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227 out of 300 people found the following review useful:

A Fan's Dream Come True

10/10
Author: Ryan from NYC
30 June 2004

I went to the midnight show last night and was completely blown away !! I am 30 years old and had begun reading the Amazing Spider-Man back when I was 11 and leaving the theater last night, I felt like I was a kid again- I was amazed, I was in awe, I really felt... satisfied.

Every scene crackled. There was an energy, there was an effort put into every moment of the movie. No scene went on too long, no plot holes fell through. It was the comic, come alive.

Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire did a great job of making Peter Parker sympathetic, you feel for him, you wince with him, he is the boy, becoming a man, and you watch it, and you keep watching it.

Even as a long-time fan who knew where some of the story lines were going- with MJ, with Harry Osborne- to see HOW the movie chose to play out these stories, provided great surprises for me, I almost wished I didn't know... I can't wait to see the reactions of my friends who haven't followed the Spider-man comics, the twist of the story and the hints at what is to come...

A great movie. Great fun. Great story. Great action. A blockbuster movie. You leave the theater, definitely feeling like you got your money's worth !

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202 out of 289 people found the following review useful:

A Flawless Super Hero Movie

10/10
Author: john_murdoch2002 from United States
30 June 2004

This is what a good summer movie should be.

Spider-Man 2 transcends the boundaries of being just another comic book movie to being a richly character driven movie with a very conflicted hero. Here, for the first time, we see the actual emotion behind the facade of the hero behind the mask. Gone is the richly colorful look of the first part, here in Spider-Man 2, we are plunged into a world of shadows and off colors.

Picking up two years after the first Spider-Man left off, Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) has his hands full with three full-time jobs. He is going to school full time, he is working full time to pay off his rent, and he is a hero always on call whenever he hears a siren. Not to mention, we see the emotional toll that has been taken on him, his only surviving family member, his Aunt May (Rosemary Harris), has become consumed with grief and loss over the death of her husband (incidentally, creating Spider-Man in the first part), Peter's friend Norman Osborne (James Franco) is now at odds with him since he has become consumed with revenge over Spider-Man killing his father (the Green Goblin), and his love affair with Mary Jane-Watson (Kirsten Dunst) is slowly being extinguished because he is never there for her to return the feelings she has for him. And this is all in the first fifteen minutes of the film.

As Spider-Man, Parker is even in danger of losing his powers as his exhaustion slowly begins to take over. Is it medical or is it because he has stretched himself too thin? Eventually, Peter decides to give up being Spider-Man to finally bring peace into his life. There is a brilliant sequence in this film when we see Parker returning to his alter-ego from the first part before the mutated spider bite as he puts on his glasses again, clouding his vision to the world around him. When he sees someone being beaten up in an alley, he turns around to walk away. When the familiar sirens fly past him again, he just eats a hot dog. In short, Parker has finally succumbed to being a New Yorker.

In the midst of all of this, we see the creation of a new villain, this time in the form of a deranged scientist named Doctor Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina), who has four frighteningly powerful arms welded to his spine after a disaster with his life's work. This disaster not only turns the Doctor into Dr. Octopus (Doc Ock as the papers call him), but the artificially intelligent arms seemed fuse to his id, placating his desires to not want his life's work to be a failure. Doc Ock will try again at the expense of anyone around him.

The standout here is Tobey Maguire, who can convey the film's entire heart with a look or a gesture, but is most heart-wrenchingly done in his hesitations. For a man so used to having quick reflexes, when he has to slow down and realize what is going on around him, we are instantly in his head. Maguire also has to command the screen as Spider-Man and convince the audience that he can stand up to someone like Octavius and not seem fantastic.

Sam Raimi also does a knock-out job as well, knowing when to hold on a character's face long enough or swinging the camera along with Spider-Man to give the audience the exhilaration of flight. Raimi is more than competent enough to give this movie the look and feel of a moving comic book and by utilizing his most signature camera shot (zooming into and out of the character's eyes), the audience is invited to live for a moment in the tights of a superhero.

