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Spider-Man 2 (2004)

Spider-Man 2
Image credit: Spider-Man 2: Melissa Moseley
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Details Release Date: Jun 30, 2004; Rated: PG-13; Genre: Sci-fi and Fantasy; With: Kirsten Dunst and Tobey Maguire; Distributor: Columbia Pictures; More

Once you've won the battle against an evildoer and kissed the babe -- upside down, no less -- what's a superhero to do for an encore? In the case of ''Spider-Man 2,'' director Sam Raimi's not messing with a winning formula (the original grossed more than $400 million). The sequel, which reunites Raimi with costars Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, and James Franco, begins two years after the original left off, but stays centered on Spidey's battles to snare the girl and slay the bad guy. ''It's really a story of one boy turning into a man, trying to understand what it is to be a responsible human being,'' says Raimi.

Maybe, but it's not all life lessons, thanks to the introduction of reviled comic-book character Dr. Octavius, a.k.a. Doctor Octopus, a multi-tentacled megalomaniac played by Alfred Molina. With steel-like appendages to supplement his limbs, ''Alfred would have me in stitches with his eight arms and legs, doing his Tevye from 'Fiddler on the Roof,''' says Raimi. ''He sings 'If I Were a Rich Man.''' Since Molina's now part of the Spidey franchise, we're guessing that's one tune he won't have to sing much longer.

Originally posted Feb 03, 2004 Published in issue #747-748 Jan 23, 2004 Order article reprints