I did my top 20 horror and SF films last year, and found doing the lists to be more fun than expected, so in a massive bit of logic here’s my top 20 films adapted or inspired from comics. I need to point out I mean comics, not ‘superhero comics’ which is a lazy, and incorrect way to describe a wonderfully varied medium and it’d also cut out some bloody good films!
Previously, in this list at #20, X Men, 19, The Crow, 18, Heavy Metal, 17, Spider Man ,16, The Avengers, 15, Danger: Diabolik, 14, The Dark Knight Trilogy , 13, A History of Violence and 12, Kick Ass.
As we get to the cusp of the top ten, only Spider Man 2 stands before us!
What Sam Raimi manages to do is create the template for the perfect superhero sequel, so we as an audience now know who Spider Man is, so there’s no messing around with any more time-wasting explanations and it’s right in with a near perfect recreation of late period Ditko Spidey, with a big chunk of Romita era Spidey thrown in. Raimi is allowed to make Alfred Molina’s Doctor Octopus a tragic, but yet brutal figure in a way Stan Lee would approve of.
Yes it’s all a bit two-dimensional. Yes, it’s camp. However the action scenes are extraordinary, especially the fight on the train between Spider Man and Doctor Octopus which isn’t only just the best directed bit of superhero action you’ll see, but gets the whole Lee/Ditko/Romita vision of Spidey in a way that the rebooted version hasn’t.
Spider Man 2 is what a good superhero film should be. It’s well acted, with effects that don’t get in the way and Raimi directs it all with a joy that’s lacking from many superhero films in this last decade since Spider Man 2 came out. It has a story to tell and it sticks to it. No setting up another three films, or referencing films that came previously to the nth degree, nope, it’s just tremendous fun and more enjoyable than these sort of blockbusters had been in some time.
Sadly the third film in Raimi’s series was on the whole, pretty poor to average, but this is at least something which is going to last for as long as the superhero film continues.
Next time we penetrate and thrust into the top ten….