Cert: 12 Runtime: 127 mins Director: Sam Raimi Cast: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, J.K. Simmons, Rosemary Harris and Alfred Molina
Before I delve into The Amazing Spider-Man 2, I thought we would go back 10 years to my favourite Spidey movie. I was but a teenager, the prime age of 16 and Sam Raimi had thrown me into the world of Spider-Man. Personally I still think that the re-boot was to soon, but I am not a multi-million dollar film company. The superhero movie is still going strong, but I do wonder how long this trend will continue? So what was Spider-Man 2 all about? Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) is an unhappy man: after two years of fighting crime as Spider-Man, his life has begun to fall apart. The girl he loves (Kirsten Dunst) is engaged to someone else, his grades are slipping, he cannot keep any of his jobs, and on top of it, the newspaper Daily Bugle is attacking him viciously, claiming that Spider-Man is a criminal. He reaches the breaking point and gives up the crime fighter’s life, once and for all. But after a failed fusion experiment, eccentric and obsessive scientist Dr. Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina) is transformed into super villain Doctor Octopus, Doc Ock for short, having four long tentacles as extra hands. Peter guesses it might just be time for Spider-Man to return, but would he act upon it?
The movie starts as it means to go on; with a very exciting pizza delivery sequence. After that the movie is a roller coaster ride; when it’s not dazzling you with adrenaline fuelled action sequences, it’s pulling at your heart strings with emotionally rich exchanges. Some action films let up when they aren’t giving the audience an action sequence; but this one doesn’t. It’s exciting all the way though. Some of the exchanges, particularly the ones between Aunt May and Peter Parker are genuinely heart felt, and because the characters are so well thought-out and appear on screen as rounded human beings; these exchanges are allowed licence to make you care for the characters. The characters in the movie are a mixed bag, with each one being made up of a number of desires and insecurities, which translate onto the screen both effectively and believably, even in spite of some of them having super powers.Technically, this movie was majestic at the time. The action sequences are truly breathtaking and seeing Spider-Man battle Doctor Octopus around a number of different locations is an unforgettable experience. The acting is also something of note, as the movie is brought to life by a brilliant ensemble. Tobey Maguire was made for the role of Peter Parker, and he really does excel with it.The role wouldn’t have been believable if it was filled by someone butch, and so Maguire makes for a believable Spider-Man.
Kirsten Dunst doesn’t have as much to do here as she did last time, but what she does do is just fine. The great Alfred Molina fills the role of Doc Ock, and like Tobey Maguire was made for the part. Simply put, he’s immense in this role; he’s intelligent looking enough to be believable as the scientist and nasty looking enough to be believable as the super-villain; thus capturing the essence of his character in both respects. As previously mentioned, Sam Raimi started life as the director of the fantastic cult hit; The Evil Dead. Despite this film being completely different and on a much bigger scale than the aforementioned; it is evident that Sam hasn’t lost his roots. Obviously giving Bruce Campbell a cameo shows this, and Sam also reminds us of The Evil Dead with several tributes including a lovely chainsaw sequence, and a workout for the ‘Raimi-cam’ on the train scenario. The Evil Dead was notable for, amongst other things, the fact that it was extremely well directed. Sam Raimi is an extremely underrated talent and really should be mentioned along with the directors that hog all the praise more often. His direction is extremely assured, and he manages to make everything about the film thrilling and as interesting as it possibly could be.Spider-Man 2 is a film that further disproves the theory that movies based on comic books are brainless and stands out as one of the very best films of the 2000’s, not to mention it being a member of the exclusive ‘sequels better than the first’ club.