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Review Spider-Man 2 (2004): Despite some flaws Sam Raimi managed to capture the essence and spirit of Spider-Man and Peter Parker!

genre: comic book, super hero, action, adventure, drama

Forget or ignore the organic web shooting. I still don't exactly know why Sam Raimi changed this but it's something that isn't that big of a deal to me. But for the most part Sam Raimi managed to get both Peter Parker and Spider-Man right. Except for the lack of quips. Comic book Spider-Man often uses jokes to distract or antagonize his foes. But I guess one could argue that this is still Spider-Man learning how to be a super hero and coming to grips with having a life next to web slinging.

Peter's obviously struggling in life which is not that hard to fathom as he has a lot on his plate. He is a college student, has to work to pay rent, support his Aunt May and wants to have somewhat of a social life. But usually has to let down people because he can't make it because of his crime fighting duties. Dr. Kurt Connors calls him brilliant but lazy. If only he knew. But Peter can't tell him because exposing himself and his activities as Spider-Man would put him and all his loved ones in danger. It's already a lot to take on life as it is but to have these powers and therefore extra responsibilities and burdens is too much for anyone to handle. Yet Peter tries to do right all the time. It is this characteristic that made me a fan of Spider-Man. I guess one of the main reasons he is so popular is the fact that he is like everyone else. Just because he has powers doesn't mean he has no bills to pay. While I do think Peter Parker was more proactive and charming in the comics and also should have been portrayed that way there is no denying that Sam Raimi did capture the essence of Spider-Man / Peter Parker the best.

As long as I can remember I considered Spider-Man 2 to be the Spider-Man film ever made. And it certainly is a film that gets under your skin but is it truly the best? I think it depends on the criteria. It definitely is one of the best superhero films ever made. I mean Spider-Man actually saves and rescues people. And the people love him for it. I love him for it. It's something I personally never get tired of seeing in superhero films. Yet more and more films and shows aren't bothered with that. Instead they want to focus on the dangers. What would happen if a superhero turns evil? At this point it has been done to death. Yes, when done right can be very compelling and exciting. But it's not something that I find that interesting to be honest. Call me old fashioned or old school. I like my superheroes to be wholesome and heroic no matter what. It therefore hurt me to see Peter Parker quitting. Then again sometimes people need to learn certain lessons over and over again. 

I never liked Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane. She absolutely didn't get the character she was portraying. I know this is in large part because of how she was written. MJ in the comics was stronger, more upbeat and wouldn't even dare to abandon Peter Parker on a whim. In this film she almost gets traumatized for him not showing up to see her perform in a play. She is also giving all kinds of mixed signals. MJ in the comics would have gone up to Peter and call him out for his BS and then kiss him. Dunst as MJ is just very whiny and unlikable. James Franco as Harry is spot on I think. For whatever reason he is friends with Peter. It's something I never understood when reading the comics. But Peter was always wary of him since when unstable he would turn into The Green Goblin. While you don't get to see that much of Harry's life he clearly has issues of his own which got worse after his father Norman Osborn died. According to him by the hand of Spider-Man which is not entirely true. He is harassing Peter for not spilling the beans on Spider-Man. Even his own butler calls him out for being too obsessed about something he shouldn't be obsessed about. It's not said or showed but I think it is implied that Harry Osborn always has been a very unstable person. In that regard I think Franco does the character justice.

Alfred Molina as Dr. Octavius is brilliant and a good villain. Although I can't help but feel that he is nothing more than the villain of the week. He is there to move events forward and nothing else. There is almost no rhyme and reason to what Doc Ock is doing. Although they do have an explanation for that. They could and should have done more with Molina. 

I watched the 4K UHD Blu-Ray and have to say I was a little underwhelmed. Certain scenes do pop but for the most part I wasn't really wowed by the HDR. Since this came from a 4K source you would think this could and should have been better.

Overall, if you look hard enough there are many flaws to be found but nothing will alter the fact that Sam Raimi has managed to capture the spirit and essence of both Spider-Man and Peter Parker.

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