Flashback Review: Spider-Man 2

The critical and commercial success of the 2002 comic book film adaptation of “Spider-Man,” encouraged Sony Pictures to develop a follow up with Tobey Maguire reprising his role as titular character, Sam Raimi in the director’s chair and the rest of the cast and crew to work on the sequel known as, “Spider-Man 2.”

Spider-Man 2 was officially released in 2004. (same year The Incredibles came out) Like the first film, it received positive reviews from critics, fans & movie goers alike. In addition to positive reception, Spider-Man 2 also made enough revenue at the box office. The Premise is set two years after the original, Peter Parker is having a difficult time trying to balance his double life as a civilian and superhero. As personal problems escalate, a scientist named Otto Octavius becomes the victim of a botched experiment he was working on, transforms him into one of Spidey’s well-known supervillains from the comics known as “Doctor Octopus,” or “Doc Ock” for short.

Like my previous review of the first film, I have decided to rewatch Tobey Maguire’s portrayal of Marvel’s infamous mascot to spread the word around the globe, because “Spider-Man: Homecoming” is coming out during my birthday month. Which is July. This review doesn’t feature any SPOILERS. Which means you’re allowed to read it, in case you haven’t seen it yet. I suggest you watch the first movie just to refresh your memory and it’s also a requirement for you to continue.

Amazing & Unamazing Elements

Amazing: The Main Cast such as Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst & James Franco reprise their role and they all did an excellent job for their respective performances.

Alfred Molina did an awesome job for his sympathetic portrayal as Otto Octavius/Doc Ock.

Supporting Cast including J.K. Simmons, Ted Raimi, (Sam’s real-life brother) & Rosmary Harris reprise their roles and they all did a decent job for their respective performances. Gotta love J.K.’s as J. Jonah Jameson. He’s the Bill O’ Reilly of the Marvel Universe, minus the part when O’ Reilly got fired for being “diabolical.”

The first film’s central theme focused on taking full responsibility as a superhero. The sequel focuses on duality between Spider-Man & Doc Ock, which effects the dangers of friendship, family, career, and if you’re a guy, the girl you always dreamed of, or a gal, the boy you’ve always dreamed of, will move on to find someone different. As TV Tropes states that “Reality Ensues” when it comes to being a superhero.

The sequel focuses on Peter Parker having a hard time balancing his life as a crime fighter, being in the friend zone with Mary Jane and his friendship with Harry Osborn is declining, due to the events from the first film.

A controversial (not too far or risqué) element recreates an infamous comic book issue, adapted as a pivotal moment and it worked out effectively. Even a shot for shot remake of a memorable comic book panel recreates the shocking event in Marvel history.

Action Sequences are spectacular, especially the train scene that kept my blood pumping.

Special Effects are much more polished. There’s a reason why Spider-Man 2 won an Oscar for Best Visual Effects.

Danny Elfman wrote music for the film. He’s got some experience writing superhero films since Tim Burton’s “Batman.”

Cinematography never had technical flaws.

The film made some Inside Jokes/Easter Eggs to the Spider-Man and Marvel mythos.

Similar to the first film and animated 90s cartoon, The Tone shifts between funny and serious moments perfectly executed.

The Opening Credits retell the events from the first film painted by comic book artist, Alex Ross.

Not really a huge spoiler, Peter’s landlord is named Mr. Ditkovich, who is named after Spider-Man’s co-creator Steve Ditko. I gotta say, it is a nice tribute. Mr. Ditkovich’s rent quote became a meme.

Cameo appearances by Sam Raimi’s lucky charm, Bruce Campbell, Emily Deschanel A.K.A. Bones, Joel McHale, John Landis (The Blues Brothers, An American Werewolf In London, Coming To America) as a surgeon, Vincent Pastore who played one of Tony Soprano’s right-hand men, Stan Lee (duh) & a surprise cameo. Ain’t gonna tell you who it is, you’ll have to see for yourselves.

The Climax is much bigger than the final battle with Green Goblin.

The 60s Spider-Man theme song appears for a few seconds and again in the last minute during the end credits sequence.

Two scenes pay tribute to Sam Raimi’s “The Evil Dead” franchise & “The Matrix”. Why didn’t George Lucas direct a scene like the former with Anakin Skywalker reborn as Darth Vader? The latter has something to do with Neo “freeing his mind.” If you know what I mean.

The best part in the original Spider-Man Trilogy is a hilarious montage in the 2nd film. You’ll have to see it for yourself. If you remember what it is, you’ll probably get it. That scene totally deserves Bonus Points for making me laugh out loud!

Negative: One important character ends up like Princess Peach off of any Mario game, is again kidnapped all over again. I’ll give this a pass due to a heartwarming scene.

I don’t care if this is a spoiler or not, Aunt May gets rid of Peter’s comic book collection. She calls them “Those dreadful things, I gave ’em away.” As a comic book fan, I’m incredibly offended. If I ever witnessed my parents getting rid of my comics, I would consider it blasphemy!

The Final Verdict: A, FOR APEX!

Like most sequels, this one is ten times better than the previous entry. It’s next to one of my favorite Marvel based films such as “Logan,” “Deadpool,” “Guardians Of The Galaxy,” “X2: X-Men United,” “The Avengers” among other good ones. If you’re a mega fan of Spider-Man, I strongly recommend this film and don’t forget to watch the first entry before you watch Spider-Man 2!

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