Rewatched Jul 08, 2012
Colin the dude’s review:
With eight years of retrospection, it is a minor miracle that Spider-Man 2 has aged relatively unscathed. It’s refreshing to see a director’s vision complete a full arc of a story without the baggage of studio interference. Spider-Man 3 and the new reboot are evidence we now have that when the studio takes control, we get a clusterfuck. You need a consistent vision with these tricky superhero stories and the second you force story elements and force questionable character motivations to move the plot as a cop out, you’ve lost me completely. Spider-Man 2 can thankfully breathe as a mostly organic story and leaves many choices to be made by the characters without forcing the plot by lazy screenwriting.
It looks better than the first, further develops Peter’s dilemma’s with ease, introduces a better villain and even layers the action sequences with tremendous style and invention more so than the first. I can’t praise the use of superhero powers enough in these first two movies. They were fresh for their time and remain fresh to me now.
The romantic subplots were always a bore to me and they still clearly slow the movie down now. Mary Jane is a humorless character and the dialogue exchanges with her and Peter are mostly cringe-inducing. It’s really the only stuff that keeps it from a higher rating for me. But if you take away the melodrama, there’s still a lot of fun that only Raimi can add. It’s fast paced (without the melodrama) and there’s a lot of gag humor that fits perfectly. Crap that’s come out post-Spider-Man (Green Lantern, Iron Man 2, Fantastic Four, X-Men Origins) have all struggled to find the right balance of camp, humor and action with relatable characters, but Raimi makes it fit. It’s easy to take that balance for granted, but it’s been tough to match it in the 10 years since.