Spider-Man 2 has so many great messages to be heard in this film, the best of which seems to draw both Peter and Octavius together in the end: In order for the right thing to be done, does it mean that we have to put away what we want the most? In both cases, there are some strong arguments and that is what makes this movie such a surprise is the depth that it possesses. Seemingly, we have entered the bizarro world of sequels, where they seem to surpass the original (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Toy Story 2, etc) and Spider-Man 2 definitely joins these ranks. Perhaps in allowing a series to expand rather than compliment the original, we can expect more depth out of movies, which has been as equally absent in this day and age as heroes as Spider-Man 2 also suggests.

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119 out of 165 people found the following review useful:

~ MORE Web-Slinging Fun ~

9/10
Author: Aysen08 from Lincoln, NE
6 January 2005

Normally sequels are hugely disappointing in comparison to the original film. So it's hard to believe that they could even come close to topping this movies original, alas they do!

Picking up where the first movie starts off and introducing several new comic book regulars, we bypass the history establishing story of the original and head straight into what life is like for Peter Parker being a college student, Spiderman, and trying to hold down a job.

This time Spidey must face the likes of Doc Ock, portrayed by Alfred Molina (he's come a long way since Indiana Jones cameos) excellently. Once again they couldn't have picked a better actor to portray the villain Spiderman has to face.

Spiderman must take out Doc, save the city, save the girl, and still get good grades.

The action sequences once again are entrancing and the story is well written. Kudos once again to the actors involved and Sam Raimi on creating another hit. Looking very much forward to Spiderman 3. Another hit I'm sure if 1 & 2 are any indications.

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69 out of 88 people found the following review useful:

Takes every element from the first film and improves on it!

9/10
Author: MinorityReporter from Denmark
27 April 2005

It only happens very rarely that a sequel surpasses the original (Terminator 2, Star Wars Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back) and after the relative disappointment that was the original my expectations for the second film in the series had decreased. When I finally did sit down in the cinema to see this film I was a bit anxious. But my anxiety was quickly put to rest because Spider-Man 2 took the premises from the first film and improved upon them all. The first Spider-Man film a well meaning picture but quite as good as it could have been the second film is a good film for both hardcore fans like myself and the broader audience.

First off, the acting in the second film has improved tremendously. Tobey Maguire feels more right in the second film. I found him quite shallow in the first film but in the second one he seems to have developed more depth. More nuances have found their way into his acting in the second film making the character more believable and less of a square. Kirsten Dunst is never a good actress but I found her a little less annoying in this film than in the first and therefore I felt I could tolerate her presence. James Franco is decent but still has a problem with portraying nuances which basically means that in order for his performance to work he has exaggerate every emotion his character feels. As it is with most superhero movies the villain is the most interesting character and Sam Raimi couldn't have picked a better actor than Alfred Molina to play Otto Octavius aka Doc Ock. I'm a big fan of Willem Dafoe but I didn't like his performance in the first Spider-Man film very much and therefore I was delighted when Alfred Molina turned out to be a far better villain than Willem was. His performance was both menacing and nuanced and even though the character isn't always directly in control of his actions (making him somewhat misinterpreted) Molina's performance makes the character highly credible and undoubtedly the most interesting character in the film.

The effects have improved which is logical considering that it has been 2 years since the first film hit the cinemas. Also I found that Doc Ock was much better suited for flashy moves and cool fights than Green Goblin ever was so in that aspect the film is far superior to the first film as well. Especially the train fight will, I think, go into history as one of the best hero/villain showdowns in history if not the best. The computer effects have become slightly more subtle making the film seem more polished. There were still a few unfortunate scenes were the CGI was pretty obvious but overall the effects have improved dramatically and received a well earned Oscar.

The musical score continues in the same epic fashion from the first and Danny Elfman does an exceptional job as usual. The score is both thrilling and epic but it is also subtle when it has to be and that aspect of the score works wonderfully as well. Elfman has some experience in super hero scoring (having done both Batman and Hulk aside from Spider-Man) and it shows as the score is very appropriate and fitting. Two thumbs up on the music.

