1. It’s one of those rare sequels that’s more satisfying than the original. The first movie had to spin the premise; the second gets to fly with it.
2. It’s a rather mature love story-especially now that Kirsten Dunst’s character, formerly a distressed damsel, gets fully drawn into Spidey’s web.
3. It’s an exhilarating action movie, in which agility trumps violence.
4. Stretches of bluesy, realistic drama make you forget you’re watching a cartoon.
5. It toys with the metaphor of a young man facing a crisis in sexual confidence-Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker gets freaked out when that sticky stuff stops shooting out of his body the way it’s supposed tobut you can take the kids without embarrassment.
6. The cobra-like arms of Alfred Molina’s tentacled villain are some of the most exquisitely sculpted mechanical effects since the gynecological tools in David Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers.
7. When the camera moves in for a tight shot, Maguire’s blue eyes reveal more emotional depth than all those fawning close-ups of Elijah Wood in The Lord of the Rings-whose eyes just looked really, really blue.
8. Here’s a superhero who talks about his costume, how “it gets kind of itchy” and “rides up in the crotch.”
9. It’s likely to be the summer’s biggest blockbuster, but you don’t walk out feeling like the summer’s biggest sucker.
10. The hero has a more subtle, less cartoon-like sense
of morality than George W. Bush, who could learn from Spidey’s slogan: “With great power comes great responsibility.”
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