Spidey is back keeping the good citizens of New York safe. But Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) who is Spider-man has a bit of a dilemma. He wants to continue to do good deeds and keep the villains at bay but he also wants to be an ordinary guy and live an ordinary life. As he struggles to do both he realizes that something’s gotta give. First he gets sacked from his job and then Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst) the girl he loves tells him that she is seeing someone. Does he turn his back on his super powers and live an ordinary life or can he give up his dreams and the girl he loves to be a full time superhero. With great power comes great responsibility…
Like the first Spider-man movie this movie isn’t all action and special effects. There is plenty of story, humor and romance. In fact the movie could be called Peter Parker instead of Spider-man as the movie spends more time with Peter the ordinary guy as opposed to Peter the superhero. This is not a criticism, in fact this is what makes the spider-man movies interesting and very different to other superhero movies. Peter Parker is Spider-man but we get to see Peter as an ordinary guy who struggles to pay the rent, gets sacked from his pizza delivery job and struggles in college. In one scene when he loses his mask someone says “he’s only a kid”. It’s interesting that he loses his mask and in the movie we see Spider-man without his mask a couple of times. The message is that the two characters are the same and even superheroes can be vulnerable. Spider-man swings from building to building high above the Manhattan streets, defending the public and chasing villains but we still get to see the ordinary vulnerable guy behind the mask who has to decide if he wants to be a superhero or if he wants to live a happy ordinary life.
Helped by the fact that we know the man behind the mask the action scenes are more exciting. The fact that the special effects are a little slicker than the first movie also helps! There is a great action sequence where Spider-man has to save a runaway train. The movie isn’t all action and there is plenty of romance and humor. Young kids might find it a little long as there are quite a lot of ‘talky bits’ in between the Spidey Action.
Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst and James Franco return for this sequel. Tobey Maguire plays Spider-man/Peter Parker and Kirsten Dunst plays Mary Jane the girl he loves but dares not tell her as he doesn’t want to put her in danger. James Franco plays Harry Osborn who is Peter’s best friend and he hates Spider-man for killing his father. He doesn’t know that Peter is Spider-man. All three were in the first movie and it’s good to have the same cast for the sequel. The new villain is Otto Octavius played by Afred Molina. Otto is a brilliant scientist who puts the city in danger by inventing a new power source. He wants the “power of the sun in his hand” and nothing will get in the way of his plans especially not a pesky spider!
Bottom Line: A great superhero movie that has more to offer than you might expect.
Lasting Thought: “Sometimes you have to give up your dreams to do the right thing.”