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Spider-Man 2

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Spider-Man 2

Starring: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst
Director: Sam Raimi
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 127 Minutes
Release Date: June 2004
Genres: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Action

*Also starring: Alfred Molina, Bruce Campbell, James Franco, Elizabeth Banks, J.K. Simmons, Joanne Baron, Dylan Baker, Rosemary Harris, Ted Raimi, Daniel Dae Kim

Review by Susan Granger
4 stars out of 4

It's been two years since good-hearted Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) made a sacrificial, noble choice, walking away from MJ, Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst), whom he adores, in order to pursue "the gift and the curse" of his extraordinary abilities: "With great power comes great responsibility." College student-photographer by day/elusive, spandex-clad superhero by night, the frustrating conflicts of his dual identity have become overwhelming. Plus, his embittered pal, Harry Osborn (James Franco), holds his alter-ego, Spider-Man, responsible for his father's death.

But then along comes Peter's fallen mentor, menacing Dr. Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina), a half-man, half-octopus scientist whose four high-tech robotic arms are permanently fused onto his spine. And stressed-out Spidey's emotional web becomes even more tangled when MJ becomes engaged to editor J.J. Jameson's (J.K. Simmons) astronaut son John (Donald Gillies).

Written by Alvin Sargent, based on the Marvel Comic by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, utilizing a screen story by Alfred Gough, Miles Millar and Michael Chabon, photographed by Bill Pope and directed by Sam Raimi, it's one of those rare sequels that's even better than the original, primarily because the characters dig in and develop. Tobey Maguire taps into Peter Parker's vulnerability, while tentacled Alfred Molina is a formidable villain. Not only are the stunts an eyeful (particularly the exciting Manhattan elevated train sequence) but the blend of CGI and puppetry behind Doc Ock is awesome, thanks to John Dykstra's visual effects team. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Spider-Man 2" spins in with a spectacular, swingin' 10, an action-packed summer popcorn-picture with "Spider-Man 3" already in the works for May, 2007.

Copyright 2004 Susan Granger

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