Movie Review: Spider-Man 2

Letter Grade:
(?)

A+
The Good:

A real exploration of Peter Parker's character.
Doc Ock is a HUGE improvement over the Green Goblin. A villian with real depth.
Great pacing.


The Bad:

Franco plays one note.
For a superhero he sure loses his mask a lot.

Cast & Crew:

Director: Sam Raimi
Writers: Alfred Gough, Miles Millar, Michael Chabon, Alvin Sargent
Stars: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, Alfred Molina

[Originally published on 6/30/2004.]

Thought Spider-Man 2 was great! I cannot name a better superhero movie. Only Batman comes close, and I’m disqualifying that for lack of actual superpowers.

It’s not afraid to put the action on hold for a bit and have some actual storytelling, and that’s good. It’s probably a big part of what made it so good. This isn’t just an action flick; Peter Parker really has his own problems, and isn’t certain that he really can, or even wants to, play the hero. The problem with the X-Men movies has been that they just have too many people to really explore each character in depth. With 2 hours devoted to a single superhero, Spider-Man can really be fleshed out.

As for the villain, Doc Ock is a much better villain than the Green Goblin was. Alfred Molina does a superb job of making Octavius a real person, and not just your standard supervillain who goes crazy and wants to kill people and smash stuff up. As with Spider-Man they really devote the proper amount of time to his development. There’s real depth to him.

Kirsten Dunst plays Mary Jane to a T, and I have to say I’m happy to see how MJ plays a part in Peter doubting himself. Is he willing to give up MJ in order to be a hero? Is he willing to give up being a hero in order to be with MJ?

James Franco’s Harry Osborne is perhaps a little one-note, but that’s what you get when a character is obsessed with avenging his father. From the very start there’s a rift between Peter and Harry because Peter continues to be close to Spider-Man. (Like he really has a choice…) That rift widens throughout the film and concludes in a very tantalizing way.

The movie’s full of CGI, but it looks real enough and the closest it game to distracting me was when it occurred to me “Hey, this is some really good CGI.” It really does feel like there’s a guy in a red and blue suit swinging from building to building.

The closest thing I can come to a criticism is that Tobey needing to act in battle sequences sometimes leads to the mask coming off at the most inopportune times. You’re a superhero, keep your frickin’ mask on!

The movie flows very well, it doesn’t feel like they’re rushing to cram too much into 2 hours and it doesn’t lag or feel stretched at all. There is exactly the proper amount of story and the proper amount of action, and the proper amount of romance, and the proper amount of humor.

It’s simply a great movie, and probably the best superhero movie ever made.

Spider-Man 2 on Amazon.com

Rob Bernard (108 Posts)

Rob is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief, and Techie of Cinedraft. He hated Million Dollar Baby. And is really excited about the Ender’s Game movie. More About Me