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A movie starring Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst directed by Sam Raimi

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A modern Day classic of endless enjoyment.

  • Jun 29, 2004
  • by
Pros: Great Chemistry and effects, Maguire is amazing.

Cons: Starts slowly, Doctor Octopus is not as menacing as The Goblin.

The Bottom Line: Believe the Hype, this film delivers.

There comes a time in every young persons life where they have to make a series of decisions regarding their future. For many the pressures of finance, school, work, and ever-changing social dynamic force individuals to take a look at their values and what is important, adjusting their lives as needed.

For many this is a difficult situation that is often accomplished through trial and error marking the difficult transition into adulthood. For Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire), the added pressure of dealing with his dual identity of Spider-Man has driven him to the edge.

Since Peter spends his evenings scouring New York fighting crime, his college studies and job have become seriously neglected. With difficulties paying the bills and making it to class and work on time, Peter has become weary of his life, as Spider-Man has made it close to impossible for him to lead any semblance of normality.

Further hindering Peter’s life is his strong feelings for Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst), who he keeps at a distance to protect her from reprisals from enemies of his alter ego, though it is causing him endless emotional turmoil to do so.

Faced with losing the woman of his dreams and his lives goals, Peter decides to abandon his alter ego and live life as a normal person allowing his energies to be focused on his studies and pursuit of science.

Peter’s new found freedom is interrupted by the emergence of a new villain named Dr. Octopus (Alfred Molina), who is a brilliant scientist turned evil as a result of an experiment gone awry. The Doctor has four metallic limbs grafted to his body and is capable of amazing feats of strength and copious amounts of destruction and mayhem due to his unrestrained madness.

The cause of the good doctors wrath is to complete the experiment that disabled him and avenge the loss of his wife in the accident that created him. Towards that end, the Doctor needs an abundance of financial assets and a rare fuel source that can only be provided by his former employer Harry Osborn (James Franco). Harry is only to happy to comply as he still blames Spider-Man for the death of his father in the previous film, and promises to supply the Doctor if he delivers Spider-Man to him. The recent failure of the Doctors experiment, have pushed Norman to the edge as what was to be a shining achievement for the company has now left him reeling and looking for answers, straining his relationship with Peter and Mary Jane.

What follows is a wild ride of action, romance, drama, and comedy as the tangled web that is Peter Parker’s life unfolds and it is one wild ride.

“Spider-Man 2” is a solid film that will delight fans of the first film as well as the comic and will provide a welcome presence at the theaters this Summer from the flock of big budget disappointments that have been the norm.

Sam Raimi paces the film at a slow pace to start with and allows the action and pace of the film to unfold. The film never seems in your face as despite the intense action sequences, the film remains a character driven piece as the relationship between Peter and those he cares for are central elements to the film.

As adventure films go, “Spider-Man 2” has a very complex storyline as several mature issues are developed and explored which helps round out the characters from comic book icons to people that you actually care about.

If I had to find fault with the film, and it would be nitpicking, would be that Doctor Octopus did not stand out as menacing a threat as The Green Goblin did in the last film, as he does not embody the same level of fear and evil. That being said, Maguire is amazing as he does a great job of making Peter a realistic character by showing the audience the pain and conflict as well as the joy that Peter experiences being Spider-Man.

The special effects are amazing but never overshadow the human performance and tone of the film, as after all, this is still a story about a regular guy, with regular problems and extraordinary abilities that are part gift and part curse.

The supporting work of Franco and Dunst is solid and there chemistry amongst the leads is evident. The ending of the film sets the stage perfectly for the next chapter in the series and here is hoping that the winning formula continues as “Spider-Man 2” is not only the best comic inspired film ever made, but one of the best films of the year.

