Cover of "Spider-Man - The Motion Picture...

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The 2004 Spider-Man 2 is another Sam Raimi success.  Again Tobey Maguire plays the titular superhero: not a very interesting actor here, he is nonetheless passable.  Kirsten Dunst was cast in these flicks before she got good.

The film asks:  What does it take to create in Peter Parker the desire to be a superhero (a desire he is losing)?  The answer is when Mary Jane (Dunst) urgently needs a savior.  Above all—or just about—Spider-Man 2 is a love story.

Raimi’s scenes and footage are pleasantly resonant, if often familiar.  It was smart of him, after showing Spidey merrily swinging amid the tall buildings, to end his movie with a closeup of Mary Jane watching at a window.  A touch of class.