Peter Parker';s having a rough time. His double life as the super hero Spider-Man is having a devastating impact on his civilian life. Things are so bad he declares that he';s quitting and never putting on the suit again until a freak accident transforms Dr. Otto Octavius into Dr. Octopus, a super-villain with four metal tentacles protruding from his torso. Peter realizes that only Spider-Man can stop him but, of course, problems arise.
The web-slinging sequences are bigger-better-brighter-faster than the already spectacular ones in 2002's Spider-Man, and at the same time, the film's smaller emotional moments are denser, richer and more resonant than those in the first.
The trick with Spider-Man is to swing both ways -- the superheroics and the super lack of self-esteem -- without getting mired in the dreary introspective moping that did for Ang Lee's awful Hulk. Spider-Man 2 balances it all but perfectly,
Alfred Molina makes a more baroque supervillain than Willem Dafoe's Green Goblin, but the other stars seem happy to be giving us more of the same. Sam Raimi's direction, on the other hand, is even more fluent and well paced.