CinemaDave (cinemadave) wrote,

2004 "Spider-Man 2"

"Spider-Man 2" takes up were the original
"Spider-Man" movie left off two years ago.
Spider-Man, alias Peter Parker (Tobey McGuire), is
still foiling the criminals and thugs of New York
City. His unrequited love, Mary Jane Watson (Kristen
Dunst) and best friend, Harry (James Franco), have
progressed with their lives. Harry sits on the board
of directors for his father's company, Oscorp, while
Mary Jane has become an actress on Broadway performing
Oscar Wilde.

While celebrating another birthday with his friends
and Aunt May (Rosemary Harris), Peter becomes
depressed. Despite all of his heroics as the
Spider-Man, Peter Parker has nothing to show for his
success. Peter is a failure on the job as a pizza
delivery boy, he is failing in college and his
superiors think he is lazy. Things go from bad to
worse for Peter when his arachnid powers fail him.

Thanks to the influence of Dr. Connors (Dylan Baker),
Peter is able to met Dr. Otto Octavius (Alfred
Molina), a scientific genius in the field of fusion.
Peter and Octavius develop a mentor/prodigy
relationship, which is destroyed when a scientific
experiment goes out of control. Octavius loses his
wife and becomes a freak of mechanical nature when 6
metallic arms are fused into his spine. Losing his
identity to his mechanical claws, the kindly Professor
Octavius becomes the monstrous Doctor Octopus.

"Spider-Man 2" is a case study of abnormal
psychology. This new film is motivated by human
nature, not by a villain seeking world domination in a
unique way. While most of the action sequences are
worthy of the visualization of a comic book, it is
Peter's confessionals to Aunt May and Mary Jane that
forms the most emotional moments in the movie.
Spidey's impotent actions are more of a psychological
block than any physical ailment.

The heart of this motion picture comes form a labor of
love from the cast, crew and Marvel Comics.
Spider-Man creator Stan Lee saves another child from
falling debris in an effective cameo. Sam Raimi
regular, Bruce Campbell, portrays a snobby theater
usher that may be the same character from the first
movie. Willem Dafoe and Cliff Robertson return from
the dead in two effective cameo appearances that
represent the Tao of parenthood. Tobey McGuire,
Kristen Dunst and James Franco create an empathic love
triangle based on friendship and envy.

Both "Spider-Man" movies have three battles between
Spidey and his antagonists. The best fight in the new
movie features Doc Ock on a tower with Aunt May in his
clutches. The most disappointing battle is the
climatic nighttime show down that deals more with
character meltdown than any war of the wills between
the protagonists.

From the Spider-Manaholics to the comic book layman on
the street, "Spider-Man 2" succeeds as first rate
entertainment. Director Sam Raimi adds just enough
details to keep the comic book scholars guessing as to
the fate of "Spider-Man 3," due in 2007. A.D.

While this film is not as good as the predecessor,
"Spider-Man 2" is one of the best movies for the
summer of 2004.
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