Spider-Man 2

Spider-Man 2 Image
Metascore
83

Universal acclaim - based on 41 Critics What's this?

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8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 918 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: In the second installment in the Spider-Man series, based on the classic Marvel Comics hero, Tobey Maguire returns as the mild-mannered Peter Parker, who is juggling the delicate balance of his dual life as a college student and a superhuman crime fighter. The entertaining adventureIn the second installment in the Spider-Man series, based on the classic Marvel Comics hero, Tobey Maguire returns as the mild-mannered Peter Parker, who is juggling the delicate balance of his dual life as a college student and a superhuman crime fighter. The entertaining adventure escalates and Spider-Man's life becomes even more complicated when he confronts a new nemesis, the brilliant Otto Octavius, (Molina) who has been reincarnated as the maniacal and multi-tentacled "Doc Ock." (Sony) Expand

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 41
  2. Negative: 0 out of 41
  1. 100
    A masterpiece of pop filmmaking -- a fantastic, exuberant entertainment that manages to be both sleek and substantial without being patronizing.
  2. Reviewed by: Aaron Hillis
    100
    Fantastic news, true believers: Spider-Man 2 is smarter, hipper, faster, funnier, and flat-out more electrifying than the original, swinging to new summer-movie heights as the greatest comic-book adaptation yet made.
  3. 100
    Where Peter was yee-ha giddy with the discovery of his newfound powers in the first film, he's crushed by the weight of responsibility that comes with them in its far superior successor.
  4. Raimi doesn't make the mistake of over-thinking the flimsy psychology of the genre. All this conflicted-hero stuff isn't meant to be profound; instead, it's there for the same reason as everything else -- to give the action (the interior action in this case) a healthy shot of pop energy.
  5. 80
    Molina is an actor of unusually elastic gifts, but unlike Willem Dafoe, who has only to bare his scary teeth to send us all scampering for the exits, there's no getting around the fact that Molina has the face of a kindly basset hound even when it's contorted into a deadly grimace.
  6. The sequel is more exciting and surprising than the 2002 original, thanks largely to Molina's excellent acting. Only the strenuously comic scenes fall as flat as one of Spidey's leftover webs.
  7. 40
    As much as I enjoy Spidey's high-flying Cheez-Doodle swoops through the skyscraper canyons of a digitally rearranged midtown Manhattan, I get no kick from his angst, especially since in this incarnation, as opposed to the '60s comic book version, he's more innocuously depressed than defensively paranoid.

See all 41 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 27 out of 266
  1. Jan 21, 2011
    10
    Spider-Man 2 may be called a comic book movie, but is so much more than that. The film improves the action thanks to a larger budget, hasSpider-Man 2 may be called a comic book movie, but is so much more than that. The film improves the action thanks to a larger budget, has awesome acting and characters, and an excellent script which has a heart and entertains. Spider-Man 2 is a movie you truly have to see to believe, it is the master of comic book movies along with The Dark Knight. Even if you are not a Spider-Man fan, SEE THIS MOVIE! Expand
  2. May 17, 2015
    10
    Great movie, great and interesting history, the relationship between Peter Parker and Mary Jane is good, good action scenes, the film showsGreat movie, great and interesting history, the relationship between Peter Parker and Mary Jane is good, good action scenes, the film shows the problems and responsibilities of Peter Parker, shows that it is not a super invincible hero. Expand
  3. Apr 9, 2014
    10
    This was a great movie and my second favorite Marvel movie next to Iron Man! This was the only Marvel movie I've ever seen where I've actuallyThis was a great movie and my second favorite Marvel movie next to Iron Man! This was the only Marvel movie I've ever seen where I've actually liked the ending! I can't say anymore than that without spoiling something so Nuff' said! Expand
  4. JimmyW
    Jun 13, 2008
    9
    Great action movie but it showed tremendous emotion. Great story, great movie, end of story.
  5. Oct 8, 2015
    9
    The second film could be a runner-up for my favorite comicbook movie. The first one was campy, but this film I'd argue is legitimately good.The second film could be a runner-up for my favorite comicbook movie. The first one was campy, but this film I'd argue is legitimately good. It is goofy, but remember that it's a COMICBOOK movie, so it can pass. It's an entertaining flick from beginning to end and has a lot of heart. I much prefer the extended cut(Spider-Man 2.1) since it extends the already brilliant action scenes and gives some more moments to the supporting characters. It may be over ten-years-old, but it's still the best Spider-Man movie. It's probably in my Top 10 All Time Favorite Films, it just leaves you with such a satisfying feel at the end, which kind of makes Spider-Man 3 all the more disappointing... Expand
  6. Apr 22, 2015
    8
    The 2002 box-office smash Spider-Man didn't just warrant a sequel; it demanded one. Sam Raimi's superhero epic was a textbook example of howThe 2002 box-office smash Spider-Man didn't just warrant a sequel; it demanded one. Sam Raimi's superhero epic was a textbook example of how to bring a beloved comic book to the big screen with its spirit intact, just as its terrific follow-up illustrates how a sequel can build and expand on its predecessor rather than simply cannibalizing it.

