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Spider-Man 2 (2004)

  Directed by: Sam Raimi
Written by: Michael Chabon, Steve Ditko, Alfred Gough, Stan Lee, Miles Millar, Alvin Sargent
Starring: Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Tobey Maguire, Alfred Molina
Links: Spider-Man 2 on the IMDb, Official site, Buy the Soundtrack, Buy on Video, Buy on DVD
Genre: Action

This movie gets: 8.00 (2 ratings) Ranking: Ranked equal 53rd of 187 movies (2 ratings minimum; see full chart)

"As good as the first" - a review by pearly

Last time (Spider-Man (2002)), Spider-Man (Tobey Maguire) got the baddie, but he didn't get the girl. Can he do better this time?

This time around, Spidey faces off against Dr. Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina), when his plan for harnessing some sort of scientific mumbo-jumbo energy goes just a teensy bit wrong, and he turns into the half-man-half-machine octopus-like creature known as Doc Ock. Back to join the frey are Harry Osborn (James Franco), Peter Parker's best friend (though not such a great one nowadays), and the delightful Mary Jane (aka M.J. - Kirsten Dunst).

Unfortunately, I didn't think Doc Ock was as good of an enemy for Spidey as the last film's Green Goblin was, both because of the actors who played each, and because of the way that the story introduced them into the scene (this introduction was a little more laboured, and harder to accept - how much bad luck can there be at OsCorp?). I did, however, enjoy the film regardless.

Spider-Man 2, as with its predecessor, is all about escapeism, and it delivers on this promise with much gusto. The backstory behind each of the characters is layered and interesting, and this adds to the rest of the "action", making more a better, more interesting overall experience. Spider-Man is not infallible, and neither are the others on his side. And the bad guys ain't all bad, either. Nothing is black and white, and the film is all the better for it.

I see that Spider-Man 3 (2007) is now in pre-production. I really hope this isn't going to stretch the friendship.

pearly gives this movie 8 out of 10.
Review created on Fri 18 Feb 2005

"Spider-Man 2. Like Mills and Boon with the dial turned up to "11"" - a review by citizenjoe

I should say up front that I am a fan of action movies. If someone is going to spend somewhere between $100 and 200 million on a 2 hour movie, well I suppose the least you can do is go see it.

Action Movies! Yes, I'm a fan. But I go to see them expecting the experience to be a let-down. I have rarely been disappointed.

Spider-Man 2 was a surprise. I should also mention that I have been a big fan of Sam Raimi ever since I saw The Evil Dead (1982). And he has done a fine job. For a whole day since, I have been trying to figure out why I enjoyed it so much. And I think I would have to say it's because Spider-Man 2 is not an Action Movie. It's actually a love story with an Action Movie hero as the main character.

Most studio execs, I'm sure, believe that just because it's a comic book character, they should opt for a Mickey Mouse script. Fools they are. They should go out and read the original Spider-Man comics. They should read the extrememly fine work of Alan Moore (V for Vendetta, Watchmen, From Hell (2001)) and Frank Miller (The Dark Knight Returns, Sin City, Give Me Liberty) to know how interesting a good story can be.

Spider-Man 2 is a love story that's like Mills and Boon with the dial turned up to ‘11’. You sit and watch and think, “Oh, oh, it's going to get really soppy any minute …” and… I'm not going to tell you if it does at the end.

Spider-Man 2 has a second dimension that Action Movies normally don't. It has a terrific secondary plot line that comes back to simple truth, in that we all just need a big cuddle from our Aunty May and our girl. If she happens to look like Kirsten Dunst, even better. Oh god, am I just getting soppy?

The other interesting thing about Spider-Man 2 is that we have a super hero who isn't super successful. He is a loser. Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker / Spidey looks like, and is, a loser. He loses his job, he has lost his uncle, he loses his girl, can't pay the rent, can't pass his school exams. And ultimately he loses all his powers. He, like Hulk (2003), is a tragic figure.

Hey, here's a super hero I can identify with. Boy, that sounds like me. What he has to do is come to terms with his place in the world. Find yourself, be comfortable with it and things will eventually fall into place.

Now, if only I can get this goddam web to spray when I bend my finger. Hey, hello? Kirsten? Can you give me a hand in here? Hello? She must have stepped out for popcorn.

citizenjoe gives this movie 8 out of 10.
Review created on Wed 21 Jul 2004

Movie review statistics

Number of reviews: 2
Average rating: 8.00
Lowest rating: 8 (by pearly, citizenjoe)
Highest rating: 8 (by pearly, citizenjoe)
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