|Directed by||Sam Raimi|
|Written by|| Stan Lee(comic book),|
Steve Ditko(comic book)
|Starring|| Tobey Maguire,|
|Produced by||Stan Lee, Joseph M. Caracciolo|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment|
|Release date||June 30 2004|
|Runtime||127 min .|
Table of contents
The film, directed by Sam Raimi, stars Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst and James Franco reprising their roles of Peter Parker (Spider-Man), Mary Jane Watson and Harry Osborn, respectively. Alfred Molina plays the role of the villain, Doctor Octopus ("Doc Ock").
The screenplay is credited to Alvin Sargent, with screen story credit given to Alfred Gough, Miles Millar, and Michael Chabon. Stan Lee and Steve Ditko receive additional screen credit for "comic book & characters."
It has been two years since the end of the last film, and Peter Parker is finding a double life very difficult. He loses a job, is having trouble with his enstranged friend, Harry, who still thinks that his father's death was the fault of Spider-Man (Harry doesn't know that Norman actually killed himself), struggles with his studies and school work, and finds that he is losing his powers. Moreover, he has learned that his potential girlfriend, M.J., has acquired a new boyfriend. M.J. turns increasingly hostile to Peter after he fails to keep a promise to see a play in which she plays a role. Peter's idol, a brilliant, gentle scientist named Otto Octavius, turns into a mechanically-controlled lunatic after a fusion accident. "Doc Ock", as he is now called, desperately wants to rebuild his experiment, forcing Peter to use his resurfacing powers to try and stop him and save New York City.
Dr. Otto Octavius is a deeply conflicted and ambiguous villain. The early scenes in the movie with his wife and Peter establish him as a gentle, peace-loving man who desires to help mankind. (He tells Peter: "Intelligence is a gift, and you use it for the good of mankind.") This makes it all the more tragic and horrifying when we see what he becomes later on: a half-mechanical lunatic who is willing to risk destroying the city to realize his ambitions. His descent into villainy is often interpreted as possession by the mechanical tentacles, but it is far deeper than that: when we see him on the waterfront after the accident, he is a broken man, having lost his wife and his fusion dreams, and he is contemplating suicide ("These monstrous things [the tentacles] should be at the bottom of the river, along with me," he says). The AI in the tentacles then offer him an escape from his failure and agony, and a chance to rebuild his experiment, since it is all he has left; and he willingly listens to them and lets them guide him. It is only at the end, when Peter makes him realize the true cost of his dreams, that he turns away from the tentacles' influence and reclaims his former identity. His final act of self-sacrifice redeems him, and, echoing Aunt May's speech on heroism earlier in the movie, he dies with honor.
Harry's character is also further developed in Spider-Man 2. Two years after his father's death, Harry has become an increasingly bitter personality, as demonstrated by his failure to laugh at jokes. Upon consuming alcohol, a hostility to Peter surfaces, as Harry begins to blame Peter for tolerating Spider-Man, and for ruining Harry's onetime romance with M.J. Harry's relationship with the memory of his father is also complex. On the one hand, Harry desires revenge on Spider-Man, who supposedly killed Harry's father. On the other hand, Harry seems especially grateful for a compliment that he has outdone his father's accomplishments, and also blames Peter for having been more respectable than Harry himself to Harry's father. In the end, when Harry discovers Spider-Man and Peter are the same man, Harry spares his life, but only because New York City itself is endangered. Harry's past friendship with Peter and hostility to Spider-Man, as well as growing bitterness with Peter, haunt him, to the point where he imagines a visit from his father's ghost. However, it is also possible the ghost was not a delusion. The true state of Harry's sanity is at the end of the film uncertain. His mental state is important, however, since he has discovered his father's villainous secrets. Harry now has the option of assuming incredible powers to take revenge on Spider-Man.
Box office success
In its first six days, Spider-Man 2 generated a record $180 million at the US box-office, which is a record as of 2004. It generated $88 million at the box office in its first week of sale.
