But then minutes later we're back in the cozy still-60s office of J. Jonah Jameson and the laughs are once again coming thick and fast. His secretary ducks in. "Jonah, your wife's on line one, she says she lost your credit card." Jonah booms gleefully back: "Thanks for the good news!" Pete's soon arguing for more cash, saying things are tough at the moment. "Awww," Jonah replies with mock concern. "Miss Brant," he bellows out to his secretary, who immediately ducks in looking expectant: "get me a violin!" We think no. Maybe this was what we enjoyed most the first time.
But soon Pete's entering the door of his old home. "Surprise!" come three voices in unison. The smiling faces of Harry, MJ and Aunt May are there. It's a major nostalgiac high, seeing them all again. MJ is dressed like a grownup now and Rosemary Harris has lost none of her charm. Harry has grown roughly three feet. The sullen, troubled youth is gone and we're beholding what looks like an action hero or a rock star. The clouds darken soon after as the tragedies of Uncle Ben and Norman Osborne are re-affirmed, both of these best friend's having lost a father. Especially with his remaining unrequited love for MJ still hanging over him, Spider-man is preventing Pete from being true in any of the most important relationships in his life. A whole movie of development awaits!!! Nope. Sorry Jonah, I wanna stay here for a while. Don't take it too hard if you find yourself feeling like that for the rest of the movie. The weirdest thing about being hooked within 15 minutes is that there isn't even a villain yet. But that soon enough Apparently with part 1 they had tried to include the ambivalent scraper-scaling vixen Black Cat but discovered that they had so much story to get through with Goblin. With part 2 they tried the same thing. Doc Ock was slated as the ideal follow-up villain and once again they were going to get out the black lycra and bon bons but, you guessed it, again, too much story. Spidey 2 is a solid two hours. It's clear very early on that this movie is going to be both very busy and very entertaining for every second of that. You could say another tragic, science-gone-wrong villain was a safety measure but as Arad says, that personal connection Pete has with all of his enemy's is invaluable. There was little time for delay in the first flick but this time we get to explore these relationships and enjoy about 5 parts drama to 1 part action. That's the dynamite of this caper. Some of the set-pieces though are: a classic bank-robbery scene, enough wall-clinging acrobatics and punch-ups, a elevated train Spidey-Ock fight sequence, a token street-crime foiling or two and a classic emergence scene for the eight-limbed Doc Ock. A thought is that we may have just farewelled the best Spidey-villain yet, but by the end of the movie we're only anticipating the third chapter a whole lot more, though many might be a little ashamed for having survived all those years of Jane Austin and the soaps only to fall hard for this ensemble.
With so much current fan-focus regarding Spidey 3 being on what villains it'll have, the true delight will be remembering on that grand day that the best moments of part 2 were the final ones, and they didn't involve a fight or a foe. Telling, could it be, that they signed Elizabeth "Peggy Brant" Banks on so soon? Hopefully 3 will raise the bar yet again in drama, taking Pete to brand new places and not fumble in delivering generously on part II's numerous establishments and potentials. Given my choice I wouldn't have brought Venom into the first trilogy. To begin with he's a completely different universe, but more importantly he was part of a whole saga (minus the planet) without which he might hardly be Venom. The fact that he's a big enough crucible to justify an entire movie standalone would indeed make him a useful pillar in a movie that was very busy otherwise, but it would also make him a wasted potential (great choice of actor if word is right though - making the journalist convincing and interesting is more important than the demon Rock and Diesel would have been bad ideas). It sounds like Manwolf is in too, certainly they'll need John to get Venom anyway. But how are they meant to carry Pete & MJ, Harry's tormented rise, John Jameson's affliction and the Eddie Brock backstory all in one movie? It shouldn't feel like a constant onslaught of developments like a certain recent third-chapter sci-fi. Space is premium is Spider-man flicks and the movie has to retain itself. They've established great drama as the attraction. I'm glad they wanted to take their time nutting this one out, but latest evidence indicates no limit to their capability.