5 stars out of 5

Gareth Von Kallenbach


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More Spider-Man 2 reviews
review by . March 16, 2011
Comic book movies often have no problems with the quality of their sequels. In fact, they are often better than their predecessors, and Spiderman 2 is definitely an example of that. It capitalizes on everything that started off this popular franchise and improves upon it, providing us with improved acting, improved special effects, an improved villain, and improved emotional development of the characters. Like the critics consensus says, an entertaining villain and more emotional development made …
review by . August 02, 2010
For just $5 you can help this poor college student so that he can lighten up and have a social life
Within the first half hour or so of this movie, we could see our hero:  Get yelled at by his boss, get stiffed on a bill delivering pizzas by a snotty receptionist, lose his job, get yelled at by his other boss, find he owes money to co-workers, failing his college classes, have his aunt throw him a birthday party when shes having trouble paying bills, see his best friend obsessed with killing our protagonists alter ego, hear his cute girlfriend may be leaving him, find he owes back money …
review by . November 08, 2009
A great follow up to the film that started it all..
Spider-Man to me  helped  jump start  the Marvel revolution, it set fourth  standards in comic book adaption  greatness that  have yet to  be surpassed or matched. And with Spider-Man 2  the bar just  keeps rising.                  Spider-Man 2 is  not just your ordinary sequel, It's a sequel that improves  and even  over powers the original.  It's  dark, brilliant,  …
Quick Tip by . May 04, 2010
Peter Parkers powers fluctuate between how badly he really wants his super hero life and a normal one. Melodramatic as HELL but awesome.
review by . April 29, 2009
Sam Rami needs to be congratulated on making a film that totally outdoes its predecessor.  Tobey McGuire is great and is one of the most likeable characters (re: Peter Parker) that I have seen in a film in a long time.  Alfred Molina is great as one of the more charismatic villains that have ever been portrayed on the screen.  I found myself cheering several times throughout the movie.   Peter Parker can't seem to hold a job (he's killing a pizza business that promises on-time …
review by . June 21, 2008
This review will be split into three parts, they will be split into The Story, The Characters and the Verdict. This will give you a fair and honest view of the characters, story and the movie itself.    The Story: Harry Osborn has now taken over Oscorp and he's financially backing a scientist called Otto Octavius who's experimenting with sustained fusion as a way of replacing conventional fuels. In order for Otto so sustain the fusion reaction he's developed artificially intelligent …
review by . May 31, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
"Spiderman 2" makes "Spiderman" seem like a warm-up. Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) and his alter-ego, Spiderman, have enough problems to make the movie continually interesting. The melodrama envelops our attention, and the action scenes are marvelous.     In the beginning Peter Parker sets his sights on Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst), but he's conflicted by his role as Spiderman. He not only juggles his identities, but his responsibilities as well. As college student and breadwinner, …
review by . April 24, 2005
posted in Movie Hype
Pros: A great job bringing the comic to life     Cons: At times, Mary Jane really does look like the girl next door     The Bottom Line: No, I have never written another article called Ode to a Superhero. The title is merely a reference to a Weird Al Yankovic song.     With great power comes great responsibility   that’s the catch phrase of old Uncle Ben   if you missed it, don’t worry, they’ll say the line   …
review by . July 13, 2004
Pros: Tight package and well presented...the movie was good too. ;)     Cons: Having to wait til 2007 for the last leg of this trilogy!     The Bottom Line: Good for the whole family, on your own or with a date! The Bottom Line catches thieves just like flies!     In this middle portion of the Spiderman trilogy, Peter Parker has survived both his internal, and explosive external battles with the mad Green Goblin. However, all True Believers …
review by . September 24, 2004
"Spider-Man 2" is one of the best sequels around. Unlike many people, I don't think that it is any better than the first film, it just deals with a little tougher material. In this go-round, Spidey is finding it hard to deal with the fact that he is living two lives. It's so hard, in fact, that it's affecting his performance(in real life and as the Wallcrawler). Basically, his whole life is a mess. He's lost his girl, his best friend, and a mentor(Dr. Octavius) loses his mind. The film pans out …
About the reviewer
Gareth Von Kallenbach ()
Ranked #112
I am a syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. My work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site "Skewed … more
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About this movie


Sam Raimi's follow-up to SPIDER-MAN finds Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) struggling to balance his everyday life with his alter ego as the web-slinging superhero. Still carrying the burden of keeping his crime-fighting identity from those closest to him--including his longtime love Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst), his best friend Harry Osborn (James Franco), and his doting Aunt May (Rosemary Harris)--Parker must also face off against a dangerous new menace, Dr. Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina), a scientist driven mad by experiments involving powerful mechanical arms. When the deranged Octavius (AKA Doc Ock) forms an alliance with the vengeful Osborn, who blames Spider-Man for the death of his father, the wall-crawling hero is in for his biggest battle yet.

With SPIDER-MAN 2, Raimi retains--and improves on--all of the elements that made the first film so good, including an excellent story (crafted, in part, by acclaimed novelist Michael Chabon), tight pacing, and stunning special effects. Parker's ...
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