In terms of story telling the second film is also far better than the first. I found the first film to be very unoriginal in terms of its story. Anyone who has just an ounce of knowledge into the myth of Spider-Man knows the story beforehand and thus the film becomes very predictable and boring quite frankly. The second film did not have this problem. It was a breath of fresh air. The story seems to flow more from the heart this time around. Raimi proved in the first film that he could take a situation from the comics and translate it reasonably to the screen. In the second film he proves that he can make a highly original story as well and make it entertaining. It should also be added that Spider-Man 2 has a lot more of the humor like the kind that appears in the comics. J.K. Simmons who was one of the elements in the first film returns in his role and he is absolutely hilarious. He truly embodies the spirit of J. Jonah Jameson. There is also a very funny elevator scene which should be mentioned.

Some people complained that Raimi has turned mainstream with the Spider-Man films. That is a load of rubbish and Raimi proves it by adding some elements from his cult films, the Evil Dead series. He even lets Bruce Campbell tell Spider-Man off as if to symbolize that he hasn't forgotten where he came from.

All in all Spider-Man 2 surpasses the first film in the franchise in almost every way imaginable Spider-Man 2 is twice as engaging, entertaining and heartfelt than the first film in the series.

9/10

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92 out of 134 people found the following review useful:

Quite surprisingly good

8/10
Author: kyndby from Copenhagen
9 July 2004

Well I saw the first and Thought .. OK, nice movie, but nothing special. So I wasn't looking much forward to the second one. Boy was I wrong.. The second one has it all... And I mean all. Suspense, romance, action and some quite nice Effects. Tobey Maguire is performing well, and Kirsten Dunst... wauw.... she is breathtaking...And only 22, so we can only hope to see more of her the coming years. Last but not least, Alfred Molina, who is the bad guy. He is very convincing and very very nasty. The computer-effects used are better than I have ever seen. Now you get the feeling of flying. I recommend all to see this movie, yes girls too. Remember.. movies are best in the cinema!

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91 out of 138 people found the following review useful:

Well worth the wait, what a movie!

10/10
Author: mfoley84 from United States
30 June 2004

Spider-Man 2 picks up where the original film left off, this time showing the more difficult hardships of being a superhero. Standing in the way is Dr. Otto Octavius(Doc Ock) a brilliant scientist whose fusion experiment goes awry at a demonstration Peter attends.

The story, and characters are fleshed out more this time out, as well as the effects. Kirsten Dunst is more convincing as MJ, she seemed a little flat in the role last time. Here she, like the rest of the cast, do a convincing job. The top performance has to go to Alfred Molina. In the short screen time Otto has before he becomes a diabolical powerhouse supervillain, he is an endearing, likable person. Spider-Man 2 also offers more confidence in it's story telling. The "raindrops" sequence is an evident example. Not afraid to go full nine, this movie is the definitive comic book movie, possessing action, drama, comedy, and message(without being too preachy). Director Sam Raimi and crew really nailed it this time around. Be sure to check out comic artist Alex Ross' paintings spliced in the opening credits, entailing the events of the first film. A great opening to a great film.

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80 out of 119 people found the following review useful:

See this one.

9/10
Author: Bill from Denver, Colorado
9 July 2005

WOW.

I had low expectations after Spiderman 1. Spider Guy 2 is a blowout, take no prisoners, roller coaster ride of a film. It's got it all: great story line, edge of your seat action, romance, humor, fine acting, break neck pace,….well, you get the idea.

This film is for the whole family. Great chase scenes, crashes, and special effects for the guys. Romance, and a tender love story for the gals. Comic book touches for the kids. It just works so well on every level.

McGuire and Dunst have a chemistry that reminded me of Niles and Daphne in "Frasier." They loved each other from afar, and could not communicate their feelings to each other. The romantic tension was exquisite. So it is here with McGuire and Dunst. You know they have to get together at some point, but the long and difficult road is a journey we enjoy.

The villain is definitely top shelf. Without revealing too much, suffice it to say that he's bad enough, scary enough, and convincing enough to make the film work on the plot level.

The special effects are well done, especially where Spiderman has to save passengers on a speeding train.

Spiderman has self doubts, begins to lose his powers, and longs to be Peter Parker instead of a superhero. He struggles with his choices in life, as we all do. He makes difficult choices, and learns that truth and integrity are rewarded, even when the results are very painful for the aunt who has replaced his mother.

You might see films with a deeper message, but you won't see many films that combine action, romance, and meaning in one slick package. See this one. In fact, you may want to buy this one for your DVD library.