The general critical reaction to the film was almost unanimously enthusiastic, with the general opinion that the film is superior to the original, possessing a dramatic power and emotional content that many summer blockbusters lack. Metacritic.com gave the film a collective rating of 80 out of 100 based on an average of 41 reviews.  Rotten Tomatoes gave it a rating of 93%, based on 195 reviews. 
The film received excellent critical reviews from the following newspapers: Baltimore Sun, Chicago Sun-Times, Dallas Observer, Entertainment Weekly, Miami Herald, Newsweek, The Onion, Premiere, San Francisco Chronicle, USA Today, Variety, Portland Oregonian, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, The Hollywood Reporter, The New York Times, Slate, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Austin Chronicle, Chicago Tribune, The Globe and Mail The New York Daily News, The New York Post, Rolling Stone Magazine
The following publications have given the film good reviews: Film Threat, LA Weekly, Los Angeles Times, TV Guide, Boston Globe, Christian Science Monitor, Philadelphia Inquirer, ReelViews, Chicago Reader, New York Magazine, Charlotte Observer
The soundtrack for Spider-Man 2 has reached the top 10 of the US album charts and has also reached the top 40 of the Australian album charts. "Vindicated" by Dashboard Confessional reached the top of a world composite soundtrack chart in June 2004 and the top 20 of a composite world and US modern rock chart. "Ordinary" by Train has also reached the top 20 of the US adult top 40 singles charts. "I Am" by Killing Heidi has been added to the Australian version of the soundtrack and has been released as a single in the country. "I Am" debuted at #16 on the charts on July 19, 2004.
The track listing for the US version of the soundtrack is:
- "Vindicated" by Dashboard Confessional
- "Ordinary" by Train
- "Did You" by Hoobastank
- "Hold On" by Jet
- "Gifts and Curses" by Yellowcard
- "Woman" by Maroon 5
- "This Photograph Is Proof (I Know You Know)" by Taking Back Sunday
- "Give it Up" by Midtown
- "Lucky You" by lostprophets
- "Who I Am" by Smile Empty Soul
- "The Night That the Lights Went Out in NYC" by The Ataris
- "We Are" by Ana Johnsson
- "Someone to Die For" by Jimmy Gneco and Brian May
- "Spidey Suite" by Danny Elfman
- "Doc Ock Suite" by Danny Elfman.
On the Australian version of the soundtrack, "I Am" by Killing Heidi appears as Track 17 and is a single. On the Japanese version of the soundtrack, "Web of Night" by T.M.Revolution appears and was a popular single in Japan.
Allmusic.com best tracks are "Hold On", "Someone to Die For" and "Spidey Suite."
Notes and trivia
- Otto Octavious's catchphrase – "The power of the sun – in the palm of my hand" is strikingly close to a slogan for a handheld gaming device called Pixter – "The power of Pixter in the palm of my hand."
- Throughout the whole movie, the only points when Otto Octavius is called 'Doc Ock' or 'Doctor Octopus' are only when Jonah Jameson suggests the names at the Daily Bugle, and in the final battle at the docks, where Spider-Man calls him "Ock." One of the suggested names is Doctor Strange, which is Steve Ditko's other major co-creation for Marvel Comics.
- Spider-Man creator Stan Lee makes yet another cameo appearance (as he did in Spider-Man) during Spidey's first battle with Doc Ock at the side of building walls.
- Actor Bruce Campbell also makes another cameo as the usher who won't let Peter into Mary Jane's play.
- Voice actor Phil LaMarr makes a cameo as an extra. He is the man in the far right during the scene where Spider-Man stops the train.
- Tobey Maguire is a vegetarian. In the scene where Parker watches police cars go by, he is actually eating a tofu hot dog.
- Before Spider-Man 2 was even released, it was announced that Spider-Man 3 would be released in 2007. Reports claim that the studio hopes to make at least six films.
- A hospital scene in which the removal of Octavius' tentacles is attempted likely contains allusions to scenes in Raimi's earler Evil Dead films.
- Spider-Man 2 is the first movie to be released in UMD format for the PSP. The first one million copies of the US PSP included the movie free.