Starring: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco
Director: Sam Raimi
Running Time: 124 mins
Spider-Man 2 is an American film and the sequel to Spider-Man. Having declared that his responsibilities as Spider-Man mean he can’t be with Mary-Jane, Peter Parker is thrust into action once again to defeat the villainous Doctor Octopus.
Spider-Man is one of the most entertaining superhero movies ever made. So, it’s fair to say that Spider-Man 2 has enormous shoes to fill by following it. Fortunately, this sequel more than lives up to its amazing predecessor, with yet more brilliant blockbuster action, riveting character depth, a fun-loving and a collection of effortlessly charismatic performances across the board.
Once again, let’s start with the action, which might just be even better in Spider-Man 2 than the first film. I loved the original’s sparing use of action in its opening stages, only to build into a thrilling, action-packed blockbuster, but Spider-Man 2 certainly doesn’t hang around when it comes to getting you pumped with soaring, thrilling comic book action.
While the film’s main villain in Doctor Octopus is arguably less interesting than The Green Goblin, who was closely tied with Peter Parker’s personal life, he’s a far more intimidating adversary for Spider-Man, and the action sequences in which he and the web-slinger do battle are some of the most intense in this franchise, and easily some of the most exciting.
That action really comes to a head in the film’s final act, which not only offers up some of the most exhilarating fight sequences you’ll see in a Spider-Man movie, but also another captivating story which has been effectively crafted over the course of the film’s first two acts.
Spider-Man 2 continues Peter Parker’s endless heartache over Mary-Jane, while Harry Osborn takes a little bit of a back seat relative to the first film. However, the most interesting part of this movie comes in its impressively mellow middle act, in which Peter begins to question his role as Spider-Man, leading to a lack of confidence that eventually begins to impact his abilities.
Taking the time out of the brilliant action to spend some quality time with the character and his concerns beyond saving the world is a hugely refreshing approach in the middle of a big superhero blockbuster, and one that brings extra stakes to the table, as when you see Peter fight as Spider-Man from then on, you know exactly why he does it, and how much it matters to him.
The romantic streak of the movie is the icing on top of the cake, and although the deeply personal drama that revolved around Peter’s fight with Harry Osborn’s father isn’t quite present here, there’s no denying that Spider-Man 2 is yet another brilliant blockbuster that’s not all about action, but telling a great story too. So, that’s why I’m giving it an 8.4 overall.