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Spider-Man 2

This summer a man will face his destiny. A hero will be revealed 

Year: 2004 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC PG Cert – Parental guidance 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  
An image from Spider-Man 2

Of all the superheroes, Spiderman seems the most human, the one we sympathise with most. Peter Parker isn't a billionaire like Bruce Wayne. When saving people he isn't loved like Superman is. No matter what Parker (Maguire) does, it goes wrong. Saving lives means putting a hold on relationships, and ignoring burning buildings to pursue MaryJane (Dunst) results in unbelievable guilt. By stretching himself so thin, Peter fails to meet deadlines and alienates himself from friends. Even his web-slinging powers are failing - as if they, too, have given up on him.

Yet this is what's so interesting about the film compared to other comic-book movies. For an action-packed spectacular, SM2 is best when focusing on the unspectacular – Peter. This film concerns the internal struggle of Parker and his difficulty co-existing with Spiderman. A recurring theme is that we all must make choices between right and wrong and face our inner demons; never truer than when Aunt May declares, 'I believe there's a hero in all of us'.

Spiderman 2 might have the CGI we all crave for (the 5 minute train sequence is awesome), but it's the film's honesty and compassion that make this Marvel-lous movie superior. It's witty too, poking fun at both the mythology and the background to making the movie. When Spidey falls, Maguire moans, 'My back, my back'; a reference to the injury that nearly stopped him making the sequel. The acting is superb with Maguire and Dunst comfortably playing out the 'will they, wont they' saga. Additionally, Dr. Octopus is an intricate and plausible baddie; with enough moral dilemmas of his own.

Few sequels come close to outweighing their predecessor. Nevertheless, Sam Raimi has taken to heart the lesson that 'with great power comes great responsibility' and created the summer's biggest blockbuster. By keeping to the same formula as the first film but developing the characters, SM2 is a more mature progression of the original, with enough web-swinging through Manhattan to please adrenaline junkies. The resolution of all the plots is both courageous and daring, with a nice foreshadowing of things to come. Go get 'em, tiger!

Phil Lurie

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Screenings of this film:

2004/2005 Autumn Term (35mm)
2004/2005 Autumn Term (35mm)