Anthony's Film Review
Spider-Man 2 (2004)
The thrill of Spider-Man continues in its first sequel...
Spider-Man 2 is one of those movie sequels that simply continues the formula and story from its predecessor. Don't get me wrong. I may really love sequels when they go above and beyond what was done before, but that doesn't mean I would look down upon a sequel that didn't do anything new. As long as the previous movie was good, then a sequel that does more of the same would be good, too. That was the case with Spider-Man 2.
Tobey Maguire is back as Peter Parker/Spider-Man. When he first appears, he is working as a pizza delivery man but is late with one order. He uses his spider powers to quickly get to his destination. What this does is illustrate the state of Peter's personal life. It continues to be in shambles. For one thing, his one true love, Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst), is now with another man. As for his role as Spider-Man, it clearly involves great responsibility and an emotional price. Even Peter begins to question it.
As for the antagonist, it comes in the form of Alfred Molina as scientist Otto Octavius. Like the Green Goblin from the first movie, Otto transforms into a villain because of a laboratory accident. He becomes Doctor Octopus, or Doc Ock, a man with eight mechanical tentacles emerging from his back. He could certainly do a lot with those tentacles, from grasping to rapid but destructive locomotion. It's a pretty cool sight.
As I mentioned, Spider-Man 2 is more of the same as the first. The action is just what you'd expect. I particularly like the scene where Spider-Man has to save his Aunt May (Rosemary Harris) from Doc Ock. Another cool scene involves Spider-Man stopping a runaway train. Of course, there's also the drama. There is a subplot involving Peter's friend Harry Osborn (James Franco), who is deeply bothered by a personal loss. You can understand Harry's angst whether or not you have seen the first Spider-Man movie.
So does my rating for Spider-Man 2 equal that of the first Spider-Man? They are both entertaining movies, but I'm going to have to say that the first one was somewhat better. Note that I say "somewhat." The only reason is that I found the Green Goblin to have a terrifying mindset, something I didn't see much of in Doc Ock. I can understand if Doc Ock is meant to be a more humane villain, but I have my preferences for what kind of characters I like. Don't let this discourage you, though. Spider-Man 2 is still an enjoyable movie overall. I will leave it at that.
For more information about Spider-Man 2, visit the Internet Movie Database.
In addition, check out my reviews of Spider-Man and Spider-Man 3.