Spider-Man 2 (2004) Poster

(2004)

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10/10
A Fan's Dream Come True
RPruitt30 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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10/10
Outstanding sequel.
kirk-24615 July 2009
The first and third 'Spider-Man' movies were simply fantastic.But it gets even better with 'Spider-Man 2'. It's full of action, has plenty of adventure, and is full of award winning special effects.Like any other super hero sequel, there's always a new villain.The villains name in 'Spider-Man 2' is Dr. Octopus.AKA Doc Ock.He has 4 mechanical tentacles that can flip cars and throw people at great distances.Does he remind you of anything? Of course he does.What does he remind you of? An Octopus... Duh.It may sound kind of stupid, but Doc Ock's character actually helps the movie become a 2 hour roller-coaster ride of a movie.Just remember that Spider-Man can do whatever a spider can.
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8/10
Takes every element from the first film and improves on it!
MinorityReporter27 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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9/10
~ MORE Web-Slinging Fun ~
Aysen086 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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10/10
A Flawless Super Hero Movie
john_murdoch200230 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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10/10
This movie has a criminally low rating
ravibghost4 January 2019
7.3/10? Seriously? Most mediocre MCU films get a better rating than that. This movie is up there with The Dark Knight as one of the best superhero movies. This movie was loved when it came out, now it's cool to hate on the trilogy. Spider-Man 2 improved on all aspects of Spider-Man 1. Peter is struggling to be Spider-Man, and the movie illustrates that very well. The action is better than lots of movies today, most notably the train fight scene. Danny Elfman provides an unforgettable soundtrack. This movie and the trilogy shouldn't be overlooked as some cheesy 2000s movies, because they paved the way for the MCU as we know it today.
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9/10
See this one.
bilweeler9 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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10/10
Well worth the wait, what a movie!
mfoley8430 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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10/10
Spider-sequel-tastic
jamiemarks-129 September 2009
My presumptions of a sequel to a successful original are that they are worn out and are a desperate attempt to cash in on it's predecessor. Look no further for conclusive evidence with the terrible Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen to know what I'm talking about.

But every now and again a sequel comes along that just simply changes your perceptions and gives you faith in a continuing franchise where the sequel is just as or in the case of Spiderman 2 better than it's predecessor.

Toby Maquire, Kirsten Dunst and James Franco return with director Sam Raimi who has done a terrific job in making this for me one of the best sequels of all time.

One of the successes Spiderman 2 has is the depth of the characters and stories as there is more than one strand. Toby Maquire has the same natural ability which he possessed in the first film to accurately convey the character of Peter Parker who struggles with his feelings for Mary Jane who becomes frustrated that he can't return her feelings for him, to his fractured friendship with Harry Osborne who harbours a deep grudge against Spiderman to trying to balance his life as superhero, student and employee and struggling with his Aunt May over Uncle Ben's death to finally battling the new villain Oto Octavious played memorably by Alfred Molina and all these story strands thread there way through two hours of pure entertainment.

With the main story and these sub-stories the film could have become confusing and meaningless but thanks to the sublime artistry from Sam Raimi, it flows beautifully and never loses sight of itself.

Which goes to say the acting is as brilliant from the main cast which helps the film has more exploration and depth and the special effects this time round are flawless and much improved on the first.

This has everything for the comic fans and those who just want to be entertained of action (which there is plenty of particularly towards the end) drama, romance and humour mostly from JK Simmons who when he was on screen I was laughing out loud.

Credit goes to all involved and I very much look forward to Spiderman 3.
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8/10
Quite surprisingly good
kyndby9 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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10/10
The Best Comic Book Movie. Ever!
wwalter19591 November 2007
This movie is by far one of the best movies of all time! The movie had pretty much everything you need for a prefect film: Script: 10/10! OUTSTANDING! Director Sam Raimi did an excellent job giving full attention to the Dilemma of Peter Parker. He balances all the action, comedy, and drama perfectly.

Acting: 10/10. Tobey Maguire was very good being a character that doubts himself and has to choose between wanting a normal life and wanting to live as a superhero. Kirsten Dunst is very good in her roll as Mary Jane Watson. James Franco is amazing as the bitter Harry Osborn who is seeking revenge on Spider-Man. And Alfred Molina as Doc Ock is fantastic. He was an excellent choice as one of my favorite characters from the comic.

