This is a great movie to watch with 30-40% of your concentration. If you are doing your taxes, texting a friend, and watching the dog chase a ball around, you will enjoy Spider-Man II. Good director. Good action sequences. The colors pop. But believe me, you don’t want watch this movie with your full attention, like I just did.

Nothing makes sense.

  • Peter Parker swings from webs that come from above the city skyline. What’s he sticking those webs to? Passing planes? The moon?
  • Peter Parker throws two robbers out of a car as Spider-Man, and then drives the car to Mary Jane’s recital. When he arrives, he’s dressed in a suit. The implication is that he dressed while driving, like Mr Bean.
  • Who rebuilds Doc Ock’s lab after it’s destroyed? What contractor would work with a fugitive from justice who is wanted for murder?
  • Why is Doc Ock even able to return to the lab? Shouldn’t there be cops or security staking out the scene? How is he able to wander around the city without attracting attention? How does he conceal four 20-foot metal tentacles the size of sewer pipes under a coat?
  • Doc Ock needs money to rebuild his lair, so he robs a stereotypical Movie Bank(tm) with a vault full of bags of money like in a literal cartoon. The bags spill open to reveal…gold coins. What’s he going to do with those? Nobody takes payment in gold coins. Is this a period piece, set in 17th century Tortuga?
  • The train is literally the monorail from the Simpsons. Doc Ock destroys the brake lever (not the brakes themselves, mind you. The lever.) The train then accelerates out of control, as indicated by a speedometer with a helpfully gigantic SPEED INDICATOR label.
  • Why doesn’t Doc Ock build body armor? Or wear a kevlar vest? Or even button up his shirt? He’s the most vulnerable supervillain I’ve ever seen. A good-sized potato, properly flung, could stop him.
  • Peter Parker tries to stop the speeding train with his legs. Even the extras on the train remark that it’s a stupid idea.
  • Doc Ock snatches Aunt May out of a crowd and drags her to the top of the building. What does he need her for? He doesn’t know at this point that Peter Parker is Spider-Man. To him, she’s just some random lady.
  • In the ensuing fight, Spider-Man catches Aunt May with a web as she falls. He then whiplashes this 70-year-old woman back upward with the kind of G force that would get a trained pilot invalidated for six months with ruptured blood vessels. She ends up comically hanging from a statue by her cane, while emitting mild, unconvincing screams.
  • Doc Ock tells Peter Parker “bring Spider-Man to me!”…and then flings Parker into a brick wall at a speed that might easily have killed him, rendering him unable to carry out the instruction.
  • Doc Ock incapacitates Spider-Man, ties him up, and drops him off at Harry Osbourne’s pad. He doesn’t take two seconds to lift Spider-Man’s mask and learn his identity. His ties are so weak that when Peter Parker wakes up he breaks out with no apparent effort. I guess Doc Ock just got lucky that Spider-Man stayed unconscious for exactly the right amount of time.
  • If Peter Parker is strong enough to hold an entire steel-framed wall on his back, why is he working as a pizza delivery boy? The man could do the work of a crew of Teamsters.
  • When Peter Parker abandons his Spider-Man alter-ego, crime increases by 75%. Note that this isn’t “robberies” or “murders”. Just “crimes”. I guess tax evasion and mortgage fraud are also going through the roof in Spider-man’s absence. (Note that in 2004, New York had 1,425 crimes per day, about ten to twenty times greater than Movie!New York’s crime wave.)

Etc. This was just death by a thousand cuts for me. It doesn’t help that it’s “superhero loses his superpowers”, my least favorite plot device.

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