Improves on the Original
JLFM - wrote on 07/27/12
Spider-Man 2 is considered by many to be an improvement on the original, and I think that's a very accurate suggestion. By eliminating some of the flaws of the first, and improving some of the strengths of the first, Spider-Man 2 surpassed the original, and is one of the best super hero films ever created.
Between college, his job as a photographer for The Daily Bugle, and being Spider-Man, Peter Parker has a lot on his plate, and he's not doing that great of a job at any of these pursuits. Yet, as he loses his spidey abilities, Parker considers throwing in the towel, even though a new villain, the 6 armed Dr. Octavian is emerging.
Many of the flaws that were present in the first film have been fixed in Spider-Man 2. One such example is the CGI work, which looks fantastic in this sequel. It's certainly not the best visual effects to appear onscreen, but it's a great improvement over the original.
One of the best parts of the original Spider-Man was the publisher of The Daily Bugle, J. Jonah Jameson. The quick talking, cigarette chomping publisher was consistently hilarious, but his screen time was sadly minimal. In the sequel, his role is greatly expanded, so he appears in more scenes. He remains one the film's highlights.
The nefarious villain, Dr. Octavian, isn't as creepy as Green Goblin, but nor is he as campy. Personally, I wouldn't be able to choose one over the other, but Octavian is a wonderfully sinister villain, though he may be too similar to Green Goblin- in some respects- for some.
Emotionally, the film expands as well, though this improvement isn't quite as dramatic as some of the others. We connect more with the characters (which is also assisted by solid acting by the entire cast), and this makes the film that much more enjoyable.
The romance, on the other hand, is considerably worse than in the original. It feels more cheesy, even a bit more forced. And Mary-Jane is beginning to feel more and more irritating and helpless. It's a shame that there's so much more focus on this aspect of the film than in the original.
The title sequence has been shortened slightly, but it's actually less entertaining than the original's making it seem longer. The title sequence should really be shortened, or perhaps it should be omitted entirely, or withheld until the end.
Danny Elfman's score has improved. The techno effects has been significantly toned down, and there are few (if any) rock oriented pieces. It's still not a great score, but it's a good one, and it serves it's purpose.
Spider-Man 2 both improves on it's predecessor, and provides solid entertainment. Even if cheesy romance create a few slow moments, improved CGI work, intense action, and superb acting make up for the flaws, and more. There aren't many super hero films out there that I've enjoyed, but this is certainly one of them.