Action Sequences: 10/10. This movie has some amazing action scenes with Doc Ock on the building. But the best effect in the film is the fight between Spidey and Doc Ock on the side of the train.

Comedy: 8/10. J.K. Simmons is amazing as J. Jonah Jameson and adds a lot to the film. Ted Raimi is also very funny. The Raindrops sequence in the movie had a lot of laughs when you see Peter Parker as the nerdiest kid in the world.

This movie has everything you could ever want out of a summer blockbuster. And as far as staying faithful to the comic book 10/10.

PERFECT!!! 10/10
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10/10
Truly Outdoes the First
gigan-9224 September 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Wow. That's all I can manage to say after watching this film, wow. This movie really blew me away in all its aspects. The performances were top rate, especially Alfred Molina's portrayal of Dr. Otto Octavius. He really knows how to play that comic book villain with a sense of understanding so to speak. Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst romance is a truly interesting and different outlook on being a super hero. We often dream of being super heroes, and yet here we see just the opposite. The audience feels Peter's conflict between protecting the innocent and letting his own life suffer or letting it go and living the life he's always wanted. To get everything he ever desired, he must give up his double-life. Despite whether he gives up being Spider-man or not, he will still forever have to deal with the complication of his dying friendship with Harry Osborn( James Franco). Franco is my favorite actor in this film, a young millionaire dealing with the death of his father, his friend being the only one who can help him bring the murder to justice. And yet, unbeknownst to him, his friend is actually the wall crawler himself. A extremely well done screenplay. Sam Raimi adds touches of humor to the story and it blends in quite well.

The characters are just so well done and intertwined with one another. Sam Raimi makes more than just a comic blockbuster but a well-defined drama of sorts. Even the villain has his moments.

The action is unbelievable and truly out does the first. Future superhero films will have to work hard to surpass what is seen here. The train chase is by far my favorite scene in the film, truly adrenaline pumping!! Audiences do have to wait a bit, but once a fight starts prepare to be simply amazed. Not only this, but the score is magnificent!! I love Danny Elfman!! It captures each moment exactly the way audiences envision it. Another sequel is surely on the way. This is definitely one of my favorite films of 2004, putting other comic book films of the same year to shame, such as "Blade: Trinity".
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8/10
Maintains the energy of the first one
dfranzen7020 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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9/10
One of the greatest superhero movies of all time
gangstahippie24 August 2007
Rated PG-13 for stylized action violence.

Now I have not seen Spiderman 3 yet but I really want to.Spiderman is my favorite superhero.He is so cool and his movies are great as well.The first Spiderman film was pretty good but it could have been better.This film however is much better than the first and also one of the greatest superhero movies of all time.The action scenes are amazing because of the use of CGI and the storyline is great as well.The film is about Peter Parker, a nerd who has an alter ego as a superhero.He must fight Doc-Ock, a professor who turned evil after his mechanical arms took over while trying to save his relationship with Mary Jane, the woman he loves.Spiderman 2 is a great superhero movie and If you haven't seen it yet, you should.
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10/10
A great entertaining movie
the_crowvo24 July 2005
I'm not a spider man fan, but I started to become one after the first movie appear. The second has some things that were missing in the first, like the appreciation for spider man's work. If I was a super hero I would like to have some consideration for putting wrong things right, so I think the worst spider man enemy is the press. This is just a movie, but in real life the press has also the power to turn a good man in "the bad guy". The other thing that I loved in the movie was the combination of the psychological with the physical aspects, where the first ones overcome the second, like regular people. The mind will always defeat the body and super heroes are no exception. The end couldn't be better, super hero or not, he has also his needs that can't be ignored. People say that behind a good man there's always a great woman, spider man has Kirsten Dunst, sorry, Mary Jane. That's all folks.
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10/10
Spider-man some more... please!
WilsonLau10 December 2004
After being very impressed with the first one after some skepticism, Spider-man 2 is tackling a sequel with great anticipation and even greater expectations. The way Sam Raimi was able to produce the story of Spider-man with such style, realism and above all, faithfulness to the Marvel original comic is tremendous to say the least. The reason why it took this long to make a live action movie for Spider-man is due to the difficulties in making the action sequences look real and being able to connect all the side stories and characters in a single effort. Although it doesn't look flawless, it is still able to fool the eyes. The characters are also faithfully represented.

