Spider-Man 2 (2004)

DVD Cover (Sony Home Entertainment)
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Overall Rating 72%
Overall Rating
Ranked #173
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Connections: Marvel: Spider-Man

It's been two years since Peter Parker transformed into Spider-Man, and he is still trying to balance life perfectly. His love for Mary Jane is becoming much stronger, as he finds it hard to not let her down. His friendship with Harry Osborn is at risk, as the young Harry is frustrated with Spider-Man getting away with his father's death. And if this wasn't enough for the super hero, a new enemy is in town. Dr. Otto Octavius is involved in a freak scientific accident and becomes the dangerous Doctor Octopus. --IMDb
Review by Chad
Added: December 06, 2004
We pick up our feature length film shortly after the events of the last film in the series, and find Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) struggling to balance his normal life and his life as Spider-Man. Due to the fact that he's constantly out saving babies from burning buildings and chasing the bad guys, he's constantly late to both work and his college classes. Thanks to his repeated tardiness, he's fired from the pizza place that he works at, but he still has his job working for the local paper under J. Jonah Jameson (J.K. Simmons). Things don't look much brighter over on the college side of things, as Peter's teacher is hounding him to do a quality job on the report that's due in soon for class. Since his report is about famed scientist Dr. Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina), and since his good buddy Harry Osborn (James Franco) is working with Otto, Harry sets up some time where Peter and Otto can sit down and talk. Otto explains what he's currently working on, Peter has some doubts as to whether or not it'll work, and we cut right on over to the first experiment regarding Otto's theories. Of course, the experiment is a failure, lots of stuff gets destroyed, including Otto's wife Rosalie (Donna Murphy) and the AI-override thing that prevents the bionic arms that Otto wears from taking over his mind. Meanwhile, Peter is torn between professing his love for Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) and staying away from her in order to prevent her from getting hurt, while she moves closer and closer to a marriage with astronaut John Jameson (Daniel Gillies). With the life of a superhero ruining his personal life, Peter decides to give it up and live out the rest of his life as a normal guy... but things change when Dr. Octopus (Otto) starts going on a rampage.

I'm going to keep this review pretty brief, as Vash has already done a great job in detailing the movie and its perks in the review below this one; however, there was a few things I'd like to add, as well as a few things I did disagree with him on. The action sequences are shockingly few and far between, with a huge amount of the movies running length devoted to Peter and his personal problems. I was quite surprised to see that the movie actually turned out to be highly enjoyable though, even with this taken into account. Even though there is a lot (and I do mean a LOT) of scenes where nothing much is presented other than dialog, the storyline never starts to slow down or suffer as a result. Things stay entertaining from start to finish, and always leaves you wondering as to what's going to happen next. In this day and age, it's refreshing to see the release of a huge Hollywood summer blockbuster that doesn't rely on nothing more than special effects and pretty colors to fill up the theater. It was also refreshing to see Bruce Campbell make a small cameo appearance in the role of an obnoxious usher at Mary Jane's play, and as always, Bruce completely made that scene. Great work from him, and the rest of the cast wasn't too shabby either.

Overall, this one does get my stamp of approval, a rarity in the long line of comic-to-movie adaptations that have been released in the last few years. The only flaw I could find in this movie was the cliffhanger of an ending... yes, I'm sure that most everyone knew that there would be another sequel, as Raimi himself has said all along; however, I do believe that the storyline for part three should have been saved until, I dunno, the release of part three. Knowing almost exactly how the sequel to this is going to play out does do a good job of getting one excited for the upcoming release, but it also does a great job of killing the surprise factor of things. But maybe that's just me. Still, this one is worth the rental if you're a fan of the comics. 9/10.
Review by Vash
Added: July 03, 2004
Well first things first. Spider-Man 2 was AWESOME. Yes there will be spoilers; I'm talking about the movie, duh. Anyways. I loved every bit of it [except the little "twist" at the end] and it was an EXCEPTIONAL follow-up to one of my favourite movies. Let's see, where to begin...

The actors did a FANTASTIC job. I loved Toby Maguire in the first one but I think he portrayed a maturing Peter Parker even better than he did in the first one. The movie revolved around Peter finding his place as both a young adult and a super-hero. There was a struggle between him as Peter Parker, wanting to do the things he wanted to do in his life [i.e do well in school, be with Mary Jane, etc...], and him as Spider-Man, the misunderstood defender of justice. There were some very moving scenes in the movie; very moving and very believable. The other actors did a wonderful job as well. Kirsten Dunst had a more serious role rather than being the flirty hot chick next door. Alfred Molina was a PERFECT choice for the diabolical Doc Ock. A lot of people liked his role in the movie more than Willem Dafoe's portrayal of the Green Goblin but, in all honesty, I have to say that Dafoe had a much larger role and, subsequently, performed much better. Molina was awesome though, there was no slack there. He brought out Doc Ock's mad scientist-esque persona VERY well. James Franco was alright as Harry Osbourne... nothing outstanding but he did his job nicely. I liked J. Jonah Jameson's actor [forgot the name] even more in this movie because he had a few more scenes. Hilarious. Aunt May was cute as well... everyone really did a wicked job with their roles and anyone who's a big fan of the comics will love their individual performances; Toby's especially.

