7. “Spider-Man II” (2004)
The first in our series of comic book sequels that soars past its predecessor: Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man II.” We find our hero, Peter Parker, in a dark place, trying to balance his normal life with his calling as New York’s defender against evil. But things get complicated quickly when Parker befriends Doctor Octavius. Alfred Molina kills it as the tragically sympathetic villain with sentient robotic arms, because moral ambiguity is so in right now. “Spider-Man II” serves as the perfect sequel and one of the most fully-realized, comic book-faithful films to date. The film also offers old-school Raimi fans an “Evil Dead” homage in the operating scene, and it breaks the good movie = bad video game rule. “Spider-Man II” is a GameCube/PS2 classic. We can only pray that history repeats itself with Andrew Garfield’s spidey sequel.
Best Scene: The “you have a train to catch” fight scene, in which Spiderman fights Doc Ock on a runaway train. An incredible fight scene and a loving tribute to New York City.