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Spider-Man 2
Directed by: Sam Raimi
Produced by: Avi Arad
Laura Ziskin

Written by:

Alvin Sargent
Alfred Gough
Miles Millar
Michael Chabon


Tobey Maguire
Kirsten Dunst
James Franco
Alfred Molina
Rosemary Harris
J.K. Simmons



Running time:

128 minutes (theatrical cut)
136 minutes (extended cut)

Music by:

Danny Elfman

Edited by:

Bob Murawski

Released by:

Columbia Pictures

Release date:

June 30, 2004 (theatrical cut)
April 17, 2007 (extended cut)

Previous installment(s):


Next installment(s):

Spider-Man 3


$200 million

Box office:


"She looks at me everyday. Mary Jane Watson. Oh boy! If she only knew how I felt about her. But she can never know. I made a choice once to live a life of responsibility. A life she can never be a part of. Who am I? I'm Spider-Man, given a job to do."
— Peter Parker

Spider-Man 2 is a 2004 superhero film directed by Sam Raimi, written by Alvin Sargent and developed by Alfred Gough, Miles Millar, and Michael Chabon. The score was done by Danny Elfman.

It is the second installment in the Spider-Man film series. It saw the return of Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker, Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane Watson and James Franco as Harry Osborn. Alfred Molina appears as Doctor Octopus, the film's main antagonist.


Set two years after the original, the film focuses on Peter Parker struggling to manage both his personal life and his duties as Spider-Man. The main villain in this film is Dr. Otto Octavius, who turns insane following a failed experiment and the death of his wife. Using his mechanical tentacles, Octavius is dubbed "Doctor Octopus" and threatens to endanger the lives of the people of New York City. The film was released on June 30, 2004 in the United States by Columbia Pictures. It grossed over $783 million worldwide, and won the Academy Award for Visual Effects. The film's success led to a second sequel, Spider-Man 3.


Peter Parker is finding his double life increasingly difficult. Precariously struggling to balance his crime-fighting duties with the demands of his normal life, Peter often finds his personal life taking a back seat. He loses a job, faces financial difficulties, and struggles to maintain his physics studies at Columbia University. Moreover, he has become estranged from both love interest Mary Jane, who to Peter's disappointment is in a relationship, and best friend Harry Osborn who falsely accuses Spider-Man of murdering his father, and Aunt May is threatened with foreclosure. Harry, now head of Oscorp's research division, has invested in the research of brilliant scientist Otto Octavius, Peter's idol, as well as the subject of the paper he is writing. Harry offers to introduce them, and Peter has a long meeting with Dr. Octavius. During the meeting, Peter warns Octavius that the slightest miscalculation would ruin the experiment, and possibly destroy the city. Octavius consoles him, stating its his life's work, and his wife adds, "He's done his homework." To perform a sustained fusion experiment, Octavius has developed a set of artificially intelligent mechanical arms, which are impervious to heat and magnetism. Though the experiment overloads and becomes unstable, Dr. Octavius refuses to halt it, with devastating results: his wife is killed (by a piece of a shattered glass that hits her eye); the neural inhibitor chip which prevented the advanced AI of the arms from influencing Octavius's own mind is destroyed; and the arms are fused to his spine. Unconscious, he is taken to a hospital to have the appendages removed, but the tentacles develop their own ability to move at will and brutally kill the surgeons. Octavius escapes the hospital, and takes refuge in an abandoned building near the water.

Uncontrolled, the tentacles begin to corrupt Octavius' mind, playing on his vanity and ego, and he decides he must complete his experiment at any cost. J. Jonah Jameson names him "Doctor Octopus" or "Doc Ock". In an effort to finance his experiments, Doc Ock attempts to rob a bank where Peter Parker and his Aunt May happen to be present. After a short glitch in his powers, Spider-Man manages to recover and soon the two take their fight outside the bank, but Doc Ock takes Aunt May as a hostage. When Spider-Man rescues her, she revises her former opinion of him and realizes that he is a hero. Octavius escapes unharmed, with the money he stole.

During a party, Peter learns that Mary Jane is planning to marry J. Jonah Jameson's son, John Jameson, an astronaut. He also gets into a physical altercation with Harry, who is drunk because Octavius' failed experiment left Oscorp bankrupt, over his loyalty to Spider-Man; shortly after he loses his powers while web-slinging across town. Meanwhile, Octavius rebuilds his experimental reactor. Peter questions if he could ever have what he "needs", a life as Peter Parker, which involves a vision of Uncle Ben, and resolves to give up being Spider-Man, to which J. Jonah Jameson is delighted, having been given the abandoned Spider-Man suit.

Spider Man no more

Spider-Man, no more!

