When bitten by a genetically modified spider, a nerdy, shy, and awkward high school student gains spider-like abilities that he eventually must use to fight evil as a superhero after tragedy befalls his family.
In the 1960s, superpowered humans Charles Xavier and Erik Lensherr work together to find others like them, but Erik's vengeful pursuit of an ambitious mutant who ruined his life causes a schism to divide them.
The human government develops a cure for mutations, and Jean Gray becomes a darker uncontrollable persona called the Phoenix who allies with Magneto, causing escalation into an all-out battle for the X-Men.
Peter Parker is an unhappy man: after two years of fighting crime as Spider-Man, his life has begun to fall apart. The girl he loves is engaged to someone else, his grades are slipping, he cannot keep any of his jobs, and on top of it, the newspaper Daily Bugle is attacking him viciously, claiming that Spider-Man is a criminal. He reaches the breaking point and gives up the crime fighter's life, once and for all. But after a failed fusion experiment, eccentric and obsessive scientist Dr. Otto Octavius is transformed into super villain Doctor Octopus, Doc Ock for short, having four long tentacles as extra hands. Peter guesses it might just be time for Spider-Man to return, but would he act upon it?Written by
Alfred Molina lost some weight for the role of Doctor Octopus, considering he had had to gain some for the part of Diego Rivera in Frida (2002). He said he wanted Doc Ock to have the build of a "1950s weightlifter". See more »
(at around 1h 45 mins) When Mary Jane is being pulled toward the tritium when Doc Ock has her, the shot is taken from her feet up to her head. If you look where her dress ends, you can just barely see that instead of having the regular open dress, it is switched with shorts of the same type so you can't see under her dress. See more »
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. And I'm Peter Parker, and I too have a job.
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The opening credits appear stuck on a series of webs, which display the events of the first film in comic-book art. See more »
An extended version of the film, titled Spiderman 2.1, was released on DVD in April 2007. It contains 8 extra minutes (for a total running time of 2:15) in 3 new, 1 alternate, and 11 extended scenes. Just over half the added material fleshes out the plot: a new scene where a friend challenges MJ about her decision to marry, an extra minute in Peter's birthday party to underscore Harry's hatred of Spiderman, an extended, more downbeat conversation with MJ afterwards (seen in some TV versions), a longer introduction of Octavius and his wife, a brief new scene where Peter in class is distracted by both his fears about Octavius's experiment and his love for MJ, and a bit more of Peter trying to talk his way into MJ's play. There is extra comedy, with more of the pizza delivery scene, a longer, completely different elevator encounter, and a brief new scene where Jameson plays at being Spidey in his office. Two extended scenes address the movie's themes more than the plot: there is over a minute more with the doctor and a bit more of Peter's conversation with Ben. Finally, there are tiny extra additions to two early action scenes, and more than a minute added to the two major Doc Oc encounters: a brief extra sequence in the first fight, and a longer one atop the train. See more »
Two years on from defeating the Green Goblin, Peter Parker is having a harder time meeting the ongoing expectations of the public. On top of this the double life is taking its strain on his job, his personal life and his ability to even cast webs. Parker decides enough is enough and throws it all in after all, he is only one man. Meanwhile, A brilliant scientist, Dr Octavius sees his life's work on a fusion reactor explode killing his wife. Wife the protective device on his computerised arms broken, Dr Octavius loses his grip on sanity and starts to rebuild his reactor using money and materials from crime. With him seemingly intent on destruction, Parker must decide if the needs of others outweigh his own.
With many blockbusters falling at the opening weekend this summer, the title of 'summer's best' was still up for grabs when I arrived at the cinema to watch Spiderman 2 (having only the week earlier given it the miss in favour of lighter fare). Two hours later I emerged having enjoyed one of the most entertaining popcorn films I'll probably see all year. The plot is more than able to fill the running time and, although the action scenes often have large gaps between them, there are no moments where I was bored even if there are a few moments where the film slightly slows. The complexity of the hero is the main thing he is an unwilling hero and the strain shows well on him. Even the potentially ponderous thread with Mary-Jane plays pretty well for the most part.
The villain of the piece is similar to the Green Goblin of the first film in that he is a scientist driven to madness by 'voices' who we want to lose as well as feeling for more tragic than evil. Where Dafoe was great as the Goblin, the silly costume hindered the actor, here Molina has no such obstacle and does very well carrying off the 'voices' scene without it looking silly it is only a shame that he has so little screen time as a person (he has little time anyway but the vast majority of it is throwing cars around). With these complex people as the fronts it is any wonder that the script has no problem being surprisingly strong for a summer action movie. You could read meaning into most of it but it is hard to not see the New York people on the train carrying the prone body of Spiderman backwards as having a bigger significance a surprisingly poignant movie after a big effects-driven scene. The script also throws in a real mix of emotions perfect for a film that is more about being an exciting ride than a piece of art. Plenty of it is very funny, some of it is touching, some of it is about character and some of it, well, some of it is about cars being thrown through windows! And of course the latter is what we have come for.
In terms of action, the several big action sequences are very enjoyable and put the skirmishes from the first movie very much in the shade. Part of this is down to the increased intensity of the fights due to the close combat nature of the character but it is hard not to be impressed by the impact of the vastly improved effects. In the first movie I struggled occasionally to get past the fact that some of it (not all but some) looked very much like an average playstation game. Here the effects are great; sure, you can still tell when a mid-shot of a character is real or CGI but they are much more convincing and they are used a lot better making it easier to accept them as real for the purposes of the film. Of course what really makes the action sequences is Raimi's great direction. He is very able in the smaller moments but he is fantastic in the massive action scenes that he pulls together. At times his direction is very clever and my favourite 'reference' scene is also the one that surprised me that it was rated PG. In a very clear reference to Evil Dead, doctors are hammered by Dr Octopus' arms for the first time dragged screaming (ED's trees) and tackling it with bone saws (Ash's chain saw). It was a very intense scene and, with it being in a PG, it acts as proof that the BBFC are not as strict as the moaners would have us believe.
Working with this direction, the cast all do really well. Maguire takes the pratfalls, the moral questions, the romance and the action equally as well. He is very much the likable everyman that the film needs Spiderman to be and he is good throughout. Dunst has talked about her desire to do more than just this type of film and, from this, I can see why. Although she has some good scenes, generally she is sidelined and it is to her credit that she does as well as she does with comparatively little to work with. Molina is given too little time and lacks a really strong scene of emotion in the same way that Dafoe did in front of the mirror but he still does well. I didn't feel his pain as much as I really should have done but that was more down to his low screen time rather than his performance. Franco is good but a bit too one-dimensional; given that the third film will be very dependent on him I'm hoping he can step up to the plate more than he did here. Of the support cast, once again it is a wonderfully OTT Simmons who steals every scene he is in he is so good that I never once saw him as his Oz character an association I never thought he'd be able to break but he did and he did it hilariously. Cameos from Campbell, Raimi and Dafoe are all enjoyable and add to their scenes.
Overall this is not a perfect film and I am bemused by its appearance in the top 250 list here but it does basically everything it sets out to do and does it in a manner that puts this years' other blockbusters in the shade. The script is clever, interesting and involving; the characters are complex and pretty well drawn while the film delivers laughs as frequently as it does action. With improved effects and some very impressive action scenes this is definitely the movie to sue in a summer full of misses and average thrills.
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