Spider-Man 2 was the part of the trilogy I re-watched the least. It gave me nightmares. I guess as a child I didn’t want to see a hero give up, which is what Spider-Man 2 was all about, and that scene in the hospital didn’t help. Over the years this movie has still managed to be one of the best superhero movies of all time. 14 years later and it’s still on the top of some peoples list, but what has made it stand the test of time?
This movie stands out because of the way it is written. It’s less cheesy than the first one. It tells a more mature story of a hero who gives up because it puts too much strain on his personal life. We see the consequences of Peter’s actions from the first movie. When Peter shirks his responsibility his life suddenly gets better. He’s doing better in school, he makes it to MJ’s play, and he’s just overall in a better mood. This movie doesn’t shy away from showing that being a hero sucks, and it’s not for the faint of heart.
Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker is still one of the best portrayals of the character. The gripes I had with him in the first movie are still here, but that’s fine because the movie is more about Peter than Spider-Man. We see Peter constantly get crapped on, gets fired, almost fails his class, his best friend hates him. The movie constantly found any way they could to bring him down, because that’s what it’s like being a hero, you have to be able to get back up.
Alfred Molina’s Otto Octavius is, in my opinion, the best comic villain to ever be put to film. Yes, even better than Heath Ledgers Joker. When we first meet Otto he’s just working on his experiment. His back and forth with Peter makes me grin uncontrollably, he’s just so likable. Which makes his downfall even more tragic.
J.K, Simmons J. Jonah Jameson is amazing. His scenes are always hilarious and eye-catching. He’s so good the reboots haven’t even attempted the character again because it would pale in comparison to this version.
The Cinematography is gorgeous, every shot is iconic. Danny Elfman’s score is still as amazing as ever. The CGI is much better in this one, with it being much harder to discern what is and isn’t CGI. The only scenes that don’t look as good are the extended scenes in the extended cut of the film.
The action scenes are spectacles to behold. The train fight and the fight on the side of a building are masterpieces. Tension is high, and the stakes are high, but not too high that it’s unbelievable that Spidey can fail.
This movie is still amazing in every sense of the word. This truly is one of the best superhero movies of all time, if not, one of the best movies of all time. I personally prefer the extended cut, but if you prefer the original that’s completely fine. This movie is a masterpiece in every sense of the word, from cinematography, to how it uses its characters and the music. This is what every superhero movie should aspire to be.