Spider-Man 2 (2004)
by Corinne Rizzo
If the first installment of the Spider-Man trilogy didn’t quite drive home the idea that Sam Raimi can and should always create a villain, Spider-Man 2 should be able to convince any audience that Raimi is essentially the king of all that is evil.
Here in the second installment, the viewer meets Raimi’s portrait of Doc Ock, or Doctor Octavius—a man that shares a love of science with Peter Parker as well as the capacity for good and for hope. For the most part though, Octavius reins darkness over the film as he attempts to show investors his latest energy experiment, harnessing a man made fusion, similar to the effects of the sun. When all is said and done and the experiment is near a successful exhibition, the villain can’t exist unless something goes wrong and surely it goes wrong in every possible way.
With Peter Parker foreshadowing the idea that the good doctor could blow the entire city to smithereens if the procedure isn’t handled correctly, Octavius loses control of the fusion experiment and is left with the death of innocent spectators, and a terrible mutation leaving him and the doctors who are trying to save him in a predicament they’ve never encountered.
Though it is the scene that follows the downfall of the experiment that makes the film a signature Raimi film and that scene is one of operating rooms, slain nurses and doctors, loads of horrific screaming and operational power tools buzzing about, blood splatters. Four extra limbs, mechanical, maniacal. The scene is straight out of a horror film and for a minute, the viewer is no longer watching a summer blockbuster, but a suspenseful and graphic thriller.
In fact, the sequel in this trilogy is probably the best out of the three films and one could say that it’s Raimi’s style to not only make the horror film, but make the sequel to the horror film one debatably superior.
Parker finds his own struggles in this sequel and becomes even more tortured than last the viewer received him. The charade with M.J. is on-going and is almost too belabored. For the sake of the audience, it can be assumed that Raimi made the choice to cut the romance dance short and just get the two kids in love and talking marriage already, which makes Spidey happy, which makes Spidey possible. All things the audience responds to.
Meanwhile, the darkness inside of Harry Osborne rises and becomes just another threat to Spidey, after Spidey killed his best friend’s father. No longer are the headlines making things rough for Spider-Man, it seems as if his competition is multiplying as well. Will the conclusion to the three films be a villain paradise?
Spider-Man 2 is now available on Blu-ray and DVD.
For more from Corinne, check out her new website the ish.
Posted on March 29, 2012, in REViEW and tagged 2004, action, alfred molina, j.k. simmons, james franco, kirsten dunst, marvel studios, rosemary harris, sam raimi, superhero films, tobey maguire, willem dafoe. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.
Uh oh… I predict bad things for the (probably) upcoming Spider-Man 3 review.
It’s tough for me to gauge the first two films impartially because Spider-Man is the only comic I ever nerded out about as a kid. So seeing him on the big screen made me really really happy. I enjoyed both a great deal at the time, although the first on really doesn’t hold up well. The second one, fortunately, does hold up very well.
Are you entering these into the Raimi feature for the LAMB?
Ach… “first one”, not “first on”.
I’m really a fan of any of the Spider-Man movies, but this is a good review all the same.
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