Why Marvel Movies Still Haven’t Topped Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2

Spider-Man is one of the most beloved Marvel characters, both in comics and film, but there’s one big screen adaptation that stands as the best: Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2, which is not only the best from Spider-Man’s universe but also from Marvel’s, and no other has managed to top its success. Marvel’s history with the film industry is an interesting one – some adaptations have been truly memorable for how good they were, and others because of how badly done they were. Most importantly, Marvel characters have been scattered across various studios, each one with a different vision for them.

The Marvel universe in film, then, can be divided in three: Fox’s, Sony’s, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, each holding the rights to different characters (and with a special deal between Sony and Disney over Spider-Man). Fox was home to the X-Men and Deadpool, Sony gave the world two different versions of Spider-Man, and the MCU has built a massive connected universe with many characters like the Avengers, Captain Marvel, and the Guardians of the Galaxy, among many others. Although each house has had its big hits, only one continues to be a favorite among critics and fans, and it’s the second entry in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy.

Related: How Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man Trilogy Set Up The Lizard

Simply titled Spider-Man 2, the film follows Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) two years after the events of the first film as he struggles to manage his personal life and his duties as superhero, which start to affect his personal life. Meanwhile, one of the experiments of Dr. Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina) goes wrong and ends up bonding him with a harness of robotic arms with artificial intelligence, turning him into the villain Doctor Octopus. Spider-Man 2 is considered the best in Raimi’s trilogy and one of the best superhero movies ever made – and one that no other Marvel movie has managed to top.

The first Spider-Man film was very well received by critics and fans, who praised Raimi’s direction and tone, as well as the fidelity to the character’s story from the comics. The film is also credited for redefining the modern superhero genre and the summer blockbuster. Its success made way for Spider-Man 2, which managed to surpass the first film in every possible way, with many critics calling it an improvement upon its predecessor. Spider-Man 2 was a well-balanced combination of drama, comedy, and comic book elements without it feeling like, well, a comic book film.

One of the most praised aspects from the film was the character of Doctor Octopus, as he was entertaining yet menacing and much more complex than the Green Goblin (though Willem Dafoe’s performance was one of the best things from the first film). Spider-Man 2 also has a deeper emotional focus, with Peter confronting his guilt over uncle Ben’s passing, struggling to balance every aspect in his life (his family, his best friend slowly but surely descending into madness, and Mary Jane going on her own way), and dealing with Octavius’ transformation from mentor to villain.

And yet, Spider-Man 2 still has all the action you would expect from a superhero/Spider-Man film, as well as the type of humor that only Peter Parker can provide. As a result, Spider-Man 2 is still considered one of the best superhero films and blockbusters ever made, and the best Spider-Man film to date, even if the current version of the character has won the approval of fans.

Related: Spider-Man: Every Bruce Campbell Cameo In Sam Raimi’s Trilogy

There have been a lot of Marvel films since Spider-Man 2, but none of them has managed to top it just yet. Fox’s X-Men film series began in 2000 and went through different phases, with spinoffs, prequels, and two Deadpool films. Even though they did very well at the box office, most of the stories are forgettable, and its final entry, Dark Phoenix, wasn’t the closing chapter fans were (understandably) expecting. Many credit X-Men’s quality decline to Bryan Singer’s departure and Brett Ratner taking over, while others criticized them for having too many characters and not enough time to explore their stories.

Sony has also had its failures. Raimi’s Spider-Man 3 wasn’t at the level of its predecessors, and its biggest issue was its overloaded storyline and multiple subplots (not to mention, of course, the weird Venom visuals effects). The Spider-Man universe was rebooted in 2012 with Marc Webb as director and Andrew Garfield as the new Peter Parker. The Amazing Spider-Man was a box office hit and was mostly well received, but it didn’t come close to what Spider-Man 2 achieved. The sequel, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, failed to perform as expected, and a third film was cancelled.

The MCU is now home to the highest-grossing film of all time with Avengers: Endgame, but even though it brought together all the superheroes in the MCU and was a big cinematic event, it still didn’t top Spider-Man 2 in the hearts (and minds) of viewers and critics. Of course, all these universes have had their strengths: Logan is one of the best superhero films ever made and the best in the X-Men series, and Deadpool was a fresh addition to the mix as well. Sony, of course, has Spider-Man 2, and the MCU not only has Avengers: Endgame, but also the very first Avengers film, Guardians of the Galaxy, Captain America: the Winter Soldier, and Black Panther, just to name a few.

