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Way to go Web Head
Everyone's favorite web head is back for a sequel. Based off the popular comic book; the film takes place a couple of years after the events of the first movie. Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) is now living on his own, and he's struggling with his life from his job, school and relationships because of his obligation to be Spider-Man. Peter soon discovers that his powers are disappearing as well as his relationships with his best friend, Harry Osborne (James Franco), and his love interest, Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst). During the film, Peter goes on a journey of self reflection and learns in order to do what's right, we all have to be willing to give up the things we want the most. Meanwhile, Dr. Otto Octavius/Dr. Octopus (Alfred Molina) is hired by OsCorp to find a way to harness uradium using mechanical arms. Unfortunately, the experiment fails and causes Dr. Octavius' body to become permanently fused with six mechanical arms, thus creating Dr. Octopus. Unlike the previous film, Raimi has sacrificed some action sequences in favor of more storyline. This works extremely well because it allows the viewer to feel a deeper connection with each of the characters. Raimi's style of direction was great as to be expected and featured top notch special effects. "Spider-Man 2" goes where most superhero films often fail, it goes over several themes that many of us can relate to in everyday life. Examples, how many of us can relate to not always getting the girl, or how it can be hard to balance out the things we want and our obligations. These are things that we deal with everyday of our lives, so it's easy for many viewers to relate to Peter Parker. "Spider-Man 2" is one of the greatest superhero films ever made.
Sam Raimi does a great job. The tone for film is about choices. When Peter found out he was indirectly responsible for his Uncle Ben's death in the first film, Peter made the choice to become Spider-Man. In the case of this film, Peter wants to be with Mary Jane, but he's haunted by the choice he's made to stay away from her because of his obligation to be Spider-Man would endanger her life. Throughout the movie, this raises the question of whether Peter has the choice to live his own life. Therefore, when Peter loses his powers, he tries to live his own life. Pursuing the woman he loves, Mary Jane, and studying for his college classes. Unfortunately, though, he discovers that every choice has it's own share of consequences. With no more Spider-Man, the crime rate in New York, escalates. It's at that moment, Peter realizes that giving up being Spider-Man may have been a mistake. In one scene, Harry asks Peter if he knew who Spider-Man really was, then would he tell him. When Peter doesn't reply, this shows the audience how Peter's choice to fulfill his obligation affects his life, and how it distances him from the people he cares about. Even Doc Ock makes a choice to become a villain when he finds that he's indirectly responsible for killing his wife. Raimi is able to pull all these things together quite beautifully.
The script was superb as well. Although the script seems to be reminiscent of "Superman II", where both characters lose their powers to be with the ones they love, "Spider-Man 2" works far better because of a stronger cast of supporting characters. Don't get me wrong, I loved the original "Superman II" movie. However, in the case of "Spider-Man 2", Peter's choice to be Spider-Man affects more characters that allows the audience to gain more sympathy for him. In the case of his relationship with his best friend, Harry, the fact that Spidey killed his father complicates his relationship with him. Thus creating a barrier between them. Another thing, Peter's double life also causes his Aunt May to doubt him. In one scene, Aunt May and Peter are at the bank applying for a loan until Doc Ock shows up so when Peter leaves her to change into his outfit, this causes Aunt May to think less of her nephew. As for his relationship with MJ, the fact that he loves her, but he doesn't want her to be in danger complicates his feelings for MJ. Whereas "Superman II", Clark Kent's choice to be Superman only affects his relationship with Lois Lane. Both film concepts are similar, but Spidey's is vastly different in regards with the supporting characters.
As for the pacing, it comes off as a bit slow for today's superhero film standards. However, it works well because it allows for the story to build up with these characters.
Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst have outdone themselves again. Creating a lot of the same chemistry that they've displayed in the first film. James Franco and Alfred Molina were superb in this as well. In one scene, when Harry unmasks Spider-Man, the expression on Franco's face of shock and betrayal allows the audience to feel James' pain. It's because of these moments, the audience is able to gain a deeper understanding of all the characters.
However, even though Raimi sacrifices a lot of action for a stronger storyline, the film still has a lot of action scenes that should keep fans happy. The special effects were better for this one because Paramount does a better job of merging it with the action choreography of the actors. Unlike the first one, the CGI characters don't look obliviously fake and merges it smoothly so when they do switch back to the actors, the viewer can hardly tell. Displaying great scenes like when Spidey and Doc Ock fight on a train, should get any true fan's blood boiling.
Spidey finally comes back for a sequel. Featuring a stronger storyline and great performances, the movie fails to disappoint. Overall, "Spider-Man 2" is one of the greatest superhero films ever made.