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Spider-Man 2

May 30, 2013

Spider-Man (2004)
Director: Sam Raimi
Actors: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, Alfred Molina

Spider-Man 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis: Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) toys with dropping his Spider-Man persona, especially as its ethical dilemmas prevent him furthering any possible relationship with Mary-Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst). At the same time, a fusion-expert (Alfred Molina) morphs into the malevolent Dr Octopus after a science accident, and at the behest of Parker’s embittered friend, Harry Osborn (James Franco), Dr Octopus goes hunting for Spider-Man.

Review: If you’re familiar with Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man from two years’ previous, then this is essentially more of the same. We still have Peter Parker the nerd (the slapstick schtick does get a bit tiresome by the end of this second movie), Parker continues to wrestle with the various ethical dimensions of being Spider-Man, and his on-off dalliance with Mary-Jane Watson is in full-swing.

Still, if you enjoyed the first movie, then you should like this one – and in some respects, it’s probably even an improvement. Not compelled to spend a lot of time sketching in the origin of Spider-Man, Raimi can spend more time fleshing out his villain of the piece – Dr Octopus – and it’s a lovely little performance by Alfred Molina. I especially like the scene where Molina, pre-obligatory industrial accident, shares a drink with his wife and Parker, and he brings a convincing pathos to his character’s destruction at the end, where his own humanity – rather than Spider-Man’s power – brings him to his climactic epiphany.

The Harry Osborn subplot, continued from the first movie, still feels a little inorganic and shoe-horned in, and James Franco’s earnest, naturalistic, ‘suffering’ performance does mar with the lightness of the cartoon universe around him – but then I guess Raimi hopes his deadweight character finally gets some dramatic payback in his likely ascension into the ‘Green Goblin’ role in the next episode. (May 2013)

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