out of 4
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|*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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