Spider-Man 2 (2004)

spider-man 2 poster 2004 tobey maguie sam raimi
9.0 Overall Score
Story: 10/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 9/10

Great story, great villain, more balanced movie

A bit long

Movie Info

Movie Name: Spider-Man 2

Studio: Columbia Pictures

Genre(s): Comic Book/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s): June 30, 2004

MPAA Rating: PG-13


I really do have to admire my mad sewing skills

Spider-Man (Tobey Maguire) is back…but for how long?  Peter Parker deals with failing powers and the rise of a new villain in Dr. Octopus (Alfred Molina) while trying to decide his feelings for Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst).

Directed by Sam Raimi, Spider-Man 2 is the follow-up to the hit film Spider-Man from 2002.  The movie was well received by critics and helped usher in the age of comic book movies with a strong box office draw and more favorable critical response.  The movie won an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects with nominations for Best Sound Mixing and Best Sound Editing.


I bring middle-age mad-scientist chic to life!

The second outing of Spider-Man tops the first.  Sam Raimi dips back to his roots and The Evil Dead really pops out of this movie.  A great example of this is the doctor scene with Dr. Octopus which could have been ripped from any of the Evil Dead attacks.  He seemed to just have more fun with this sequel and didn’t take himself as seriously.  It does a great job setting up the world of Peter Parker with humor (events at the Daily Bugle…with the continuing excellent portrayal of J. Jonah Jameson by J. K. Simmons), soap opera drama (Will Mary Jane get married or won’t she?), and action (the kick-ass train sequence).  Plus a little Easter Egg is blink-and-you’ll-miss it cameo by Thomas Jane as Frank Castle (from the not very good 2004 Punisher movie).


Crap…should have paid the fare

Dr. Octopus helps make this movie a step up.  Unlike Willem Defoe (who makes a small cameo), the filmmakers got the costume right.  The mechanical arms looked like the arms from the comic and not some crazy redesign like the Green Goblin from Spider-Man.  Add to that a nice (though a bit overly dramatic) back story and the character is a much better rounded villain.

There is still the problem of Tobey Maguire.  Peter Parker is supposed to free as Spider-Man, telling witty banter, and enjoying himself.  In all the Spider-Man movies, it is just Tobey Maguire’s depressing self in the Spider-Man suit.  The Peter Parker Tobey Maguire works (especially in The Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid homage of “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head”).  I don’t think if the writers changed the dialogue and made Spider-Man snappier that it would help.

Spider-Man 2 does avoid a common comic book trap.  It didn’t add too many villains and it had fun while continuing the story which stands alone.  The movie is a bit bloated but moves along and makes you feel like you’ve known the characters a lot longer than it seems.  Spider-Man 2 was followed by Spider-Man 3 in 2007.

Related Links:

Spider-Man (2002)

Spider-Man 3 (2007)

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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