Directed by: Sam Raimi
Written by:Alvin Sargent
Starring: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Alfred Molina, J.K. Simmons
Released: July 1, 2004
Grade: A-

I am fast becoming a very big fan of the Spider-Man series.  I thought the first film was great and this follow up flick is just as good if not better.  This time around, the necessary introductions and such aren’t required so there’s more time for character development and adventure.  It sounds strange to be talking about character development in a big action blockbuster but it’s one of the reasons I enjoyed the film so much.

In Spider-Man 2, we begin with our fearless crusader, Peter Parker, thinking that it’s time to hang up the old spidey suit.  His college results are dropping, he’s lost his job, has no money, has no love life, has few friends and can’t stand the demands of fighting crime 24 hours a day.  Things soon change when a new enemy arrives on the scene – Doctor Octopus (Molina).

Octopus was once Dr. Otto Octavius, a brilliant scientist who worked for one of Peter ’s few loyal friends, Harry.  Octavius had been working on creating a new energy source using cold fusion but in a botched demonstration, he was left with four metal tentacles attached to his spine and a mind which no longer knew the difference between good and evil.

Where it goes from here, I will not reveal.  There were many more plot twists that I expected.  Having seen the trailers numerous times, I could not wait until the scene where Harry finally removes the mask of Spider-Man to reveal his identity.  If you remember, Spider-Man killed Harry’s father at the end of the first film and he’s been out for revenge.  What will he think when he realises his best friend killed his father?  You’ll have to see to find out for yourself.

Both films have been made by experienced director Sam Raimi who has fulfilled all of my expectations.  One very positive comment I have is how this second film did got get bogged down in an abundance of special effects.  There’s a lot of drama and dialogue with Tobey Maguire stepping up to the plate in a surprisingly real and emotional performance.  I have always been impressed with Maguire and hope he sticks with the series in years to come.  I also wish to praise another beautifully sinister film score from composer Danny Elfman and you’ll hear the best of it during the craftily made opening credits.

I was overseas at the time the film was released here in Australia and caught a screening of the film in Vienna a few weeks after its release.  I’m sure glad I didn’t miss it and the huge box-office figures being posted around the globe show that word of mouth is good and the public are liking what they see.  A further sequel is imminent and if the directing, screenwriting and acting stay this good, I only see further good reviews coming from this computer.