23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
Tobey Maguire is back as the Superhero with low self-esteem, but awesome super-powers. If getting bitten by a spider made me buff overnight, gave me perfect vision and the ability to climb walls, I don't think I would have a low self-image, but that's just me. Peter Parker is an odd one. He's in love w/ his childhood friend, but feels that allowing himself to be a part of her life will endanger her because he has "enemies." Of course, he makes enemies by chasing sirens.
This film is full of contradictions. Doctor Octavius (Alfred Molina) dons this ridiculous 22nd century technology that looks like a rip-off of the "squiddy" in "The Matrix" that supposedly helps him man-handle his own man-made sun (his version of creating a fusion reactor) - yet the biggest newspaper in town is doing cut & paste mock-ups like a high school journalism class... no computers... and they send their photographer out with a Nikon F1. Pulleaaase! They stopped making the F1 in 1979. If at least it was an F3, that I could buy - or more likely, an F5.
Molina's Jekyl/Hyde relationship w/ his technological enhancements makes him the anti-hero - his flabby belly and flabby chests ripple in the wind without shame, since he can now climb walls and kill the innocent with a swipe of his massive tenticles.
Now hopelessly fused with his technological prosthetics that have their own artificial intelligence, the newly dubbed "Doctor Octopus" is on a mission to get Spiderman out of his way, in what is one extremely cool twist on the "bullet time" scenes from the first "Matrix" film and the kung-fu action on top of semi-tractor-trailers in the Matrix sequel.
Doc Ock is causing millions of dollars of damage all over the city, yet no one has thought of bringing in an armed Apache helicopter with heat-seaking missles. Dr. Octopus can swing, but he can't fly. A miniture version of our own sun is tossed into the Hudson River to "extinguish" it, and while it glows yellow-hot, even the water touching the "sun" isn't boiling or turning into steam.
There are holes all over this story, but when it's all said and done, you don't really care. You want Peter to stop tripping over his own tongue and tell Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst) that he loves her already and for everyone to hold hands and get along... but this is based on the dark Spiderman comic, where Spidey makes everyone else happy, but must must be sad and lonely himself. The action scenes are beautiful and exciting to watch - clever choreography and a lot of really funny moments where the film doesn't take itself too seriously. The movie definitely sets itself up for a sequel on many fronts. Will the Green Lantern live again? Will we see a new Dr. Octopus - with rusty, yet sparky tenticles? Will Peter & MJ get married and will they end up with an egg-sac full of mutant spiderlings? Don't baby spiders eat their mothers? Oh Hollywood - there is no telling what they will come up with for the sequel.
No sex scenes and I don't even remember one foul word in the movie. There is violence, but nothing compared to the evening news. I would say the PG-13 rating is appropriate. The movie is a little too long and intense for very young viewers.