71 of 79 people found the following review helpful
Spider-Man 2 surpasses the original!,
Just when I was about ready to throw in the towel on Hollywood and its univentive sequel/remake/book adaption craze of unoriginal recycling, I sat down to see the second chapter in Sam Raimi's "Spider Man" series. While I enjoyed the first film, it never really drew me in emotionally. It had some real cool action sequences and some interesting special effects but the story was very paint-by-numbers comic book fare. I enjoyed the film's cinematic style, which seemed to me like an homage to the 50's-style of films, but while I wasn't turned off by the the hero's backstory, I was never fully compelled by it either. When I had heard all of the cast members spit the usual studio speech about how the sequel would be even better, I took it very much with a grain of salt. By the time I came out of this movie, however, I was a believer.
"Spider Man 2" takes place two years after the original where Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) is struggling with the realization that his superhero alter-ego is alienating him from everyone that he loves. His best friend, Harry (James Franco) is stelling stewing over his father's death at the hands of Spidey and the object of his affections, Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) is fed up by Pete's inability to committ to her. If that wasn't bad enough, his commitment to crime fighting has cost him more than a few jobs and he's struggling to pay his rent. On the Spider-Man side of things, he has to deal with a new enemy, Doc Ock (Alfred Molina), a transformed version of Otto Octavius, a brilliant fusion engineer whose expirement ends up killing his wife and subsquently driving him insane. As far as super-villians go, this one's a doosy.
"Spider Man 2" improves on so many aspects of the first film. Where the first film had Maguire as the akward teen coping with his newfound powers and subsquent responsibilites, this one paints him as the reluctant hero that is banished to a life of personal abandoment. The hero seems like a far greater underdog this go around as Spider-Man must deal with a much tougher villian while Peter Parker tries to put his life back together. I liked the fact that Raimi balanced out the film's jaw-dropping effects with some emotional character depth. There is a good mixture of storytelling and cinematic style here. Raimi also improved on the dialouge here. There are some comedic moments but the rivalry between Spidey and Doc Ock doesn't elevate itself to the level of cheesy line-trading that went on between Maguire and Dafoe in the first.
The performances are really what seperates this one from its predecassor. Tobey Maguire is given a lot more to do, this time around. While Molina doesn't have the same charisma as Dafoe, his villian is far more menacing. Kirsten Dunst is given a somewhat smaller role here but it serves its purpose. My one complaint is that Mary Jane doesn't really look the same in this one. In the first movie, she had a much different look to her than most of the characters that Dunst has portrayed. Here, she doesn't carry herself the same way. It doesn't really take anything away from the film but it is somewhat noticeable whether intended or not. There are a good deal of amusing cameo appearances here as well but I'm not gonna spoil them for you.
"Spider Man 2" is not just one of the better sequels I've seen in awhile but also one of the best films of its kind that I've seen at the movies in some time. I can't remember the last time that I went into a movie theatre and was entertained on so many levels the way that I was with this film. Maybe low expectations might have played a part in it but in all honesty, I doubt it. No matter what your preconceived notion of this movie is, you will probably be drawn in just the same. You don't have to be a comic book fan or even a fan of the first movie to enjoy but it certainly doesn't hurt things. (Review: ****1/2)
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Initial post: Feb 5, 2012 9:37:12 PM PST
And who the hell are you?? It's ALL opinion pal but thanks for liking Spidey
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