Spider-man 2 is a great sequel for many reasons. First it ties right into the original without skipping a beat. Set a few years after the original with all the same actors and characters. Though it differentiates itself enough from the original so you're not watching a clone of the first. It dives deeper into the psyche and the experiences of its main character in order for you to gain a greater understanding of his situation. At the same time it still provide great visuals, pulse pounding action sequences, humorous side sequences and breath taking special effects and camera work. This movies stands head and shoulders above all super hero comic movies. It delivers what a movie goer seeks and leaves them gasping for more. Immediately after viewing, I was pondering what they will do with the next installment and i am sure that the majority of the viewers were thinking the same thing.

The movie is strung together in a great sequence that never ever bores the viewer. The new villain gets a good intro which explains his situation in a neat and tidy manor. Doctor Otto Octavius is a perfect villain which is played and visually represented to perfection. The movements of Doc Ock are fantastic. It's just as i would have pictured it in my mind, if i could... while watching the cartoons or reading the comics. Only Raimi presents it in a way that connects the loose visuals in our minds with the visual reality (of course with the aid of computers).

Some may complain about there being too much story, too much Peter Parker and not enough action. One must realize that if it were the other way around, that you'd be complaining that there wasn't enough storyline. People are so hard to please. Even with this seemingly flawless movie people still find something to complain about. The only thing i didn't understand was the presence of Ursala, the daughter of Peter's landlord. What was her role in all of this?

Anyways, i just bought the DVD for this and realized that i should voice my opinion especially seeing how low of a score this movie got in contrast with what i would score it.

Action:10 Directing:10 Acting:10 Re-watchability(if thats even a word):10

Overall rating: 10 out of 10... bravo!

Bring on part 3 whoever the villain might be. Venom, Lizard, Gobblin, Scorpion, whatever. Heck bring on the sinister 6!
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A damn near perfect summer blockbuster
bob the moo23 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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9/10
Spider-man is back but with a greater enemy Doc Ock.
howellgirl201113 January 2011
Warning: Spoilers
He's back but with a bigger problem now. His powers are temporarily lost for a while but when his girl-friend is kidnapped right before his very eyes he knew that he was in for a big battle with the man he had favored before he turned evil inside and out. The film was great it was just like the first film except that right at the ending Mary Jane finally saw Peter as Spider-man right before her very eyes. Now that Peter had "lost" his spider powers he thought things would run smoothly for him and his life style. But all of that changed when his girl-friend was kidnapped by the guy he used to look up to Doctor Octavius better known as Doc Ock by the newspaper Peter worked at. I was a bit scared of the new villain in town who was after Spider-man and his machine that fused together the tentacles on his back spine and messed with his mind to the point that he nearly killed Peter who revealed himself to Doc Ock when he sacrificed himself to save everyone in the city including Peter and Mary Jane but had unfortunately died of drowning to death. But overall great film and a good influence to many young children and adults of all ages.
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9/10
A Nearly Flawless Super-Hero Movie
thesar-215 November 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Despite #1 being a very good movie, 'Spider-Man 2' falls under the "Surprisingly Better" sequels. Now, that's not to say, #2 didn't have its problems. It did, including one lingering from #1 (pacing,) but overall, they moved forward with the series. And in high-speed.

Already established web-slinger, do-gooder, Spider-Man continues his plight in saving kids and punishing criminals all the while getting beaten up (emotionally) as Peter Parker. In fact, they show more than enough of his beat-downs. We get it already – he's a nerd that everyone takes advantage of.

At any rate, he's still pursuing both MJ (Dunst,) who's now engaged to a more "stable" astronaut and Dr. Otto Octavius all the while, he's avoiding best friend (of Pete)/mortal enemy (of Spidey) Harry (Franco.) To make matters worse, his mother's losing her home, Pete's losing his apartment, Doc Ock's becoming an eight-limbed crazed scientist and he's getting Spidey-blocked, or unable to use his powers as his mind's overloaded.

There's actually a lot more, but that's for the viewer to see. Don't want to give away everything. Suffice to say, Pete's got a lot on his mind. Thankfully, they've up'd the villain-scale with Dr. Octopus played brilliantly by (unknown to me at the time) Alfred Molina. He ranks as one of the best on-screen villains of all time. His quiet tone, brilliant mind and attitude and mannerisms, especially being attached to 4 additional limbs, made him quite believable despite his appearance. Side Note: Doc Ock was always my favorite Spider-Man villain, and since they did a great job, this is my favorite Spider-Man movie, by a long shot.

