Spider-Man 2 is a 2004 superhero/action film directed by Sam Raimi and is the sequel to the massively successful original movie. Taking place a few years after the first flick, Spider-Man 2 follows a more experienced Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire), who has grown to master his web-slinging super-powers. Continuously donning his mask and saving the streets of New York City as Spider-Man, Peter Parker starts to feel the pressure mounting.
In comparison to the first movie, Spider-Man 2 is darker, more action-packed, and promises even more arachnid entertainment. Does Spider-Man 2 manage to improve upon the original movie, or is this a sequel that should’ve been squashed?
How to Stream or Download Spider-Man 2 (2004)
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The Movie Review
This Spider-Man sequel picks up nearly two years following the events of the first movie, with Peter Parker struggling to hold down a job. Now living on his own in a small and dirty apartment, Peter struggles to balance his personal life and his work as the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. On his birthday, Peter’s longtime friend Harry Osborn (James Franco) offers to introduce him to Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina), a popular scientist and subject of Peter’s college research paper.
Octavius is currently working on a new piece of technology that will allow him to harness the full power of fusion energy, something that Harry Osborn can make a lot of money on. Unfortunately, one of Octavius’ experiments goes wrong, permanently attaching four mechanical limbs to his body and skewing his mind. Knowing full-well the kind of damage that Octavius can cause, Peter must fulfill his role as savior of the neighborhood and confront Otto as Spider-Man.
When Spider-Man isn’t in the middle of a fierce battle with “Doc Ock”, he’s often saving his fellow citizens from oncoming traffic, runaway trains, and more. All of this life-saving has had its toll on Spider-Man (and by proxy, Peter Parker), forcing him to reconsider his personal choices. To make matters worse, some of Peter’s superpowers are on the fritz, putting him in deadly situations.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, his relationship with Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst) seems completely lost and Harry still resents him due to Spider-Man’s connections with his father’s death. A big chunk of Spider-Man 2’s runtime deals with this inner turmoil that Peter Parker must face and how his decisions affect others. When compared to the original movie, it’s a much darker and more serious character portrayal that is effective and engaging.
Out of the three Spider-Man films directed by Sam Raimi, Spider-Man 2 sticks out the most. It’s packed with memorable scenes, interesting characters, and a surprising amount of intensity. The action is entertaining and the special effects still hold up to this day. Surprisingly, the romantic subplot between Mary Jane and Peter feels honest and true, which is a big improvement from the original.
There are only a few problems here and there, mostly stemming from underwhelming performances and a few weak scenes. Overall, Spider-Man 2 is one of the best Spider-Man movies of the bunch and a great pick for your next action movie night.
- Great character-building
- Darker and more violent tone
- Exciting action
- Underwhelming performances
- Occasionally cheesy moments