It’s rare for the second movie of a trilogy to be better than its predecessor.  “Spider-Man 2” joins that rare club.  I really like this movie.  I’ve already stated most of my reasons for liking Spidey in my “Spider-Man” blog; but I forgot to add one more thing.  Spider-Man and I are built almost the same way.  Wait, why are you laughing!  I’m serious!  Well…I’m much shorter than Spider-Man, but proportionately, we’re very similar.   If there was a mini Spider-Man suit, I’d look pretty awesome in it!  Unlike Peter Parker, I didn’t get help from a radioactive bug — I had to work out.   For 27 years to be exact.   But it’s worth it, because I’m healthier than the average guy my age, and I look good in Under Armour compression shirts.   Hey, it’s not bragging if you can back it up!

Back to Spider-Man.  In this movie, we experience the strains that Peter Parker goes through as he saves the world while his private life falls apart.   Now living on his own in a tiny, broken down apartment, cash is more important, and usually elusive.  He works as a pizza delivery guy!  Can you imagine a guy who can rule a small country working a job like that!  He barely sees those whom he loves, has a hard time holding down even menial jobs, and is failing his classes — because he’s too busy fighting crime.  It’s no surprise that he has some kind of mental breakdown that manifests itself as the loss of his powers.

In one memorable, movie moment, Parker looks out of his apartment window and asks himself why should he have to sacrifice what he wants, what he needs.  This is a young man who is in a lot of mental anguish.  He wants to do the right thing and use his powers for good, as his dead, uncle Ben would’ve wanted.   “With great power comes great responsibility,” Ben once told him.  But should he spend the rest of his life being an unpaid public servant (who is sometimes hunted down by the law) and let his dreams die?

In another memorable, movie moment, Spider-Man — his mask removed — uses all his strength to stop a speeding train full of passengers from crashing through the end of the line barrier.  At the end of this effort, he passes out, and is caught by some of the passengers, who gently lift him over their heads, passing him along from hand to hand until they can lay him down safely in one of the train cars (it reminds me of paintings of Jesus being carefully taken down the cross by the ones who love him).   The passengers look at his face while he’s still passed out, and one remarks that “he’s just a kid.”  Yes, and he has the whole world upon his young shoulders.

Adding to that weight upon Parker’s shoulders is his realization that his Aunt May — who raised him as a child — is about to have her house foreclosed by the bank; and Parker is unable to help her financially.  He finds out about May’s money problem during his birthday party held in May’s house.   To make matters — and his guilt — worse, May gives him $20 as his present.   Parker is about to refuse, and May screams at him to take what little she can offer, so…he does; and allows his Aunt May to preserve a little bit of her pride.   This is the most memorable, movie moment for me.  What must it feel like to be the most powerful, unique human in the world and not be able to help the woman who raised you keep her house?

I know a woman who is as generous and beautiful as Aunt May.  It’s my mom.   And if her house was in jeopardy of being taken away by the bank, and I had Spider-Man’s powers, I wouldn’t let it happen.  If I had to rob that same bank that wants to take her house, then that’s what I would do.  It would make me a criminal, and it would bother my conscience greatly.  But I can never repay all the things my mom has done for me, so if I have to sacrifice some of my ethics and stoop to the level of a common criminal in order for my mom to keep her house, then that’s what I’ll do.  With great love comes great responsibility.

M

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