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Spoilers for Spider-Man 2, Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man Trilogy, and Marvel content, in general.
Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus battle it out on top of a speeding train
In 2002, the world was introduced to the first cinematic adaptation of every Marvel fan’s favorite friendly neighborhood superhero: Spider-Man (which coincidentally, happened to be the title of the film itself).
Nearly two decades later, we, as fans of the lovable web-slinger, have been presented with a total of seven films of varying quality – with an eight on the way – of the character’s solo outings.
Hence, in anticipation of the December 2021 release of Spider-Man: No Way Home, we thought it appropriate to jump back in time and take a look at what is lauded as the best Spider-Man movie of all time; 2004’s Spider-Man 2.
Firstly, what separates Spider-Man 2 from later films about the superhero is the impeccable writing. While most Marvel films today feature exciting visuals and loads of gags to entertain their audience, they are often always light on story and formulaic in their execution, save for a few standout entries, and this has been a common criticism of the films in general.
Spider-Man 2, on the other hand, boasts a richly crafted story that, at first glance, appears to be its primary motive in lieu of being another generic superhero action flick. In Spider-Man 2’s story, we witness a plethora of character-driven plot threads, such as the inner demons Peter Parker struggles with after the death of his uncle, his loss of identity (both literally and figuratively), the gulf that exists between him and Mary Jane, and the guilt that brews within him from having to watch his best friend Harry Osborn gradually lose his own sanity since his father’s death at the hands of Spider-Man.
Then, there is also the amazing villain: Doctor Octopus, portrayed splendidly by Alfred Molina (who has been confirmed to reprise the role in the upcoming No Way Home film), a highly complex character that becomes a challenge for the film’s protagonist, not just as a mere nemesis to Spider-Man, but to Peter Parker as well. The dynamic between the hero and villain in this film works incredibly well as Doc Ock is depicted as both an external and internal threat to Spider-Man, much like how Darth Vader is to Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars Trilogy.
The epic moment Peter Parker became Spider-Man again
Lastly, Spider-Man 2 is the best web-slinger film ever made as it shines as its own memorable superhero entry, one that can hold its own and stand the test of time, the same of which cannot be arguably said about the Tom Holland films thus far, despite the latter movies having their own appealing moments.
One can only hope that we are given a Spider-Man film as truly compelling as this one in the future.
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