The problem with the MCU, and the reason why it hasn’t managed to top Spider-Man 2 even though it has many films, is because it has landed in a place where it’s too comfortable and won’t move from there as long as it’s profitable. The MCU mostly aims to please the audience and hardly ever takes risks, something that has cost it a couple of directors, such as Edgar Wright, Patty Jenkins, and Scott Derrickson. It’s not surprising, then, that Spider-Man 2 is still at the top of over 20 MCU films.

Related: What Went Wrong With Spider-Man 3

Spider-Man redefined the superhero genre, and Spider-Man 2 sealed the deal. As mentioned above, Spider-Man 2 was a good mix of comic book elements, action, comedy, and drama without feeling saturated, all thanks to a simpler storyline with a deeper emotional focus. Peter’s struggles are more relatable (except the part where he’s a superhero saving the city, obviously), as he was juggling school and work with his personal and social life, but he also had to confront some demons from his past in order to move on with his life. Sam Raimi’s unique style blended with the superhero genre, Maguire’s performance as Peter Parker, and the overall tone of the film are just some of the reasons why Spider-Man 2 still stands as the best.

Spider-Man 2 has had some fierce competition, but none have topped it yet. That doesn’t mean, however, that it’s unbeatable. Times change and now there’s an oversaturation of superhero stories in the film industry, which doesn’t make the task of beating Spider-Man 2 easy, but it’s definitely not impossible. It’s hard to say if any of the upcoming superhero films in the Marvel universe will finally do it, including the third Spider-Man: Homecoming film, but what’s for sure is that it won’t happen unless Marvel Studios opens its mind a bit more. The possibility of Sam Raimi joining the MCU as director of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness could certainly mean that Spider-Man 2’s biggest competitor will arrive in the near future, but it won’t be of much help if the MCU isn’t open to take bigger risks.

Next: Sam Raimi Is The Perfect Director For Doctor Strange 2

2020-02-22 02:02:13

Adrienne Tyler

10 Riverdale Moments That Topped Our Cringe-Meter | ScreenRant

Possibly every Riverdale fan is well aware of this show’s penchant for getting more ridiculous with every season. By now, even the biggest Riverdale fans will acknowledge that the show’s packed with poorly-written dialogues, illogical situations, and random plot elements that make absolutely no sense. Still, despite all this, Riverdale has managed to keep its faithful fanbase, helping to make it one of the most awarding-winning tv shows currently airing.

It has also become one of those rare shows that are so bad, they’re actually good. A big reason for this lies, in fact, in its countless uncomfortable and cringe-worthy scenes, which have surely become a guilty pleasure of every Riverdale fan. Sometimes, the show takes it so far that we immediately want to skip to a different scene or turn off our screens entirely, hoping to forget what we just saw.

RELATED: 10 Major Changes Riverdale Has Made From The Original Archie Comics

10 The “I’m a weirdo” speech

In case you haven’t noticed, Jughead is weird. He´s a weirdo. He doesn’t fit in nor does he want to fit in. Have you ever seen him without his stupid hat? All jokes aside, it’s definitely clear to everyone from the very beginning of the show that Jughead (Cole Sprouse) is an oddball with a sarcastic sense of humor.RELATED: Riverdale: 5 Reasons Bughead Are Relationships Goals (& 5 They Aren’t)Still, his famous monologue from the first season, in which he tries to highlight his individuality, instead of being dramatic… sounded like it came out straight from “The Room.” Given that probably no one took it seriously, Jughead’s famous speech eventually attained meme status – and deservedly so, if we may add.

9 Dark Betty

At first glance, Betty Cooper (played by Lili Reinhart) is your typical blonde girl-next-door, but she also has a dark side – a character fans have come to know as Dark Betty. This alter ego is often characterized by a black wig and lacy underwear, transforming the usual do-good star pupil into a sex-pot and webcam model. Seriously? And while this “dark side” of hers represents a vent for some deep psychological issues Betty is dealing with, instead of taking a more serious approach, the show makes it incredibly cringy and played-out by having her dress up what she thinks is a stereotypical “bad girl.”

8 Betty’s Serpent Dance

For many Riverdale fans, this is one of the most unpleasant and cringey moments of season 2. In episode eight, titled “House of the Devil,” which hits things off by having sixteen year-old Betty perform a striptease to one of the most depressing songs ever – Mad World. And while the fans was forced to witness a minor strip to “All around me are familiar faces, worn out places, worn out faces,” there were indeed familiar faces in the audience, namely Betty’s boyfriend Jughead and even her own mother who did nothing to stop her. Betty’s show went on uninterrupted and followed by applause. Mad World, indeed.