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70 out of 114 people found the following review useful:

Maintains the energy of the first one

8/10
Author: Dan Franzen (dfranzen70) from United States
20 December 2004

A cut above the typical comic book movie, S-M 1 did what this type of movie is supposed to do: introduce the main characters, have 'em fight a Super Bad Guy, and then have it all end happily ever after, for the most part. In other words, for the first movie in a supposed franchise, you have to allow time for exposition of the protagonist's background, even if millions already know him from another medium.

With S-M 2, though, such an obligation isn't necessary. We've met Spidey, MJ, Aunt May, et al., and we're ready to jump into a new story. So while the first one explains why Spidey is, the second movie devotes more time to fighting the Bad Guy du Jour, Doctor Octopus.

Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) still pines for MJ (Kirsten Dunst), from whom he steers clear despite his undying affection for her. It's for her own good, he tells himself. If we're together, my enemies will top at nothing to get at me through her, and I can't put her in that position. And so, in typical superhero fashion, he broods and broods and broods. The relentless push-and-pull between his love for MJ and his devotion to using his powers for good is a constant theme in the Spider-Man universe, and in the movies it either smolders in the background or charges with a raging fury to the forefront. Peter is given the impossible choice - true love or good deeds - and it's a choice to which, at its core, everyday people can relate; we all have exceedingly difficult choices to make throughout our lives.

And in this especially, the movies succeed. Peter Parker is supposed to be an average teen - well, except for those powers he has. He's not morally superior. He's not smarter. He's just a poor schlub who accidentally has these super powers, and he doesn't quite know how to deal with them. On a smaller scale, a comparison can be made to a supremely talented collegiate football player who's just made it to the pros. He has otherworldly talents. He has money, fame, fortune. And can he handle it? About as well as Peter can.

Anyway, the big villain here is the aforementioned Doc Ock (Alfred Molina), yet another in a long line of Good Scientists Gone Wrong. You may recall that the Green Goblin from the first S-M movie was also of this line. This Doc has found a way to manipulate metallic tentacles with his mind. (It helps that the tentacles are physically attached to him.) Something goes wrong, he goes mad, and next thing you know it, he's gonna take over the world. Give these boys a Happy Meal, and they'd still want two prizes.

Along with the inevitable Spidey-Doc Ock battles, Peter Parker's best friend Harry (James Franco) is still quite resentful as Spidey's killing of his father in the first movie. He doesn't know Peter is Spider-Man, but he knows only Peter is able to take photographs of him. So the second thematic struggle is within Harry - does he resent his friend for knowing the murderer (in his eyes) of his father? All of the cast returns from the first movie (well, all that survived the first movie), and they all do a collective good job. Maguire is a perfect choice for the lead; he's unassuming, can't really emote, is stoic, and even a little bit wimpy. All are qualities that plague the characters of both Spider-Man and Peter Parker.

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74 out of 124 people found the following review useful:

A damn near perfect summer blockbuster

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
23 August 2004

Two years on from defeating the Green Goblin, Peter Parker is having a harder time meeting the ongoing expectations of the public. On top of this the double life is taking its strain on his job, his personal life and his ability to even cast webs. Parker decides enough is enough and throws it all in – after all, he is only one man. Meanwhile, A brilliant scientist, Dr Octavius sees his life's work on a fusion reactor explode – killing his wife. Wife the protective device on his computerised arms broken, Dr Octavius loses his grip on sanity and starts to rebuild his reactor using money and materials from crime. With him seemingly intent on destruction, Parker must decide if the needs of others outweigh his own.

With many blockbusters falling at the opening weekend this summer, the title of 'summer's best' was still up for grabs when I arrived at the cinema to watch Spiderman 2 (having only the week earlier given it the miss in favour of lighter fare). Two hours later I emerged having enjoyed one of the most entertaining popcorn films I'll probably see all year. The plot is more than able to fill the running time and, although the action scenes often have large gaps between them, there are no moments where I was bored – even if there are a few moments where the film slightly slows. The complexity of the hero is the main thing – he is an unwilling hero and the strain shows well on him. Even the potentially ponderous thread with Mary-Jane plays pretty well for the most part.

