Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Spider-Man 2 (2004)

Considering how much I enjoyed revisiting Spider-Man it really comes as no surprise that I enjoyed this sequel as well. Spider-Man 2 brings back the creative team of this first movie (specifically, they brought back Sam Raimi who proved he could do just as much with a big budget as he could when he and his buddies were monkeying around with low budget horror flicks) as well as the majority of the principal actors. This movie operates in much the same way as the original. Spidey faces a new foe and new Peter Parker faces new social challenges, but it's very much similar to the original.

I thought Alfred Molina made a perfect Doctor Octopus. Not only did he look exactly like the original comic book Doc Oc, he brought sympathy to the character that really made you wish things had turned out differently for him. Of course his downfall (I don't really need to give a spoiler alert to an 8-year-old movie, do I?) could have been prevented if he didn't place the pursuit of science above all other concerns. He is granted a level of redemption in the end of the movie, which is a nice touch. All in all I'm inclined to say that Doctor Octopus is a better foe than Green Goblin was in the first movie. Alfred Molina didn't have the touch of hamminess Willem Dafoe had, so that's a big plus on his side. The performances were generally strong and there wasn't too much in the way of unnecessary humor, which I appreciated.

As it was with the first movie, the effects are a bit dated, but the movie doesn't hang too much on visuals alone. Peter Parker's desire to be with MJ as well as his need to balance his personal relationships with his crime-fighting alter-ego creates a good deal of tension in the movie, and this is exactly the sort of story that doesn't need spectacular effects to work. I will admit that the plot of the movie isn't really mind-bending or groundbreaking, but it wasn't intended to be. This is just a solid superhero flick that is still rewatchable years later. It's every bit as good as the original if not slightly better.

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