It’s hard Remember when superhero movies weren’t as culturally dominant as they are now. However, the Marvel Cinematic Universe became Hollywood’s most popular franchise only because of the directors who came before. Iron Man and proved that superhero movies can be made well.
Tim Burton and Richard Donner showed that comic books could inspire competent and charming blockbusters, but ultimately Sam Raimi introduced and perfected what moviegoers now know as the modern superhero movie. Having first experimented with this genre in the 1990s. with Liam Neeson directing Dark manRaimi returned to the world of comics after more than a decade with 2002’s Spider-Man. This film became a turning point in the superhero genre, and two years later, Raimi rose to prominence Spider-Man 2.
in 2004 Raimi’s film is one of the most important and influential films of the 21st century, and it’s finally back on Netflix.
Spider-Man 2 does what every sequel should: it somehow manages to be bigger and more action-packed than its predecessor without ever losing the humanity of its characters. The film follows many of the remaining plot threads from the 2002 film Spider-Man and it makes Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker take a compelling and insightful assessment of his life as a superhero.
As well as trying to rebuild his friendship with Harry Osborn (James Franco) after the death of Harry’s father Norman (Willem Dafoe), Peter also has to deal with the revelation that his lifelong crush Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) is engaged. Both conflicts force Peter to experience the costs that his superhero lifestyle demands, causing him to have a crisis of confidence that briefly robs him of his superpowers.
If that wasn’t enough, Peter is also forced to face a deadly enemy when one of his idols, Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina), starts wreaking havoc across New York. Like his struggles with Mary Jane and Harry, Peter’s conflict with Octavius ultimately boils down to questions of sacrifice and responsibility that are at the heart of the matter. Spider-Man 2. The culmination of Peter’s emotional journey is so bittersweet that it remains as effective today as it was 18 years ago.
For his part, Molina wisely doesn’t try to match the same magnetic, manic energy that Willem Dafoe brought to his role as Norman Osborn in 2002. Spider-Man. Instead, Molina imbues his version of Octavius with so much pathos and grim charm that he feels human even in the moments when he’s slicing through tall buildings with his metal arms.
Behind the camera, Sam Raimi brings the same level of visual energy Spider-Man 2 that he did with his predecessor. His lens whistles and slips Spider-Man 2 with a kind of balletic and sometimes charming grace that is sadly lacking in many contemporary superhero films.
From the breathtaking, viscerally effective fight between Spider-Man and Doc Ock with a train to the now-legendary surgery sequence, the film is filled with some of the most thrilling and impressively constructed scenes in comic book film history. With spider man 2, Raimi has managed a feat that seems increasingly rare: creating a crowd-pleasing superhero blockbuster that still feels artistic and distinctive.
In other words, nothing could be done Spider-Man 2 except for Sam Raimi. The film is moving and heartfelt, with more style and heart than many modern blockbusters know what to do with. The passion of his creative team is evident in every frame, and its impact on Hollywood continues to be felt with every new MCU entry.
Despite the many imitations, this is a testimony Spider-Man 2 that most of the many superhero films that followed him ultimately fell short of his artistry. Watch to be reminded of the heights this genre can reach.
Spider-Man 2 streaming on Netflix.