The summer blockbuster has greatly evolved since the premiere of Jaws in 1975. Today, summer blockbusters still follow the same basic story formula that Jaws presented, but they are also bolstered by incredible digital effects and exciting action sequences that keep audiences flocking to theaters every summer. As the action blockbuster rules the summer, superhero films have recently become a summer staple, breaking box office records and reigning in the hearts of fans. Films like The Avengers and The Dark Knight remain two of the most impressive summer superhero movies that have captivated fans, critics and box offices alike. They do not, however, stand without a precedent. The release of Spider-Man 2 in 2004 stands as the first great summer superhero film that strikes the perfect balance between a strong, emotional story and wondrous summer bliss. Spider-Man 2’s critical and financial success paved the way for summer superhero films, standing among the best with emotional gravitas never seen before.
Under the direction of Sam Raimi, Spider-Man 2 brilliantly marries story, action, and even glimpses of horror. Raimi tells an incredible story that highlights what true responsibility is. At the start of the film, life is tough for Peter, and he makes the choice to give up heroism for an easier life. After a tear-jerking moment where he admits to Aunt May that he caused Uncle Ben’s death, he faces a challenge only a hero could conquer and faces it head-on. Through a movie about a superhero, Raimi tells a beautiful story about commitment to responsibilities.