The overall feel of the movie was much less fantastical than the first one. I think the best aspect of the first one was the way it was so believable -- the way Spider-Man was so human. The movie itself was very lifelike [well, as lifelike as a movie such as this one can be] but at the same time it had a magical, wonderful sort of feel to it. When Spidey was swinging around the city you could feel it and it made you feel like a kid, wishing you could do that too. With this one, there was even more emphasis on realism what with Peter's internal struggle with both sides of himself. It was in the same vein as X-2; heavy emphasis on realism yet still maintaining a fantastic, comic-like atmosphere. In turn this made the movie more of a somber one in contrast to the light-hearted first movie. There were MANY instances throughout the movie where I felt my heart-strings being pulled and the tears on the brink of coming out. The great thing is none of these moments were cheesy tear-jerkers but rather genuinely tragic, heart-felt moments. Even with the more moody themes, the film managed to work in some REALLY funny moments to lighten up the atmosphere. The elevator scene in particular was one if the comedic highlights in the movie.

Given the main theme of the movie being an internal struggle and a sort of boy-becomes-man type deal, it's quite logical that there would be more drama and less action. This is true but the movie doesn't suffer from it but rather it gains so much more. Now, a lot of people might argue that this takes away from the movie, and that's purely a matter of opinion. If you were to argue that there was too much acting and too little fighting then you're completely missing the point of the movie. The reason I love the Spider-Man mythos so much is because out of the ENTIRE pantheon of Super Heroes, Spidey is, without parallel, the most human. So many people can connect to this guy on so many levels and that's why, I think, he is arguably the most popular hero. Now, how are you supposed to show how human the guy is when he's doing all sorts of acrobatics while fighting an evil scientist with four mechanical arms? Exactly. That is not HUMAN. I think Sam Raimi's choice to put more of an emphasis on the story and Peter's conflicted self was a very good one.

Now, that's not to say that action was completely disregarded because this is not the case. The action sequences in Spider-Man 2 are BRILLIANT. They are well-choreographed works of art and they bring out the characteristics of the hero and villain perfectly. The fight on the subway car was particularly breathtaking -- watching Spidey dodge Doc Ock's tentacles was quite pleasing to the eyes. The good thing is, the movie doesn't bludgeon you with special effects but rather uses them in a more subtle way than most summer blockbusters. Like the rest of the movie, the action scenes are as believable as they are enjoyable and that's a very, very good thing. Bigtime props to Sam Raimi for fleshing out the fight scenes in the comic book so well. One minor gripe is the lack of one-liners that Spidey usually delivers in the comics [and there was a lack in the first one too] but that's a MINOR thing and can easily be overlooked.

Since this is a comic-to-movie converstion, there will obviously be some question about how faithful the movie is to its source material. I'd say it's more or less as close to the comics as the first one was, and that's pretty damn close. Yes, there was some modernization of the characters' costumes as well as some events that took place, but overall the movie keeps the information and basic feel of the comics perfectly intact. There's a few less allusions to elements of the comics than in the first one but it's still MUCH closer to the comics than other conversions.

In closing the movie was quite close to perfection. The lack of effects-laden fight sequences might turn off the people that are looking for a great action flick, but for people looking for a movie that will carry your heart and imagination places beyond where most movies take you, Spider-Man 2 is the movie you want to see this summer.

Deadwired2 #1: Deadwired2 - added 08/08/2004, 03:04 AM
I never did see what the massive appeal of this movie was, even after I watched it. The first Spider-Man, as much praise as it was rewarded, was just too ridiculously corny, and Toby Maguire seems to have a problem with giving his characters personality. Not to mention, this movie was more than half special-effects over actual acting. Not that I'm complaining, because the CGI was excellent, but I'm not about to give the actors/actresses any credit for notable talent when most of the movie isn't even acting. Another thing, the plot seemed a little too stale for me. Even though Dr. Octopus ended up being a better antagonist than I imagined, I felt his role towards the end had gone to waste with the way the story turned. Plus, Harry becomes the new Green Goblin? The son of the original? Oh yeah, that's original right there. This movie is OK, but I nothing I really found special.
compoundwhore #2: compoundwhore - added 08/18/2004, 05:34 AM
It was ok, but way too long.
Big D #3: Big D - added 08/21/2004, 06:20 PM
WAY TOO LONG? You're full of shit. It's a good movie...DR. OCTOPUS IS SPIDER-MAN'S ENEMY IN THIS MOVIE!!!
smilesallround #4: smilesallround - added 09/08/2004, 11:13 PM
MrDerp #5: MrDerp - added 12/31/2004, 06:50 PM
BuryMeAlive #6: BuryMeAlive - added 10/21/2005, 11:11 PM
MJ must die in Spider-3, I can't stan Kirsten Dunst, and the love thing going on and the jokes in the movie is just to much for me....
Tristan #7: Tristan - added 06/12/2006, 02:20 PM
HOLY CAPS LOCK!!0!111!!221!
I unfortunately didn't get the pleasure of seeing this one in theaters, but when I watched it at home for the first time, I fell in love immediately. Raimi's pure brilliance again capture Spidey on the screen flawlessly, and it left me already anticipating S3.
Rik #8: Rik - added 09/22/2007, 02:38 AM
The best installment yet.
Rest Easy Soul #9: Rest Easy Soul - added 01/24/2010, 08:16 PM
I thought it was the best for the longest time, then I watched it again and it was boring. Has no lasting affect but boy does it blow you away the first time you see it. As of now I still consider the first one the best.
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