Top positive review
on 18 July 2016
I enjoyed the first Spider-man movie a lot... I tend to like comic book movies (though I have never read a comic book in my life - yet) and it was definitely one of the better ones I've seen. Spider-man 2 picks up a year or so after the first one left off - he's in love with Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst), but can't be with her as he fears his enemies will hurt her to get at him. His best friend, Harry Osborn (James Franco), is suffering and mourning the loss of his father - who he knows died at the hands of Spider-man (his father was the "Green Goblin" and the bad guy in the first Spider-man movie). He is also suffering in school and at work because he spends so much time saving the city, he can't get to class on time. His Aunt Mae is still mourning the loss of her husband, Peter's Uncle Ben.
During the first part of the movie, one of Peter's scientist heroes, Dr. Otto Octavious (Alfred Molina), is working on a fusion experiment with Harry Osborn's corporation that he hopes will change the world. At the demonstration, however, things of course go horribly wrong and Octavious ends up with four mechanical arms stuck to him and the chip that "controls" their artificial intelligence breaks - so they have a mind of their own and begin to control him. "Doc Ock" begins trying to rebuild his fusion machine (which could destroy half of New York City) and Spider-man sets out to stop him.
Spider-man 2 spent a lot more time on character development than you normally see in a comic book/action movie. You really feel Peter's pain as he struggles to balance being a super hero with being a regular guy. You really feel for him, wanting so badly to be with Mary Jane, but knowing if he acts on his desires, he is knowingly putting her in harm's way. Poor Aunt Mae is struggling still with the loss of her beloved husband and dealing with the financial aftermath his death has caused for her. The characters and conflicts are so believable, despite the inate silliness that comes from being a comic book movie.
The acting is superb as well, all the lead actors are phenomical and perfectly cast. One of the greatest characters is J.J. Jameson (J.K. Simmons) who is Peter's boss at the Daily Bugle. He absolutely nails the character and is hilarious throughout the movie. Another thing the movie did really well was be funny, despite all the angst and conflict going on. The "elevator scene" in particular was hysterical, as well as the scene with Peter at the laundromat. I won't go in to detail so I don't ruin it, but suffice to say - they were funny scenes!
Action scenes were once again spectacular - with amazing CGI that was a lot less obvious this time around. My one complaint would be there was a little TOO much time spent on character development and not enough action. The action scenes were just phenominal - I really wanted to see more! There was also quite a lot of subtle foreshadowing, indicating a Spider-man 3. Many future villians were introduced that most people wouldn't recognize unless they were fans of the comic. Fortunately I had plenty of comic book loving friends with me. Some hints - MJ's astronaut fiance, Peter's professor and Harry Osborn - all future bad guys in the comic books. ;)