Back home, after visiting Uncle Ben's grave, Peter reveals the truth about what happened the night he died. Aunt May is distressed over the revelation, and runs upstairs. Aunt May and Peter reconcile, and she tells Peter of the hope that Spider-Man brings to others, in spite of what dreams he may have to sacrifice. Peter attempts to re-connect with Mary Jane, but she informs him it is too late. In the meantime, Doc Ock has completed rebuilding his reactor, and needs one final item: the tritium which fuels the reactor. He goes to Harry Osborn for it, dangling him over the edge of the Osborn mansion balcony when he refuses. Harry agrees to give Ock what he needs in exchange for capturing Spider-Man. Mary Jane meets Peter in a coffee shop to ask if he still loves her, but Peter tells her that he does not. Doc Ock, having been advised by Harry that Peter was the key to finding Spider-Man, destroys the coffee shop. Peter regains his spider-sense at the right moment to throw Mary Jane and himself out of the way of a thrown taxi, but Doc Ock abducts Mary Jane in a plot to lure Spider-Man into a trap.

Peter's powers fully return, and he dons his costume and engages Doc Ock in a battle, which starts off at the top of a bell tower and then on top of a train. During the battle, Octavius manages to destroy the brakes to the train, forcing Spider-Man to rescue the runaway train. Spider-Man manages to stop the train before it can plunge over the end of the track, but at great physical exertion. He nearly falls, but the people in the train catch him and see him without his mask on. They agree to keep his identity a secret and try to protect him from Doc Ock, but his mechanical arms are too much for them. Weak from his exertions Spider-Man becomes dizzy and faints and he is captured by Doctor Octopus and delivered to Harry Osborn. Harry unmasks Spider-Man and is shocked to discover that his sworn enemy is his best friend. Spider-Man awakens and convinces Harry to reveal Octavius' whereabouts so he can rescue Mary Jane, learning that Octavius is rebuilding his machine and threatening the world. Spider-Man finds Doctor Octavius in an abandoned warehouse on a waterfront pier, where he's restarted his fusion experiment. After battling with Doc Ock, Spider-Man manages to stun the villain with an electric shock. Peter then reveals his true identity to Octavius and pleads with him to stop the machine. Returned to his senses by the shock and determined to end his doomsday experiment before it causes more harm, Octavius uses his mechanical arms to collapse the floor of the building, successfully drowning the device at the cost of his own life, his last words being, "I will not die a monster." Peter's true identity is revealed to Mary Jane, and he tells her they can never be together because Spider-Man will always have enemies. Mary Jane, who finally understands Peter's inability to be there for her, despairs this truth, and looks on as Spider-Man swings away.

Across town, Harry has visions of his father, the late Norman Osborn, in a hanging mirror. The illusion demands that his son kill Peter Parker to avenge his death. Harry refuses and hurls a dagger at the mirror, shattering it and revealing a secret room, containing the Green Goblin's war gear. Mary Jane leaves her wedding and finds Peter in his apartment, telling him that she has decided to be with him – despite the risks. They exchange an ardent kiss, but it is quickly interrupted by the sound of police sirens. Mary Jane then encourages Peter to go on as Spider-Man as the latter swings away into the sunset.


Spider-Man 2 received a PG-13 rating for stylized action violence by the MPAA. The film is rated 12A by the BBFC for moderate fantasy violence.


Video Game adaption[]


Reaction to the film was extremely positive among critics. It currently holds a 93% rating, based on 241 reviews, on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. Metacritic gave the film an average score of 83 out of 100, which signifies "universal acclaim". Many critics enjoyed Alfred Molina's performance as the main antagonist, Doc Ock. Mark Caro of the Chicago Tribune said that Doc Ock was a "pleasingly complex" villain. Film critic Roger Ebert gave the film a perfect 4 out of 4 stars, also calling it the best superhero movie since 1978's Superman.

It is currently the third-highest grossing Spider-Man film ever made. It was the third-highest grossing film of 2004, behind Shrek 2 and Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban.


  • Tobey Maguire had suffered severe back pains after filming for the 2003 film Seabiscuit and almost didn't come back for the lead role. Jack Gyllenhal almost replaced Maguire but Maguire eventually recovered and returned for the role.
  • The film was almost called "The Amazing Spider-Man", but it was decided not to and was saved for the 2012 reboot film.
  • The only Spider-Man film in the series not to have a funeral scene at the end.
  • Alfred Molina is an avid Marvel Comics fan and was excited to take on the role of Doctor Octopus.
  • The scene where Peter does a backfilp over an oncoming car was actually performed by Tobey Maguire. A stunt double also performed the stunt but Sam Raimi liked Tobey's better since it was more genuine.
  • The scene where Peter is having dinner with Octavius and his wife was meant to be a sad scene as it was supposed to represent a husband and wife life that Peter wants with Mary Jane but can't have.
  • During the scene where J.J Jameson and Ted Hoffman discuss the name for Otto Octavius, they somehow mention Doctor Strange.
    • Interestingly, Spider-Man 2 Director Sam Raimi will direct a 2021's Movie called Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.


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