The villain of the piece is similar to the Green Goblin of the first film in that he is a scientist driven to madness by 'voices' who we want to lose as well as feeling for – more tragic than evil. Where Dafoe was great as the Goblin, the silly costume hindered the actor, here Molina has no such obstacle and does very well – carrying off the 'voices' scene without it looking silly – it is only a shame that he has so little screen time as a person (he has little time anyway – but the vast majority of it is throwing cars around). With these complex people as the fronts it is any wonder that the script has no problem being surprisingly strong for a summer action movie. You could read meaning into most of it but it is hard to not see the New York people on the train carrying the prone body of Spiderman backwards as having a bigger significance – a surprisingly poignant movie after a big effects-driven scene. The script also throws in a real mix of emotions – perfect for a film that is more about being an exciting ride than a piece of art. Plenty of it is very funny, some of it is touching, some of it is about character and some of it, well, some of it is about cars being thrown through windows! And of course the latter is what we have come for.

In terms of action, the several big action sequences are very enjoyable and put the skirmishes from the first movie very much in the shade. Part of this is down to the increased intensity of the fights due to the close combat nature of the character but it is hard not to be impressed by the impact of the vastly improved effects. In the first movie I struggled occasionally to get past the fact that some of it (not all but some) looked very much like an average playstation game. Here the effects are great; sure, you can still tell when a mid-shot of a character is real or CGI but they are much more convincing and they are used a lot better – making it easier to accept them as real for the purposes of the film. Of course what really makes the action sequences is Raimi's great direction. He is very able in the smaller moments but he is fantastic in the massive action scenes that he pulls together. At times his direction is very clever and my favourite 'reference' scene is also the one that surprised me that it was rated PG. In a very clear reference to Evil Dead, doctors are hammered by Dr Octopus' arms for the first time – dragged screaming (ED's trees) and tackling it with bone saws (Ash's chain saw). It was a very intense scene and, with it being in a PG, it acts as proof that the BBFC are not as strict as the moaners would have us believe.

Working with this direction, the cast all do really well. Maguire takes the pratfalls, the moral questions, the romance and the action equally as well. He is very much the likable everyman that the film needs Spiderman to be and he is good throughout. Dunst has talked about her desire to do more than just this type of film and, from this, I can see why. Although she has some good scenes, generally she is sidelined and it is to her credit that she does as well as she does with comparatively little to work with. Molina is given too little time and lacks a really strong scene of emotion in the same way that Dafoe did in front of the mirror but he still does well. I didn't feel his pain as much as I really should have done but that was more down to his low screen time rather than his performance. Franco is good but a bit too one-dimensional; given that the third film will be very dependent on him I'm hoping he can step up to the plate more than he did here. Of the support cast, once again it is a wonderfully OTT Simmons who steals every scene he is in – he is so good that I never once saw him as his Oz character – an association I never thought he'd be able to break but he did – and he did it hilariously. Cameos from Campbell, Raimi and Dafoe are all enjoyable and add to their scenes.

Overall this is not a perfect film and I am bemused by its appearance in the top 250 list here but it does basically everything it sets out to do and does it in a manner that puts this years' other blockbusters in the shade. The script is clever, interesting and involving; the characters are complex and pretty well drawn while the film delivers laughs as frequently as it does action. With improved effects and some very impressive action scenes this is definitely the movie to sue in a summer full of misses and average thrills.

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88 out of 158 people found the following review useful:

Wonderful work

10/10
Author: A_Cockwork_Orgasm from Sweden
22 February 2005

It's hard not to love this movie unless you have absolutely no ability of knowing good entertainment when you see it. Tobey Maguire is great as Peter Parker, Kirsten Dunst lovely as MJ, Alfred Molina an outstanding classic machined villain as Dr. Octavious turned DocOck. Every member of the cast is superb in their big or small roles, Sam Raimi the director seems very sure of the script and his directing and makes every scene worth watching. Add to that a good story, fabulous, marvelous special effects and visual sequences, an outstanding, fully suitable score, sound effects beyond your wildest dreams, a red-blue spidey Spandex outfit, a chubby guy in a brown coat with four mecha-arms...well how can you not like it??? So, either you are a fan of the comics, like superhero movies, or not, you really have to enjoy this movie. DO NOT MISS IT!

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