After the first Spider-Man, which I thought for its time was a pretty decent effort, we are then treated to a 2nd dose of Tobey Maguire as the Web slinging hero! It had been around 2 years since the events of the first film unfolded and we see Peter Parker trying to balance the stresses of everyday life from taking college classes, working as a photojournalist at the Bugle, and of course not to mention saving the world as Spiderman. Mary Jane has become a successful model and about to star in her first Broadway show. Yet Parker still keeps her at a distance, seemingly fearful that a romantic involvement may put her life at risk. Balancing these issues starts to affect Parker and he is having some difficulty with his powers too.
Meanwhile Harry Osborn is now running his father old company in which he has invested heavily in a promising new scientist named Doctor Otto Octavius, When Octavius is set to unveil his life’s work, utilizing a set of four arms that are injected to his back of course things go horribly wrong and hey presto we have a new supervillain. So while Parker struggles to decide the future of Spider-Man the city comes under siege from the newly renamed Doc Ock.
So as the story of Spider-Man 2 unfolds, drama is the name of the game here as we are treated to exceedingly long gaps between each action sequence. Particularly towards the middle part of the film. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not expecting this to be all out action or anything it’s just the drama gets a little too heavy at times focusing on conflicts that aren’t all that compelling. I mean did anyone even think that Parker was going to abandon his powers?? Trying to create drama with that doesn’t work when the outcome is so obvious!
The high point of this movie is that the strong cast remains the backbone of the series as Maguire plays a perfect Peter Parker – Say that 3 times fast! Kirsten Dunst is perfect for Mary Jane Watson. They continue to have a fluid and believable chemistry and do remain engaging to watch. The story moves slowly at times but the acting abilities of Dunst and Maguire keep things compelling enough to keep us interested, if just not fully enthralled. Of course the rest of the cast including James Franco, J.K Simmons and Rosemary Harris are strong and continue the feel of the first film.
Before I finish I just wanted to touch on the visuals of the movie as Spider-Man 2 features some dazzling scenes but i feel that the CGI is being overused. This results in a bit of a video game look, but for the most part they are tight and very nice to look at. Spiderman’s movements are fluid and graceful even when you know he’s doing something there’s no way a human could do!
Verdict – Minor Surgery
Spiderman 2 in my opinion is a success, but it just doesn’t live up the high standards that where set by the first film. The action sequences, in particular are spectacular. Also retained is the sense of humour that the first succeeded so well with. But with a few tweaks to the long periods of drama and without the first film i think Spiderman 2 could hold its own if it was released as a standalone film.