Because he made more money that thought humanly or spiderly possible, Spider-Man swings back to theaters for more wall-crawling, web-slinging, comic book style action sure to make yet another mind-blowing mint at the box office.

This time around, Peter Parker’s life is pretty rotten.  His time as Spider-Man is eating into his personal life, he’s chided for being irresponsible, late all the time, and even lazy by those who are ignorant of the fact that he is Spider-Man.  What’s worse, Aunt May faces foreclosure on her home,  J. Jonah Jameson continues to make Spider-Man look like a menace,  Peter’s best friend, Harry Osborne – ignorant of the fact that his father was the Green Goblin – blames Spider-Man for his dad’s death, and the love of Peter’s life is about to marry an astronaut.

Of course, things get worse when Spider-Man’s powers start fritzing out and an experiment goes wrong creating a brand new adversary, Doctor Octopus whose mad experiments could end up destroying all of New York City!

Holy crap!  I thought MY life was complicated!

Spider-Man 2 is finally here and it’s more than a worthy follow-up to the original.  In fact, it’s no stretch to say that Spider-Man 2 is actually better than the original as it injects heart, a little melodrama, a more interesting villain, and vastly improved special effects.  This could end up being one of – if not the greatest super-hero movies of all time.

I won’t say it’s perfect by a long-shot.  No, the script comes dangerously close to bogging down in the overly-dramatic melodrama and teen angst that perpetuates the first half of the script.  Thankfully, by the time that the second half arrives, it turns into a kick-butt action-fest that is sure to please just about everyone.

I guess you can say that Tobey Maguire is the perfect Spider-Man.  Yeah, I know I voiced a few concerns when I heard that he was going to be playing Webhead, but after watching Spider-Man 2, I just have to say… he’s perfect.  The two Spider-Man movies are some of the few in the comic book genre where the hero is just as interesting as the villains.  In the Batman movies, we were always more interested in Joker or Riddler or Catwoman… never Batman.  Not true here.  Spider-Man and Peter Parker are just fascinating characters with flaws, doubts, and  pressures – a few that we all face.  Who hasn’t looked at themselves in the mirror at one point and questioned what you do?  Is this really what I want?  Am I meant to do this?  Peter Parker is written so well, that I’m sure that the majority of people watching the movie are bound to nod and say, “Oh yeah, I’ve been THERE before.”

What’s better is that Spider-Man also has fascinating villains as well.  Where the Green Goblin was fun to watch because of his insanity, Alfred Molina’s Doctor Octopuss is fun to watch because of his desire-gone-mad.  Deep down, he’s not a bad guy.  In fact, he’s pretty likeable as a person.  He’s just the victim of poor judgment and extremely bad luck.  He’s the kind of guy you want to see turn out okay in the end.  Just a tragic character who pulls sympathy out of you like a Kleenex… with is four freaky metal arms.

This is a perfect Summer movie.  Aside from the rather slow angsty spell during the first half, Spider-Man 2 delivers action and adventure with heart and a human face.  You feel for the characters and what happens to them and that emotional attachment makes the experience all together more potent.

The final few minutes of this film – obviously setting up Spider-Man 3 – will surly only make the wait until the next installment that much longer.  Imagine the ending of X2 times 10.

Oh yes… I shall be there for Spidey’s next adventure with a huge grin… and perhaps a big tub of popcorn.

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Written by Jason Gaston

Father, teacher, writer, photographer, artist, actor, male model, and inventor of the semicolon.

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