Science fiction and fantasy
a Sam Raimi film
The battle with Doctor Octopus is something of a side issue, taking up little screen time. He's really just another villain in an odd costume. Thanks to him there are the set-piece battles and slick action sequences, but the depth of this movie lies elsewhere.
Harry Osbourne is still obsessing over Spider-Man, who he believes killed his father. He resents Peter for not revealing Spider-Man's identity to him, and he is becoming a very bitter man. The story with Harry is clearly setting things up for subsequent films.
But the main thread running through this movie is the conflict between Peter's responsibilities as Spider-Man and his love for Mary Jane. He feels that he can't have both, and considers giving up his crime-fighting secret identity. Taking the sexual metaphor of his spider powers a little further (all that shooting sticky webs from his wrists, you get the picture), he experiences performance anxiety and loses his abilities. It seems as though he is about to lose the woman he loves to another, without being able to tell her how he feels or why he can't be with her.
This film is more touchy-feely than most action blockbusters. Spider-Man is young and vulnerable, coming up against real-life problems such as paying the rent as well as engaging in heroics. He's a more human kind of superhero, portrayed with more than a touch of humour. Tobey Maguire continues to prove that he was an excellent choice for the role of this unassuming character. Spider-Man 2 will please anyone who likes a bit of romance and humour to go along with the lycra and swinging from tall buildings, and it's a worthy sequel to Spider-Man.
If you like this, try:Captain America: The First Avenger by Joe Johnston
In the forties a secret plan to boost the war effort results in the creation of a superhero. But can one person really make a difference?
X-Men 2 by Bryan Singer
Nightcrawler, Lady Deathstrike, Wolverine's hair. Who will save the world this time?
Iron Man by Jon Favreau
An arms manufacturer has a change of heart and builds a suit to help him fight injustice in the world.
Review © Ros Jackson
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