- Spider-Man 2
name = Spider-Man 2
caption = "Spider-Man 2" theatrical poster
Avi Arad Laura Ziskin
writer = Screenplay:
Alfred Gough Miles Millar Michael Chabon
Stan Lee Steve Ditko
Tobey Maguire Kirsten Dunst James Franco Alfred Molina
Christopher Young John Debney
Columbia Pictures Sony Pictures Entertainment
released = June 30, 2004
runtime = Theatrical Cut:
country = USA
language = English
budget = $200 million
gross = $783,766,341
preceded_by = "Spider-Man"
followed_by = "
website = http://spiderman.sonypictures.com/
amg_id = 1:283387
imdb_id = 0316654
"Spider-Man 2" is a 2004 American
superhero filmdirected by Sam Raimi, written by Alvin Sargentand developed by Alfred Gough, Miles Millar, and Michael Chabon. It is the second film in the "Spider-Man" film franchise based on the fictional Marvel Comicscharacter Spider-Man. It saw the return of Tobey Maguireas Peter Parker, Kirsten Dunstas Mary Jane Watsonand James Francoas Harry Osborn.
It is set two years after the original. It 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 ( Alfred Molina), 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, and received positive reviews from critics. It grossed over $783 million worldwide, and won the Academy Award for Visual Effects. The film's success led to another sequel, " Spider-Man 3".
The story begins two years from where the previous film ends, and 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
physicsstudies at Columbia University. Moreover, he has become estranged from both love interest Mary Jane and best friend Harry Osborn, and Aunt Mayis threatened with foreclosure.
Harry, now head of
Oscorp's research division, has invested in the research of brilliant scientist Otto Octavius, Peter's idol. To perform a sustained fusion experiment, Octavius has developed a set of artificially intelligentmechanical 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; the neural inhibitor chip which enabled him to control the arms is destroyed; and the arms are fused to his spine. Unconscious, he is taken to a hospital to have the tentacles removed, but the tentacles kill the surgeons, and he escapes. Uncontrolled, the tentacles begin to influence 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 Octopusor "Doc Ock." 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 shortly after that 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. During a party, Peter learns that M.J. is planning to marry John Jameson. He also gets into a physical altercation with Harry, who is under the influence, over his loyalty to Spider-Man; shortly after he loses his powers while web-slinging across town. Meanwhile, Doc Ock 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. Back home, after visiting Uncle Ben's grave, Aunt May is distressed by Peter's confession that he was somewhat responsible for his Uncle Ben's death. 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 tritiumwhich 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. Amidst this exchange, the two are ambushed by Doctor Octopus, who abducts Mary Jane in a ploy to lure Spider-Man into a trap. Peter's powers 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 subway train. During the battle, Doc Ock 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. Weak, he is captured by Doctor Octopus and delivered to Harry Osborn. Harry unmasks Spider-Man and is stunned to discover that his sworn enemy is also his best friend. Peter awakens and convinces Harry to reveal Octavius' whereabouts so he can rescue Mary Jane. 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 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. Mary Jane sees Peter without his mask on, but Peter tells her they can never be together, as he will always have enemies.
Across town, Harry has visions of his father, the late
Norman Osborn, in a hanging mirror. The illusiondemands 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. At the end of the film, Mary Jane leaves her wedding and finds Peter in his apartment, telling him that she has decided to be with him – despite the risks. She persuades Peter to finally let her in while accepting the need of his vows by letting him respond to a sudden call for help.