    Simultaneously funnier, darker, and more emotional than its forebear, Spider-Man 2 opens with its web-slinging protagonist (Tobey Maguire, deftly balancing action and angst) at a low ebb. Tired of his indecisiveness, his would-be girlfriend Kirsten Dunst has moved on to a less conflicted suitor. Maguire's gig as a freelance photographer is constantly in danger, while professor Dylan Baker views him as brilliant but lazy, little realizing that Maguire's extracurricular activities involve more than the usual bong-huffing and channel-surfing.

    Cracking under the strain of his thankless job rescuing a regularly imperiled New York that still views him with suspicion, and dismayed by a sudden reduction in his web-slinging abilities, Maguire decides to retire his Spider-Man ensemble and pursue the simple pleasures that come with not having to save the world. His resolve is tested, however, when Alfred Molina dramatically transforms from an endearingly dorky scientist to super-villain Dr. Octopus, a malevolent, David Cronenberg-esque fusion of man and machine with sinister mechanical arms that have an evil will all their own.

    Raimi and his screenwriters—including two-time Academy Award winner Alvin Sargent and novelist Michael Chabon—use their characters' superhuman powers to amplify the issues and concerns of a human story. Spider-Man 2 wrestles with conflicts between power and responsibility, but the filmmakers smartly counter heavy drama with goofy comedy, mining a rich vein of humor in the juxtaposition of the mundane and the superheroic. Maguire and Molina excel at opposite ends of the moral spectrum, but the film is stolen once again by J.K. Simmons as Maguire's belligerent, relentlessly self-serving motormouth of a boss, whose office is a loving oasis of retro screwball comedy, anachronistic hairstyles and all.

    Molina's tormented man-machine is a stunning technical and creative achievement, a terrifying monster who moves with the sinister shudder of an impending earthquake and fights a mostly losing battle with his own mind and body. His weirdly expressive mechanical arms alone have more personality than most human movie characters, but Molina's performance ensures that the man doesn't get lost in the machinery. In that sense, he's a bit like Spider-Man 2 itself: a blockbuster with tremendous emotional resonance, a special-effects extravaganza with soul.
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  7. TheRealness
    Jul 4, 2006
    0
    [***SPOILERS***] Where to begin? The plot of this film is incoherent. Doctor Octopus needs those tentacles to...do what exactly? All he does [***SPOILERS***] Where to begin? The plot of this film is incoherent. Doctor Octopus needs those tentacles to...do what exactly? All he does with them in the lab scene (his lab in a residential space) is press a button. Later on, the villian robs a bank for...money that he will use to...do what? Buy lab equipment? Does anyone see the stupidity here? Why not just take what you want? The best of all: Doc Ock goes to James Franco and demands the precious McGuffin of 'tridium.' Rather than just ransack Franco's home and take it, or torture him and take it, Ock makes an unncessary deal to risk his life and hunt down Spider-Man for it. Smart. Onto the dialogue. What young people talk as Tobey and that hideous actress do in this film? 'Go get'em tiger?' Seriously? This is what happens when 50 year old Hollywood hacks write for allegedly cool young people. That the actors did not speak up proves they were out to cash a check. The public, inc. the critics, is brainwashed by an assault of hype into liking this dreck. People so desperately want to like it, that they overlook wack, weak plot and dialogue. 'It's just a summer movie,' is no excuse. Just because I am in a movie theater doesn't mean I have to check logic and common sense at the door. But in a culture where people are content eating fast food day in and day out while listening to Ashlee Simpson and reading US Weekly, why should anyone be suprised this movie is a hit? Kirsten Dunst is another issue altogether. Apparently just because someone is on a big screen or magazine covers, they become pretty. This girl's face in those ECU shots is downright scary. She belongs in an old Raimi zombie flick. But again, if you luck into a big role because you've been chasing fame since you were a child actress, then you just become pretty. Become famous in our society and suddenly you also become physically attractive? Finally, Raimi's cheese shots of people screaming is just wack camp. Much preferred Nolan's Batman. Expand

See all 266 User Reviews

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