Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Reviewed on 2011 May 23
Sam Raimi outdid himself with the sequel to his first Spider-Man movie, bringing an even stronger script to life and using the opening credits to anchor this to the first movie.
Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) is still flailing through life as his nerdy self and trying to come to terms with his alter ego. His job situation is pretty dismal and his grades are slipping, too; every time he tries to accomplish something, a situation crops up that he needs to tackle as Spider-Man. He still loves Mary jane (Kirsten Dunst), but feels he could never endanger her by being in a relationship with her. The only possible bright spot on the horizon is a well-meaning professor (Dr. Connors) sees Peter’s potential, even though he mistakes his crime-fighting-induced stress and missed classes as laziness. The professor encourages him to interview a brilliant colleague. Dr. Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina) is working on a way to provide cheap, clean, reliable energy to the world, and Peter is invited to a fateful demonstration of Otto’s new invention.
I’ll just say it, I think Doc Ock was one of the coolest villains I’ve seen, both because of the appearance and the fact that he wasn’t a flat, one-dimensional bad guy. The only comic bad guy that comes close was Heath Ledger’s incarnation of Batman’s nemesis, The Joker, and it’s hard to pick between someone who’s a buck-seventy soaking wet and just completely psychotic, or someone who’s merely half-nuts but now partially indestructible cyborg. Molina was perfect for this, and those arms were just sick: the mechanical noises as they moved almost sounded like the hiss of serpents. That’s just the frosting; the story is even more thoughtful and detailed that the first Spider-Man, and that was a very tough act to follow. The special effects were as spectacular as you’d expect, and the actors did their usual A-game work here.
Four chocolate morsels.