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Spider-Man 2 review
I Believe There's A Hero In All Of Us

The good:

- Even better than the first movie.
- Sam Raimi at the helm as Director.
- Kirsten Dunst's nipples are on show again.
- The special effects are even better.
- Best ending EVER.

The bad:

- The soundtrack's brilliant music doesn't feature enough in the actual film.
- You never want it to end, but unfortunately, it does.


Having been denied the opportunity to see Spider-Man 2 on its Special Preview night in my local cinema thanks to a "SPIDER-MAN 2 8.30 SHOWING SOLD OUT" poster displayed like a cruel taunt 3 paces from the box office counter, I was forced into seeing Shrek 2 and thus, my expectations for SM2 only grew stronger waiting for it to open nationwide. I attempted again that weekend to see it when it opened nationwide and fortunately, luck was on my side this time around. Nothing to do with my advance credit card booking by telephone of course.

Tobey Maguire returns once more as Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man, two years after the events of the first film which saw him inherit his new career as New York's guardian angel as a result of a genetically altered spider biting him during a school trip. Following the death of his Uncle Ben, 2 opens to find Parker struggling to hold down his jobs, living in a dire one room apartment by himself, having moved out of Aunt May's house, presumably through guilt from his involvement in Ben's death. His alternative life as Spider-Man has now completely crushed his existence as Parker, suffering from fatigue through lack of sleep as a result of being out all night battling to suppress New York's spiralling crimewaves.

Social links with his friends Harry and childhood crush Mary-Jane have become frayed as well, with both complaining that he's become withdrawn and they no longer see very much of him. Maguire portrays these inner conflicts visibly through some solid acting and the audience is made to sympathise early on with Parker's struggle to balance two lives with little success since they saw him last.

This time around, Spider-Man's nemesis is played by talented actor Alfred Molina (Raiders of the Lost Ark, Species), who takes on the role of troubled scientist Dr Otto Octavius. Following a catastrophic accident in his laboratory during a public demonstration of his energy harnessing machine that results in the death of his wife Rosie, Octavius is irreversably altered into an eight limbed mechanical/human freak, swearing revenge on Spider-Man for the death of his wife, despite the web-slinger's innocence.

Rosemary Harris returns as Peter's lovable Aunt May, now grieving the loss of her husband and also struggling financially like her nephew. Director Sam Raimi manages the unthinkable and incorporates May into some dramatic scenes that see her almost killed several times at the hands of Octavius, denied only through some quick thinking acrobatics and web slinging by our hero. Harris once again portrays Parker's loving Aunt with a touch of class, having been given a much bigger, involving role than the previous film. A speech she gives to Parker during one point of inner turmoil when the human spider is contemplating giving up his double life as Spider-Man is integral to the story and Harris leaves both the audience and Parker in no doubt as to what he must do with some excellent dramatic acting and faultless line delivery.

Special effects have been watered with WonderGro on the second time around, and mesh seamlessly with the film. Sitting in the audience, you feel like a shoulder passenger as Spider-Man swings effortlessly through New York's towering skyscrapers at unthinkable heights. One tense scene where Spider-Man must stop an out of control passenger train from slamming into the buffers at the end of the tracks is done so unbelievably well through the use of CG, it had me biting my lip as I got caught up in the peril of the situation and cringed at the possible outcome of Spider-Man being unable to stop the rush-hour missile in time.

In hindsight, Spider-Man 2 is arguably one of the best movies you're likely to see this year. Maguire delivers an even better acting performance second time around, as he settles back into his returning role as the latex clad web-spinner. Kirsten Dunst makes another sizzling welcome return as his ginger haired love interest, and Raimi succeeds in developing all of the characters' stories without focusing too heavily on any of them. Amazingly, Spider-Man 2 shows how easily a film can be brilliant without having a script full of foul language or gratuitous violence, having escaped in the UK with a Parental Guidance rating (PG), allowing young fans of the superhero to catch up with his latest outing. I took my sister to see the sequel since she'd seen the first, and despite only being 11, she enjoyed it just as much as I did. I believe Spider-Man 2 to have only one fault, and that is the fact that it ended. From start to finish, I grinned the whole way through and was only disappointed once when the end credits began to roll and I was made to accept the fact it was over.

"I believe there's a hero in all of us." Who cares, I just witnessed one of the greatest superhero stories of all time.

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