Well, I’ve been looking forward to Spiderman 2 for quite a while – its been one of the movies of the summer I’ve been amping about for quite a while, along with The Day After Tomorrow and I Robot.

I saw it last night and the verdict is “Yeeeaah”.

Spiderman 2 kicks off right where Spiderman 1 left off – Peter Parker is struggling through life, balancing 2 jobs, university and (of course) the demands of being Spidey. On top of this, his love for Mary Jane Watson is weighing on his mind, and bugging him (no pun intended) because he knows that he can’t be with her due to the risk she would be at.

This goes on until eventually Peter decides to give up his alter-ego to be with the one he loves. At the same time, Harry Osborn (played superbly by James Franco, in one of the standout performances) has taken over his Dad and is about to launch a new energy resource, with scientist Otto Octavius (played superbly by Alfred Molina – one of the best casting decisions in Hollywood, in my opinion).

All goes horribly wrong and Dr Octavius ends up with 4 tentacles fused into his spine and assumes the nickname Dr Octopus, or simply just Doc Ock.

Mayhem ensues as Doc Ock and Spidey meet (and fight) along the way.

The first thing I noticed about Spiderman 2 is the drama. The original Spiderman film, while breaking box office records, did get a negative reaction to the amount of drama in the film.

We feel for Peter Parker/Spiderman as he goes through the personal changes and effects of what he has become. The sequel again focuses on this as a major part of the storyline.

As a result, the acting is great across the board, helped by the standout (but small) performance from James Franco, and a brilliant performance by Alfred Molina, who may well have been born to play Doc Ock.

Once again, the effects have been taken to a new height, with some of the clashes between Doc Ock and Spidey taking the viewer to places never before gone – camera angles are extreme, effects are smooth and the overall feel of the movie is one of high action and drama.

Sam Raimi may well have made the film of the year, for it is the best film I have seen so far in 2004.

Spiderman 2 is a fantastic movie, with just the right balance of action, drama, comedy and entertainment that makes a movie great.

I give it a 9.5 out of 10. Its as good (if not better) than the first movie, there were several surprises along the way, and the ending was one which I didn’t see coming. I am now hugely anticipating the release of Spiderman 3, sometime in 2006.