Film (2004). Columbia Pictures presents a Marvel Enterprises/Laura Ziskin production. Directed by Sam Raimi. Written by Alvin Sargent, based on the Marvel Comic book by Stan Lee, Steve Ditko. Cast includes Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Tobey Maguire and Alfred Molina. 127 minutes. Colour.
Spider-Man 2, Raimi's idiosyncratic sequel, sees Peter Parker (Maguire) deal with the problems of becoming an adult. Unable to cope with the demands of being a superhero and of his personal life, Parker "resigns" his role as Spider-Man (an adaptation of The Amazing Spider-Man #50 "Spider-Man No More!", July 1967). Of course, he is forced to return to his responsibilities when a disastrous experiment with fusion power turns the amiable Doctor Otto Octavius (Molina) into the psychotic eight-limbed Doc Ock. Mary Jane (Dunst) is taken hostage again, and Peter is unmasked in front of her and his best friend Harry (Franco).
While Spider-Man 2 is an excellent movie in its own right; like so many of its source Comics it covers too much of the same ground as its predecessor. The movie recycles the mentor-turned-monster villain, the burning building action sequence, Peter's personal problems and of course the kidnapping of Mary Jane. Nevertheless, with its light humour, loyalty to the comics and improved effects, Spider-Man 2 is a worthy sequel to Spider-Man (2002). It was novelized by Michael Teitelbaum as Spider-Man 2: Friends and Foes (2004). The next sequel is Spider-Man 3 (2007). [JN]
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