Spider-Man 2 is a superhero film directed by Sam Raimi and written by Alvin Sargent, from a story by Alfred Gough, Miles Millar, and Michael Chabon.
When a failed nuclear fusion experiment results in an explosion that kills his wife, Dr. Otto Octavius is transformed into Doctor Octopus, a man with deadly metal tentacles. Doc Ock blames Spider-Man for the accident and seeks revenge. Meanwhile, Spidey's alter ego, Peter Parker, faces fading powers and self-doubt from complicating matters like his best friend's hatred for Spider-Man and his true love's sudden engagement to another man.
Why It Rocks
- Tobey Maguire is still a decent Peter Parker.
- Alfred Molina was an excellent choice to play Otto Octavius/Doctor Octopus.
- The one-issue comic, "Spider-Man No More!" was used as the main inspiration for the film with the emotional, iconic moment of Peter Parker throwing his Spider-Man suit into a trash can and walking away.
- Epic action scenes, such as the hospital scene where Doctor Octopus kills all of the surgeons in the operating theater, showing just how dangerous he can be.
- Incredible visual effects on the mechanical tentacles. In some scenes they're real mechanical arms that they created, and in other scenes they're puppets.
- Funny cameo appearance by Bruce Campbell as the theater usher.
- The scene where Peter tells his Aunt May the truth about Uncle Ben's death.
- Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus's fight on top of a speeding train is action-packed and became an iconic moment in film.
- Much improved visual effects and cinematography from the first film.
- The Punisher makes a cameo appearance (Although it's a blink or you'll miss it type of cameo). Speaking of references to other Marvel characters, Doctor Strange is briefly name-dropped by Jameson.
- Amazing score composed by the legendary Danny Elfman, who also composed the score for the first film.
- The acting is great. Especially from Tobey Maguire went it comes to the emotional moments.
- Weak characterization, some examples include:
- Peter Parker is still so socially awkward, that he fails to capture Peter Parker's character development of growing out of being an awkward teen, and comes off as meek and wimpy throughout the movie. He's also pretty bland as Spider-Man
- Mary Jane comes off as very unlikable in this film, she constantly and ruthlessly toys with Peter's feelings while not even showing the slightest concern for his well being, and she continuously dumps on Peter as if their relationship is crumbling all solely because of him and rubs her engagement to John Jameson in Peter's face. She also has weak chemistry with Peter.
- Harry Osborne is really petty in this film as he spends most of his screen time complaining about how Spider-Man killed his father instead of trying to let it go while not thinking his father's death wasn't Spider-Man's fault, and he takes up drinking to numb his pain. Even though Harry didn't know Peter was Spider-Man at the time, there are scenes where he lashes at Peter and smacks him in the face as he acts like the death of his father was Peter's fault.
- Aunt May, who is usually portrayed as a kind morality figure, acts out of character in some parts the film. Most notably the scene where Peter reveals to her that Uncle Ben's death was because of him, as instead of comforting Peter and telling him Uncle Ben's death wasn't his fault, she walks away from him and tells Peter later that they didn't have this conversation, which in turn would usually make someone feel even more guilty of their uncle's death.
- J. Jonah Jameson's son, John Jameson, is a very uninteresting, forgettable, and pointless character who's only used as just a plot device and to be some guy that Mary Jane chases after when her relationship with Peter was crumbling.
- With the film constantly going out of its way to make Peter's life and relationship with his friends fall into shambles, along with it glossing over Mary Jane's selfish portrayal, the film comes off as very needlessly mean-spirited and cynical. It also takes up about almost the whole movie, while moments like this in the comics were only partially.
- Peter's life struggles are also so exaggerated that it makes it come off as campy and unrealistic.
- Even though Peter quitting being Spider-Man because of how tough it has become for him is relatable and sympathizing, it doesn't really help with his progression of moving forward like a real superhero.
- Some of the acting can be cheesy. Especially from the background characters, Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, and James Franco as Harry Osborne.
- Some scenes that are meant to be serious are undermineded by either campy or mean-spirited direction.
In April 17, 2007, Sony released an extended cut of Spider-Man 2, which added new scenes with 8 minutes of the film, as well as a sneak preview of the then-upcoming Spider-Man 3. It was released on DVD and Blu-Ray on April 17, 2007, and October 30, 2007.
- It has been confirmed that Bruce Campbell's cameos in the films are actually him playing Quentin Beck (aka Mysterio). He was planned to be in the cancelled fourth film.
- Mysterio would eventually make a proper live-action debut as the main antagonist of Spider-Man: Far from Home.