Hopefully most people picked up on the operation scene, when they tried to rid Dr. Octavius of his metal contraptions and how it was an absolute perfect homage to Raimi's previous work. That was so 'Evil Dead' that, though it was hard to watch, especially the nail scrape, I was so impressed that he came back to his roots vs. the main-stream 'Spider-Man' had become. If you don't believe me, split screen the chainsaw with 'Evil Dead 2' and 'Army of Darkness.' There are a lot of excellent action sequences, tension and fun to be had in 'Spider-Man 2.' (The train scene, itself, is worth admission.) Nevertheless, the movie should've been cut back some – pacing is such a problem for Raimi and enough already with on again/off again relationship with MJ & Parker.

In addition, we get the multiple "Should I be a 'superhero' or not" long scenes. Superman did that, but only briefly in another superhero part 2: 'Superman II.' That's old and wears heavily. Thankfully, they move past it and you can enjoy the movie. Of course, if you can get past now multiple people knowing Spidey's true identity, that is.

I cringe that the movie critic I respect the most (Roger Ebert,) called this the best superhero movie he's ever seen. I wouldn't go that far (I'll always be partial to 'Superman: The Movie.' Heck, a few years later 'The Dark Knight' blew this one away) but I would say it's absolutely recommended. Especially since we didn't have to wait too long to see Spider-Man swing, unlike part one.
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9/10
Still The Best Spider-Man movie, and one of the best CBMs.
EddyTheMartian00721 December 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Spiderman 2 is the best Spiderman movie. To me it feels more like a movie about Peter's struggles of being Spiderman. This was the movie which cemented my love for the character.

The cast is great again. Especially Peter and Harry, which are both much better. However MJ is more of the same being a damsel in distress.

Throughout the movie Peter sees the consequences of being Spiderman. His life is literally falling apart. Everyone is moving on and he's stuck because he has to be Spiderman. He loses his job, he's failing his classes in University, MJ is getting married, Aunt May is moving out, he's struggling to pay rent, while J. Jonah Jameson (J. K. Simmons) is dragging SpiderMan's name in the mud. Everything is going wrong for Peter and you can't help but feel bad for him. He's such a nice guy, and he's going above and beyond to help others, but no one is helping back. This is the first CBM to truly show the struggles of being a Hero. This movie shows Peter at his lowest.

In this movie we see him tell Aunt May he "caused" Uncle Ben's death, and Aunt May kicks him out. Just WOW, his life just went downhill.

Sometimes the movie is a bit goofy the way it shows his misfortune, but it works because it's played out in a surprisingly hilarious way. It uses comedy to lighten up the movie. He even starts to lose his powers.

Later in the story we get introduced to Dr. Otto Octavious (Alfred Molina) who was great. He's creating a sustainable fusion power reactor, and he made 4 bionic arms which are impervious to heat and magnetism and are needed for the reactor. He teams up with Oscorp for funding, and With the help of Harry, Peter is able to write his paper on Otto. Peter and Otto hit it off with both being "brilliant" and we meet his wife. He explains why he is doing this with a great line very similar to "With great power comes great responsibility" line. "Intelligence is not a privilege, it's a gift, to be used for the good of mankind." This instantly shows the parallels between Peter and Otto and shows his motivations. When Otto finally tests out the reactor it unfortunately becomes unstable. Instead of stopping the reactor, Otto believes it will work. However the reactor kills his wife and damages the neural inhibitor chip in his spine, which doesn't let the AI from the arms influence his own brain. He's brought to a hospital while he's knocked out, in a great scene which shows Sam Raimi's horror roots. The arms take over and start brutally murdering the doctors. Oscorp is left bankrupt. Now we have the birth of our villain.

After everything going wrong Peter decided to give up being Spider-man. I think this is great. It shows peter is a human and sometimes you just want to give up. So he does, and his life does get back on track. He's getting better grades, he can finally make it to MJ's play, he can possibly pay rent. He's starting to ignore crime, but soon realizes he can't stop. This is where the hero is tested and needs to come back. Crime is up 70%. Very similarly to the first movie there's a fire where Peter decides to be the hero himself, and he saves the baby, but just when he was about to be praised for his bravery he's told that someone was stuck and died. Once again peter realizes that Spiderman is needed. With great power comes great responsibility, so Spiderman comes back!

