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Spider-Man 2

Cast: Tobey Maguire, Alfred Molina, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Donna Murphy, Rosemary Harris

Rating: PG-13 for action violence

Runtime: 127 minutes

Peter Parker (Maguire) is having trouble balancing his heroic work as the famed Spider-Man with his ordinary life. Not only does he loose his job as a pizza delivery person but Peter is also at risk of flunking his college course. He’s also been neglecting his friends, M.J. (Dunst) who is starring in the stage production of “The Importance of Being Earnest” and Harry Osborn (Franco) who has taken over his father’s company.

Thanks to Harry, Peter (who’s working on a college paper) gets the opportunity to meet Dr. Otto Octavius (Molina). Dr. Octavius, it’s revealed, is working on a fusion reaction project for Harry’s company. However, the fusion demonstration goes horribly wrong resulting not only in the death of Doc Ock’s wife (Murphy) but the four actuators/arms become attached to Dr. Octavius. The actuators start to control his thinking and actions, turning the good doctor into a volatile nemesis for Spider-Man.

Meanwhile, Peter has his hands full trying to help Aunt May (Harris) who is on the verge of losing her home, making ends meet trying to pay his own rent and salvaging his relationship with M.J. He begins to lose his web slinging and wall climbing abilities (as well as his perfect vision) and after the added bad press in the Daily Bugle, decides to give up his super hero duties. Although he’s relieved at first, Peter’s decision ultimately puts the city and those he loves in great peril with Doc Ock on the loose.

I think “Spider-Man 2” raised the bar as to what superhero/action movies should be. The quick look back at the very beginning of the movie, showing what happened in the first movie was nice and the movie was well paced. The cast was good, especially Molina’s portrayal of Doc Ock, the villain who we can’t completely dislike, and Maguire’s take on Spider-Man, a superhero still trying to come to terms with his powers.

There was also plenty of action in “Spider-Man 2”. Several scenes stood out including the meeting between M.J. and Peter at the café that gets interrupted when Doc Ock sends a car flying through the front window and the intense battle between the superhero and his nemesis onboard a train filled with passengers.

The only thing I would have liked to have seen more of is Harry Osborn. Perhaps a few extra scenes that showed more of his anger towards Spider-Man and him “taking up where his father left off” as far as the Green Goblin goes, but there’s always “Spider-Man 3” to see that!

My Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Did You Know? Spider-Man creator Stan Lee has a cameo in the movie. He’s in the crowd (particularly the man who saves a woman from falling rubble) in the street when Doc Ock has Aunt May outside the bank.

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