The thing is it didn't feel at all like a film about a comic book hero. Actually, I don't think it was. It was about Peter Parker - his journey, maturity, and sacrifice. He's also a guy that just happens to wear brightly colored spandex. ;)
While the first Spiderman was a very good movie, it is outclassed on every level by it's sequel. It's easy to say the effects were better (they didn't look like effects this time around), but what really impressed me were the words and ideas being expressed. When, if ever, could you say that about a summer blockbuster? There was so much psychology at play it left the wheels turning in my brain long after I left the theatre. And, for a change, any effects or action sequences were in service to the story rather than the story being in service to them.
I've skipped most people's observations in order to avoid spoilers, so I have yet to see what everyones favorite moment or moments were. Without question mine had to be the train sequence.
At first, I thought this was just some cool idea for a set piece they had thought up. I was OK with that since there was already so much content in the film. But, at the end of the scene I realized that 'OMG there is a point to this too!'
To begin with, one of my super hero 'kinks' is when the hero is unmasked. We get to see him and his alter ego. It's always a cool moment.
Now, knowing a bit of Spiderman lore I knew Harry would find out the truth and possibly MJ, but a train full of people?! Yet, it had to be that way. How else would Peter have discovered, not only how important his scarifice is, how much he is appreciated, but that these people, as anonymous to him as he is to them, get it all. When the boy says 'Don't worry, we won't tell' and hands Peter back his mask you believe that he and every last person there will keep his secret. They have to - not just for his sake, but their own. The moment the truth is revealed to the world, no more Spiderman.
Couple all that with the stunning image of the passengers saving him, carefully passing his body back to safety and...damn, I was in tears.
Other cool moments:
The 'Rain Drops Keep Falling On My Head' montage - too funny.
Bruce Campbell - Nuff said. :)
MJ showing up at his doorstep - in her wedding dress - telling Peter she needs to make her own decisions and saving him for a change. Yes, I'm a big old sap and loved it.
Didn't think much about Harry until near the end of the film when his life *really* becomes a Greek tragedy. I liked that the big reveal wasn't dragged out and Peter simply didn't have time for the drama right now. And Harry's talk with his father/himself was chilling. Will Harry become the Green Goblin? I like the idea a lot, and it is canon, isn't it?
One teeny tiny thing that bugged me (no pun intended ;) was Peter's seeming ability to turn his powers on and off. Maybe this is canon, but it seemed a rather odd development for me. Any experts out there who could clarify this for me?
This is definitely a film to go back and see again...and again. If I'm lucky that will by Monday. :)