Cast and characters
Tobey Maguireas Peter Parker / Spider-Man: A superhero, a Columbia College physics student and photographer for the Daily Bugle. Juggling these separate lives means he briefly gives up his responsibilities as a superhero in a moment of adversity. When Maguire signed on to portray Spider-Man in 2000, he was given a three-film contract. [cite news | author=Michael Fleming | coauthors=Claude Brodesser | url=http://www.variety.com/article/VR1117784384.html?categoryid=13&cs=1&query=spider-man | title=Maguire spins 'Spider-Man' | publisher=Variety | date= 2000-07-31| accessdate=2007-01-22 ] While filming "Seabiscuit" in late 2002, Maguire suffered injuries to his back and Sony was faced with the possibility of recasting their lead. Negotiations arose to replace Maguire with Jake Gyllenhaal, who at the time was dating Kirsten Dunst, who portrayed Mary Jane Watson. However, Maguire recovered and was able to reprise his role, with a salary of $17 million.cite news | author = Claude Brodesser, Dana Harris | title = Tobey's tangled rep web | publisher = Variety | date = 2003-04-13| url = http://www.variety.com/index.asp?layout=story&articleid=VR1117884592&categoryid=13&cs=1 | accessdate=2007-04-30]
Alfred Molinaas Dr. Otto Octavius / Doctor Octopus: A scientist and hero of Peter's who goes insane after his failure to create a self-sustaining fusion reaction. Octavius is bonded with his handling equipment, four artificially intelligent mechanical tentacles. These convince him to carry on his dangerous experiments no matter the cost, in memory of his wife who was killed in the fusion accident. Molina was cast as Octavius in February 2003 and immediately began physical training for the role. [cite news | author = Brian Hiatt | title = Eight Arms to Hold You | publisher = Entertainment Weekly| date = 2003-02-13| url = http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,424644~10~0~spider-man2getsits,00.html | accessdate=2007-04-30] Raimi had been impressed by his performance in " Frida" and also felt he had the physicality. [cite news | author = Jeff Otto | title = Interview: Sam Raimi | publisher = IGN| date = 2004-06-29| url = http://uk.movies.ign.com/articles/527/527156p2.html | accessdate = 2007-04-30] Molina only briefly discussed the role and was not aware that he was a strong contender for the role, and was excited, being a big fan of Marvel Comics. [cite news | author = Anwar Brett | title = Alfred Molina | publisher = BBC| date = 2004-07-09| url = http://www.bbc.co.uk/films/2004/07/09/alfred_molina_spiderman_2_interview.shtml
accessdate=2007-04-30] Although he wasn't familiar with Doc Ock, Molina found one element of the comics that he wanted to maintain, and that was the character's cruel, sardonic
sense of humor. [cite news | author = Jeff Otto | title = Interview: Tobey Maguire and Alfred Molina | publisher = IGN| date = 2004-06-25| url = http://uk.movies.ign.com/articles/526/526417p1.html | accessdate=2007-04-30]
Kirsten Dunstas Mary Jane Watson: The woman Peter has loved since he was a child, yet he gave up the chance of being with her due to his obligations as a superhero. Since then, she has become a successful Broadway actress and model, and becomes engaged to John Jameson. She is angry due to Peter's failure to watch her performance in " The Importance of Being Earnest", when everybody else close to her, and even her abusive father, have seen it.
James Francoas Harry Osborn: Harry Osborn has taken his father's position as head of Oscorp. He supplies Octavius with tritium for the fusion experiment, but when it fails, Harry falls into alcoholismand a desire to kill Spider-Man, whom he believes killed his father. Harry also becomes angry at Peter, believing he will not tell him who Spider-Man is, being the supplier of his photographs to the Daily Bugle.
J.K. Simmonsas J. Jonah Jameson: J. Jonah Jameson is the miserly chief of the Daily Bugle who carries a personal vendetta against Spider-Man, whom he considers a criminal. When Spider-Man temporarily gives up, Jameson also begins to reconsider his opinion of the superhero.
Rosemary Harrisas May Parker: May Parker is the loving aunt to Peter, a widow of Ben. She blames herself for his murder, but is still unaware of the circumstances surrounding it.
Daniel Gilliesas John Jameson: The son of J. Jonah Jameson, fiancé of Mary Jane and a national hero.
Dylan Bakeras Dr. Curt Connors: Dr. Curt Connors is one of Peter's physics professors at college, who reminds him to get his work done. He is a colleague of Octavius.
Donna Murphyas Rosalie Octavius: Rosalie Octavius is the dedicated wife and assistant of Otto Octavius.
Willem Dafoeas Norman Osborn / Green Goblin: Norman returns as a hallucination of his son Harry. Dafoe came up with the idea during promotion for "Spider-Man", which he compared to King Hamlethaunting his son to avenge him. [cite news | author = Jeff Otto | title = Spidey 2 Talk | publisher = IGN| date = 2004-06-30| url = http://uk.movies.ign.com/articles/527/527428p1.html | accessdate=2007-04-30]
Mageina Tovahas Ursula Ditkovich, an unassuming girl next doorwho is the daughter of Peter's landlord. Bruce Campbellcameoed as an obnoxious usher who denies Peter access to Mary Jane's play when he is late, thus causing a rift in their relationship. Spider-Man's co-creator Stan Leecameoed as a man on the street who saves a woman from falling debris during a battle between Spider-Man and Doc Ock. " Evil Dead II" co-writer Scott Spiegelappeared as a man who attempts to eat some pizza Spider-Man is delivering, only to have it webbed from his hands. Joel McHalecameos as the teller in the bank who refuses Aunt May's loan. Hal Sparksalso cameoes as the elevatorpassenger who has a conversation with Spidey. Phil LaMarralso has a very, very small cameoas one of the trainpassengers who catches Spidey before he falls. Comedian Donnell Rawlingshas a cameo as the New Yorker who exclaims that Spider-Manstole pizza. Actor Joey Diazhas a cameo as a train passenger who tells Doctor Octopusthat he has to get past him to get to Spider-Man. Actress Vanessa Ferlitoplays one of Mary Jane's co-stars. Director John Landiscameoed as one of the doctors who operates on Doctor Octopus.
