-man movie, and with also makes use of practical effects, the movement of Spidey on the whole looks good, with only a few wonky shots.
[Spider-Man]Ah, Gwen Stacy. A character so good in the Amazing films that she is suspiciously absent from Spider-Man: Homecoming...
There are two things that let it down. First is the suit. I can see what they were trying to achieve – making the suit a little “worse” to then bring the classic suit back for it’s sequel. But for me, it just doesn’t look that good and all these years later I still ain’t a fan. The suit in the sequel on the other hand, is one of the few things it gets right!

The other is the action scenes. The action scenes in Spider-Man 2 still look fantastic, even taking into account the age of the original film. One thing Spider-Man 2 has for it is the action scenes have great stakes and feel “epic” or grand in scale. With scenes like the train scene, the bank fight, Spidey delivering Pizzas have lots of variety and show Spider-Man at the height of his powers. You get the impression that Spider-Man needs to take down this lunatic or the city will suffer (Ok maybe not the Pizza scene!).

The action scenes in the Amazing Spider-Man don’t have that grand scale and never seem to look as good. Again, it never seems to get to the same scale. This may have to do with the main baddie, Dr Curt Connors as the Lizard. The Lizard's design looks very little like it's comic counterpart. The character just doesn't work as well as Doc Ock from Spider-Man 2, in terms of design and importance in the story.

So let's talk about the other main character, Gwen Stacy (Played by Emma Stone). Let's face it – she is fantastic. She's appeared straight out of the comics. She's charming and has a real soft spot for Peter, where her compassion for him grows over the course of the movie. A lot of reviewers have praised the dynamic and relationship between Peter and Gwen and I will have to say it here too. This works much better than the Peter and Mary Jane relationship from Spider-Man 2.

Other characters include Sally Field as Aunt May and Martin Sheen as Ben Parker. I prefer Aunt May from Spider-Man 2, but I much prefer Martin Sheen as Ben Parker. I was genuinely gutted when he died. Some of the other characters from Spider-Man 2 do not appear in the reboot, including: Norman Osbourne, Harry Osbourne, J. Jonah Jameson (and all the bugle staff) and Mary Jane. This makes the film feel a little different.


Closing Thoughts
Re-watching Spider-Man 2 and the Amazing Spider-Man back-to-back is pretty frustrating. Spider-Man 2 is the better film, whereas The Amazing Spider-Man is a mixed bag but crucially has elements that work better, including Gwen Stacy and their relationship, and adding some depth to Peter Parker.

But The Amazing Spider-Man action scenes been weaker, glaring omissions like J.Jonah Jameson and an ok score, it just weighs the film down. So the answer to my question, no it isn’t, but it’s pretty close. Now, Spider-Man: Homecoming, you want to join the fight?