Daniel’s review published on Letterboxd:
I'll always love the Raimi Spider-Man movies for how glorious they felt to watch in my young age. Not to mention for really taking up the torch from X-Men and continuing Marvel's boom of success in the 2000's, which eventually lead to a ridiculously healthy state of the Comic Book/Super Hero genre today.
But watching them again in 2020, it's impossible for me to solely give praise. I realize more and more that Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst never really had chemistry (which I used to think prior to this rewatch, because I remembered their on screen "relationship" as something great), but there's not much to grasp on to between them honestly. Also Mary Jane's character is terrible in these instalments. She's a damsel in distress or a possible love interest, and never gets to be anything else.
I like Doc Ock as a villain, at least in theory. But the issue here is that Spider-Man and Doc Ock are never really at odds throughout the movie, before the final half hour. They just stumble into each other occasionally, but neither party really cares what the other is up to. It's literally in the final quarter of the movie where Spidey goes; "wait, Doc Ock is building a new machine that can blow up the city?". It's just a little strange pacing.
Spidey's suit looks incredible though, and Raimi handles the web slinging action scenes much more cinematically than the previous movie. I'll always enjoy it, but I don't think I'll be among those who defend this movie as one of the best comic book films ever.