Directed By: Sam Raimi
Starring: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, Alfred Molina
Tag line: "This summer a man will face his destiny. A hero will be revealed"
Trivia: When it was released in 2004, it was the second widest release of all time with 4,152 theaters right behind Shrek 2
Spider Man 2 is one of the best superhero movies I’ve ever seen, a fast, furious, spectacular motion picture that fuses high drama with the thrill of gliding through the air.
Life for Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) has been anything but easy since he’s adopted the alter-ego of Spider Man, and the various demands of his new-found “profession” are wreaking havoc on his personal life. Not only was he just fired from his job as a pizza delivery boy, but he’s failing all his courses at the University, and to top it off, Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst), whom he’s secretly loved for years, has grown tired of waiting for him to make a move, and is now engaged to be married to a handsome astronaut. Even his time spent donning the mask has its difficulties, what with his good friend, Harry Osborne (James Franco), hunting the webslinger for supposedly murdering his father, and the local gossip rag, the Daily Bugle, claiming Spider Man is little more than a criminal in a goofy disguise. Honestly, it’s enough to make a superhero want to hang up his tights!
But New York is about to face another serious threat to its security, this time from noted scientist Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina) when his latest experiment to generate a continuous energy source goes haywire, fusing four large, robotic arms to his spinal column. Under the control of his new mechanical appendages, Octavius hits the streets, stealing money and parts in order to continue his research. And when Spider Man tries to stop him, Octavius, now known around the city as Dr. Octopus, takes it upon himself to end the reign of our friendly neighborhood hero once and for all.
The action sequences in Spider Man 2 are astounding, and director Sam Raimi keeps the tension between Spider Man and Dr. Octopus flowing at a fever pitch; one particular showdown between the two, which plays out aboard a runaway train, is so exciting that it’ll challenge your natural reflex to blink. Yet just as impressive as the thrills is the way Spider Man 2 presents the continuing story of Peter Parker. Sure, swinging around town helping people may have been fun at the beginning, but now poor Peter is suffering because of it. He has no life, very few friends, and learned pretty quickly that doing good deeds while hiding behind a mask wasn’t gonna be a great source of income. As the movie progressed, and Peter Parker’s troubles multiplied, I actually wanted to see him throw in the towel.
It’s not often that a sequel outclasses an original film, rarer still when it sets the bar higher for an entire genre. Spider Man 2 is a wonderful exception. With laughs, excitement, drama and romance, Spider Man 2 will take your breath away.