Theres the bank robbery with the bags full of gold coins, which is very comic book like, and we have the iconic train battle. Peter gives it his all to stop the train and saves everyone, but he doesn't have his mask, and everyone sees him as a hero, and understand that they need him, so none of them say anything about his identity. This is hero praise done right. They respect the hero, despite revealing his identity probably getting the person famous or rich, they respect Spiderman for the sacrifice. And then when everyone tries to protect Spiderman it shows how everyone is trying to give back to Spiderman.

After this Spiderman is given to Harry where we get a great scene where Harry finds out Peter is Spiderman to further fuel their rivalry.

The third act is somewhat weak for me. MJ is of course the damsel in distress again, the reactor is a bit too unrealistic, but I do think overall it was a pretty good fight with large stakes. Doc Ock sacrifices himself to finally stop the machine and MJ now knows who Spiderman. Peter finally gets his happy ending.

This is one of the rare sequels where everything has been improved. I think Spiderman 2 is one of the best CBMs. It really shows the struggles and consequences of being a hero, and I think it was done marvelously.
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9/10
Mature, nuanced and layered; the superhero genre at some of its very best.
Pjtaylor-96-13804414 February 2018
It's hard to decide whether or not I prefer this film to the first, as it tells - in some ways - a more mature, nuanced and layered tale, but what isn't hard to decide is that 'Spider-Man 2 (2004)' is a fantastic movie and easily one of the best sequels of all time. The villain is wonderfully rounded, his motivations constantly clear and his character arc drawn in full before the credits roll, and presents both a physical and psychological challenge for our hero. The story expertly balances the phenomenally fun yet still emotionally resonant web-slinging sequences (a high-speed train in danger provides one of the feature's nicest character moments whereas the whole 'bank' section is amazingly accomplished and thunderously entertaining) with the relatable central dilemma of our very human protagonist. Raimi's directing seems to be stepped up a little, too, as he leans further into his own quirky style - evident in the renowned 'surgery' scene which is one of the best in the entire film. The entire piece just gels together to make a cohesive, complex and rare example of the superhero genre at some of its very best. 9/10
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9/10
"Face it, Tiger ...
Mister_Gordon_Shumway4 December 2007
... you just hit the jackpot", Mary Jane Watson ~ Dialogue straight out of the comic book ensuring that this sequel is going to be well worth the wait! OK, not quite as good as the first - sequels seldom are - but a valiant effort on the part of Sam Raimi.

Here we have the next big Super Villain, Dr Otto Octavius/Doctor Octopus (Alfred Molina), who is about to further complicate Spider-Man's (Tobey Maguire) already failing personal life: Parker is experiencing financial difficulties and his studies are slipping. To top it all off, Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst) is now engaged to astronaut John Jameson, son of Parker's overbearing newspaper editor, Jonah. Things just go from bad to worse for the web-slinger.

Meanwhile, following the death of his father (the Green Goblin), Harry Osborn has now now taken over Oscorp Industries and is in business talks with Dr Otto Octavius. The Doctor, Parker's idol, has created a set of mechanical arms that are impervious to heat and magnetism; the experiment goes wrong and the arms become fused to the spine of Octavius, taking complete control of the doctor both mentally and physically.

Aunt May is later captured and taken hostage by Dr Octopus. Spider-Man too falls prey to capture and is delivered to Harry, where his true identity is under threat. How much can one guy take? 'Spider-Man 2' is all about choices for Peter Parker: lose his alter-ego and concentrate on number one or continue with the responsibility he chose after the death of Uncle Ben ~ Raimi has skillfully recreated the classic scene - panel-for-panel - from Amazing Spider-Mam #50, Spider-Man No More, written by Stan Lee, pencilled by John Romita, and inked by Mickey Dimeo. Here Parker is seen leaving a rainy alleyway where his discarded costume hangs from the throat of a garbage can. Raimi has concentrated on the Parker who is forced to deal with actual everyday problems in Spider-Man 2, one we can all sympathize with. Parker's character outweighs that of other superheroes, for the simple fact that - at heart - he is just an ordinary guy trying to exist in a complicated world.

Also stars: Bill Nunn, J K Simmons, Ted Raimi, Bruce Campbell with Cliff Robertson and Willem Dafoe.

Matthew J Lee-Williams, Review.
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9/10
Best Spider-man Film
Lord_Crypto24 June 2007
Spider-man 2 is a perfect example of a film with a good story with lots of action, drama, entertainment, and has a good love story. This film surpasses the first one and despite the fact I had high expectations for this film, those expectations were sufficiently met. This is the best spider-man film.

