This film dropped over 15 years ago, and as far as I’m concerned it’s still the best Spider-Man film ever made. The confidence everyone has in the production shows. The performances are better, the production design is more refined, and the writing is infinitely improved. Even the suit from this film is my favourite.
There’s a wealth of character development in this film. Characters have experienced solid growth from the first film, and we see Peter, MJ, and Harry struggle with the transition to adulthood. Peter’s inability to juggle education, the superhero life, and a relationship add depth to the character. MJ’s choice to move on and Harry’s inability to do the opposite add layers to their characters too. And yet, despite all this development (and new characters like Molina’s excellent Doc Ock) it never feels like it’s a chore. That’s because all of the character work is offset by some great action and genuinely funny moments. Raimi and the screenwriters find a perfect balance between these elements.
Maguire, Molina and Harris deliver particularly strong performances, with quite a bit of depth for a comic book film. Dunst and Franco are less impressive, but at least improve on their prior performances.
I have to mention Sam Raimi adding in some of his flavour. The Doc Ock attack in the hospital is filled with Raimi’s unique camera work and is very reminiscent of his work on the Evil Dead series. It’s gold. Plus, there’s a chainsaw – groovy! Speaking of chainsaws: we get another great Bruce Campbell cameo and it’s a delight. Both he and J.K. Simmons almost steal the show.
Over fifteen years on, nothing has diminished the power and effectiveness of this production. It remains the gold standard when it comes to Spidey films.
Format: 4K Ultra HD Blu Ray
Perfection. Sony nails another 4K remaster. Detail for days, spot on grading, and nice, uniform grain. An absolute looker of a disc.
A perfect Atmos upgrade. Heaps of environmental effects, clear dialogue and some incredibly punchy and deep bass is present in the fusion reactor scenes.