7 Weird Sex scenes

To be clear, while the show’s got more sex scenes than are totally necessary to start with, the bizarre circumstances that lead to these acts make them that much more uncomfortable. Take a scene in the second season for example: after witnessing his father getting shot, Archie (KJ Apa) goes to take a shower, moments later having his girlfriend Veronica (Camila Mendes) figure it’s the perfect time to have sex. Sure, there’s no better way to comfort your boyfriend whose father ended up in the emergency room moments earlier!

6 Veronica and Jughead kissing

Yet another scene that caused discomfort in Riverdale fans occurred in the second season, when Betty, Jughead, Archie, and Veronica decided to go on a weekend trip. During their stay at a cabin in the woods (another pop-culture cliche) the secret that Betty and Archie kissed leaked, to which Veronica suggested she should kiss Betty’s boyfriend Jughead to make things even.

RELATED: Riverdale: 10 Times The Show Broke Our Hearts

Not only is this embarrassing story writing for a popular TV show, but the visibly uncomfortable situation was made worse by the fact that Lili (Betty) and Cole (Jughead) are in a relationship off the set as well. In any case, given we’ve also already witnessed the kiss between Betty and Veronica, we guess the only thing left is a kiss between Archie and Jughead – which isn’t so unlikely given how the show’s plot is developing.

5 The Singing

It’s a good time to remind everyone that these characters are still around sixteen years old and in high school. Good, now what gives with all the needlessly sexual imagery, which carries over even when they randomly burst in song? A good example of this is the scene when Josie (Ashleigh Murray) and the Pussycats together with Cheryl (Madelaine Petsch) sing their version of the “Milkshake” song.

Generally speaking, most viewers are tired of all the random songs and singing performances being stuffed into the main story line. These scenes cause a massive cringe when they occur by themselves, let alone when they’re bolstered by uncomfortable circumstances and awkward interactions.

4 “We’re endgame Archie”

The phrase “endgame” is so over-used that it’s sole usage to describe literally every couple in this show provokes nothing but a big cringe in the audience. In one of the very first episodes, Kevin told Betty that she and Archie were endgame, or “Actually, to clarify, Betty and Archie aren’t dating, but they’re endgame.” At least according to Kevin.

RELATED: Riverdale: 5 Reasons Varchie Are Relationship Goals (& 5 They Aren’t)

Hearing the characters constantly call their relationships endgame has gotten way too stale way too fast, to the point where, in most fans, it provokes an eye roll every time it happens.

3 Veronica saying “daddy” and “Archiekins”

We’re sort of getting used to Veronica’s cringy dialogue, but every time she uses one of these two words in a sentence it’s impossible to hold back the eye roll. Although it’s a bit humorous to hear Veronica refer to her father as “daddy” or “daddykins,” (as if their relationship suddenly went from resentful to loving), it’s mostly just annoying. Heck, like many things from the show, Veronica’s “daddy” is now a meme.

Then there’s the nickname she picked for her boyfriend Archie, whom she continually calls “Archiekins,” which is not nearly as cute as she thinks it is. However, we get why this is recurrent in the show, as the nickname “Archiekins” comes from the Archie comics. Despite this, it simply doesn’t fit this interpretation of the show, and combined with the usually bad dialogue, turns out completely cringy.

2 Almost every Archie Scene

While it seems that the show is set on making Archie seem like a badass character, more often than not, the guy ends up looking like a (for lack of a better word) stooge. Let’s not forget, he’s only 16 and his decisions and actions are rarely based on common sense, which includes examples such as him admitting guilt for a crime he didn’t commit (although he would probably be let off) and despite the fact that practically the entire Riverdale was helping him win the case – why so stupid, Archiekins!? Best guess, for the same reason he miraculously survived that bear attack: to make him seem like a fearless bad boy character. Oh, and so this scrawny sixteen-year-old then became a champion fighter in prison.

1 Polly and Jason’ love story

The weird, incestuous vibes between the Blossom Twins could be sensed from the very beginning of the show. Later the tables have turned when it was revealed that Jason Blossom (Trevor Stines) and Polly Cooper (Tiera Skovbye), who were the ones in an incestuous relationship. Although their love affair ended abruptly and unfortunately with Jason’s murder, the icing on the cake was the discovery that Polly and Jason were actually cousins. On top of that, following the even Polly had Jason’s twins, which brings us to the part that never ceases to make us cringe – she named them Juniper and Dagwood.

NEXT: Riverdale: 10 Things We Want To See In Season 4

2019-08-25 05:08:26

Magdan D. Cvitesic