Sam Raimi returns as the director in this popular movie series. This film covers the emotional battle of Peter Parker and it is handled perfectly. Peter is torn between his duties as Spider-man, his responsibilities as a student, and most of all, his emotions. The result is Peter is uncertain what he wants and what he should do. The ultimate theme, the true test of a hero! What are the choices that Spider-man makes and the actions of those choices. They will define and determine the fate of his character, Spider-man. This story of Spidey's problems is handled perfectly alongside the story behind Doctor Octopus. The special effects in the movie are very good! Although some of the effects at times seemed obviously fake and way overdone! One of which I disliked was the Spider-man/Doc Ock battle on the skyscraper! Other than that, the special effects of the film were very satisfying.

Tobey Maguire returns in perhaps his best performance of the movie series. Kirsten Dunst and James Franco are back as Mary Jane and Harry Osborne. I think Franco has a better performance as Harry in this film over the first film. But yet again, just as in the first film, the villain steals the show. Alfred Molina portrays Dr. Octopus. My personal favorite spider-man villain aside from Venom. He handles the character terrificly and the character is used perfectly as well. A good hearted man trapped in a mechanical and "superior" intelligence. Molina has the appearance and attitude of Doc Ock. He takes a very serious approach to Doc Ock which is very satisfying. He is a dangerous threat instead of a sometimes viewed old, crazy, and laughable villain. One of the best performances by an actor on a super-villain. He did not disappoint. J.K. Simmons returns in his humorous role as J. Jonah Jameson and Bruce Campbell makes a hysterical cameo appearance. Rosemary Harris portrays Aunt May and in this film, her character is more influential than ever! Her character has always been important to Peter but in this film her role is most significant. She has always been there for Peter but in this film she is able to provide Peter with the most wisdom and guidance he has ever needed. Her character is perfectly portrayed in this film. She is used as a pivotal necessity which is exploited wonderfully.

Just an outstanding movie with an outstanding story and an outstanding usage of secondary characters! One of the best comic book films ever made and a true compliment to the Spider-man character. A fantastic film! The only reason I give it a 9 instead of a 10 is that it does not seem as captivating as other movies. It is a good film but I do not really get sucked into it near as much as I do with movies I give higher ratings. An outstanding movie, a must see by spidey lovers and spidey haters alike.
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10/10
Great Spider-Man Film
whpratt18 January 2007
Tobey Maguire,(Spider-Man/Peter Parker), gave an outstanding performance as a very weak and helpless type of guy who tried to fly like a bird and fell on his face all the time, so to speak. As the picture progresses you wonder just how Spider Man will eventually put an end to his octopus friend and his evil deeds. There are many exciting scenes and especially when Spider Man is trying to save a run-away elevated train from going off its track and winding up in a river. Kirsten Dunst, (Mary Jane Watson) is about to get married to someone other than Peter Parker and something takes hold of her and sends her in another direction. This was a great entertaining film and very well viewing over and over again.
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10/10
Even better then the original!
TalesfromTheCryptfan20 December 2006
2 years after the first movie, Peter Parker (Tobey Mcguire) has never had time with Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) whom has became a model/actress or for class because he's always late because there's always a crime happening at the wrong time. Suddenly his powers fade away which makes him realize that he must give up being Spider-Man, however as Dr. Otto Octavius (Alfred Molan) has made a robotic suit with monstrous tentacles as suddenly a lab accident occurs making the suit fused to his body as he controls it telepathically to become Dr. Octopus with a plan on eliminating the city. Sure Peter is happy with being normal again, but with the crime rate high and Doc Ock on the rampage can he return back to Spider-Man or will the city be doomed.

This is a rare sequel that can surpass the original much like "Terminator 2", "Aliens", "Godfather 2", "Dawn of the Dead (1978)" or "Empire Strikes Back"! Sam Raimi and company knew what they were accomplishing when they made this fantastic sequel to their instant crowd-pleaser "Spider-Man". Packed with more emotion, more characterization, better action then the last one, better special effects and more comical moments that make this movie superior to the original. J.K. Simmons along with Rosemary Harris, Bruce Campbell and James Franco return for as the acting is really great here and more true to the comic then the original movie ever was.

A Must see! Can't wait to see "Spider-Man 3" with Spidy's Black costume, Venom and Sandman.
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