Spider-Man 2

Spider-Man 2 ★★½

You’d think that given how exasperated I am by Marvel’s endless onslaught of interconnected nonsense that I would luxuriate in the relative simplicity of this, the widely acknowledged height of the pre-MCU super-hero genre. It is for the most part a legitimately complete movie, even featuring an ending that one could look at as an actual ending and not just a segue to another sequel. But it’s also surprisingly heavy handed throughout, despite its relatively few encumbrances. Raimi here has his characters wallow way too often in a lot of unnecessarily dour, unconvincingly serious histrionics — my twelve year old commented that it seemed like it was all just a competition between Tobey Maguire, James Franco and Alfred Molina to see who could “out-emo” the other. Couldn’t have put it better myself.

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