The sequel to one of the greatest superhero movies ever does not disappoint. Spider-Man is back and this time he’s battling Doctor Octopus. Picking up a couple years after the events of the first film, Spider-Man 2 shows us how successful Peter Parker is at balancing his life as a superhero while trying to hold down a job, go to school, and be there for his friends. We quickly find out that the demands of being a superhero are negatively affecting the rest of his normal life as Peter Parker.
Doctor Otto Octavius is working for Harry Osborn, who is now the head of R&D at Oscorp. Peter is sent to cover Octavius’ latest experiment when everything goes wrong and Spider-Man has to pull the plug on the machine. During the chaos, Otto’s wife is killed. Octavius is taken to the hospital to have the metal arms he used in the experiment removed. It’s at this time that they come alive and kill everyone in the operating room. The chip that was keeping their AI from infecting Octavius’ brain was destroyed during the experiment. This coupled with his wife’s death sends him over the edge and he goes insane.
Alfred Molina plays a great Doc Ock. He is equal parts brilliant and insane, breathing life into the villain and making him a deadly foe for Spidey. His extra appendages are skillfully maneuvered and believable. The action set pieces between Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus turn it up to 11. Meanwhile, James Franco is being set up to become his father’s successor as the Green Goblin.
In the end, Peter is able to bring Otto back to his senses just in time for him to destroy his new makeshift lab and sink into the depths with his experiment. Mary Jane and Harry learn that Peter Parker is really Spider-Man. Peter tells MJ that it’s too dangerous for them to be together. Fortunately, she doesn’t listen to Peter and ends up leaving J Jonah Jameson’s son at the altar.
The only part that I felt was a little strange was when Spidey’s powers stopped working for a while. It was a cool setup for a scene where he leaves his costume in the trash as seen in a famous issue of the comic, but otherwise felt tacked on.
Spider-Man 2 is the a great sequel and one that totally lives up to the hype. It respects the characters and the medium they came from. For those of us that grew up reading about our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, this is our dream come true. You don’t have to be a fan of comic books to enjoy this movie for the thrill ride that it is.