As one who grew up reading comic books, I've watched the superheroes come to life on the big screen with great interest. Unfortunately, most of them haven't fared that well; many have tried but few have succeeded. The Superman films captured the spirit of the comics, but they've grown dated and silly over time. Tim Burton's Batman movies championed style over substance; the sequels by Joel Schumacher even more so, at the cost of plot coherency. It really wasn't until 2000's adaptation of the X-Men when filmmakers successfully balanced first-rate action with drama.

Tobey Maguire is Spider-man and Peter Parker

Tobey Maguire is Spider-man and Peter Parker

Then in 2002, one of the most popular superheroes of all time finally graced the silver screen. It took that long to secure film rights for Spider-Man with the cooperation of creator Stan Lee, as well as to believably re-create the stunts and acrobatics of the world's favorite webslinger through computer-generated special effects. It was worth the time and effort—Spider-Man ended up grossing $820 million worldwide and became the fifth highest grossing film in U.S. history.

Many would also say that it was the best comic-book adaptation ever, and if there were any doubts of that, Spider-Man 2 puts them to rest. The beauty of this film is that it is not simply a sequel, designed to upstage its predecessor with "bigger and better." True to its comic roots, it's a continuation of the Spider-Man saga, following up from where the first film's origin story left off. This is wonderfully captured in Spider-Man 2's opening credits, which uses graphic novel styled artwork to create a visual overture, jogging the viewer's memory of key events from the first film: mild-mannered student Peter Parker getting bitten by a radioactive spider, the death of his uncle, the famed ...

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Spider-Man 2
Our Rating
4 Stars - Excellent
Average Rating
 
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Mpaa Rating
PG-13 (stylized action violence)
Directed By
Sam Raimi
Run Time
2 hours 7 minutes
Cast
Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Alfred Molina
Theatre Release
June 30, 2004 by Columbia Pictures
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