“Spider-Man 2” Improves on Original

IMG 0734

Sam Raimi gets a bit more daring and delves into character a tad more in his superhero sequel Spider-Man 2 (B-), a remarkably more accomplished film than its predecessor, even though it is still weighed down by the missed casting opportunity occupied by the tepid twosome Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst. There’s a deeper sense of gravitas in the masked man maintaining his parallel identities, and the super-villain (Alfred Molina as Dr. Octopus) demonstrates a good deal of menace, upping the stakes in this episode. Still, the tentacles of this adventure don’t really capture the imagination to the extent they should, and Raimi’s take on this potentially pulpy story rarely has the sting or the smarts that it could.