Immediately after finishing "Spider-Man", director
Sam Raimisegued into directing a sequel.cite video | title = Making the Amazing | format = DVD| publisher = Sony| year = 2004] In April 2002, Sony hired Alfred Goughand Miles Millarto write a script with Doctor Octopus, the Lizard and Black Cat as villains.cite web | author = Greg Dean Schmitz| title = Greg's Preview - Spider-Man 2 | publisher = Yahoo!| url = http://web.archive.org/web/20061225161307/http://movies.yahoo.com/shop?d=hp&cf=prev&id=1808417249&gpt=ch | accessdate = 2007-04-15] On May 8, 2002, following "Spider-Man"'s record breaking $115 million opening weekend, Sony Picturesannounced a sequel for 2004. [cite news|title=Spider-Man sequel set for 2004|publisher= BBC|date= 2002-05-08|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/film/1974457.stm|accessdate=2007-03-25] Entitled " The Amazing Spider-Man", after the character's main comic book title,cite news|author=Chris Hewitt|title=Spidey's Back|publisher=Empire|pages=79–90|date= 2004-06-25] the film was given a budget of $200 million [cite news| url=http://www.guardian.co.uk/arts/fridayreview/story/0,12102,1235533,00.html Film costs | title=Spider-Man 2 Budget | publisher=Guardian.com | date= 2002-04-30| accessdate = 2006-11-07 ] and aimed for a release date of May 7, 2004. The following month, David Koeppwas added to co-write with Gough and Millar.
In September 2002,
Michael Chabonwas hired to rewrite. His draft had a younger Doc Ock, who becomes infatuated with Mary Jane. His mechanical limbs use endorphins to counteract the pain of being attached to his body, which he enjoys. When he injures two muggers on a date, this horrifies Mary Jane and in the resulting battle with Spider-Man his tentacles are fused together, and the fusion begins to kill him. In the script, Octavius is the creator of the genetically-altered spider from the first film, and gives Peter an antidote to remove his powers: this means when Octavius is dying with his tentacles, he wants to extract Spider-Man's spine to save himself. This leads to the alliance with Harry in the final film. Beforehand, Harry and the Daily Bugleput a $10 million price on Spider-Man's head, causing the city's citizens to turn against him. [cite news | author = Jeff Vandermeer | title = Read Michael Chabon's Script for Spider-Man 2 | publisher = io9 | date = 2008-04-14| url = http://io9.com/379291/read-michael-chabons-script-for-spider+man-2 | accessdate=2008-04-14] Producer Avi Aradrejected the love triangleangle on Ock, and found Harry putting a price on Spider-Man's head unsubtle.
Raimi sifted through the previous drafts by Gough, Millar, Koepp and Chabon, picking what he liked with screenwriter
Alvin Sargent.cite news | author = Stella Papamichael | title = Sam Raimi | publisher = BBC| date = 2004-07-09| url = http://www.bbc.co.uk/films/2004/07/09/sam_raimi_spiderman_2_interview.shtml | accessdate = 2007-04-30] He felt that thematically the film had to explore Peter's conflict with his personal wants against his responsibility, exploring the positive and negatives of his chosen path, and how he ultimately decides that he can be happy as a heroic figure. Raimi stated the story was partly influenced by " Superman II", which also explored the titular hero giving up his responsibilities. [cite news | author = Brian Cronin | title = Guest Spot: Rohan Williams Interviews Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert (Part 1) | publisher = Comic Book Resources| date = 2007-11-28| url = http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2007/11/28/guest-spot-rohan-williams-interviews-sam-raimi-and-rob-tapert-part-1/ | accessdate=2007-11-28] The story is mainly taken from " The Amazing Spider-Man" #50, "Spider-Man No More!" It was decided that Doc Ock would be kept as the villain, as he was both a visually interesting villain who was a physical match for Spider-Man, and a sympathetic figure with humanity. Raimi changed much of the character's backstory however, adding the idea of Otto Octavius being a hero of Peter, and how their conflict was about trying to rescue him from his demons rather than kill him.
"Spider-Man 2" was shot on over 100 sets and locations, beginning with a pre-shoot on the Loop in
Chicagoduring two days in November 2002. The crew bought a carriage, placing 16 cameras for background shots of Spider-Man and Doc Ock's train fight. Principal photographybegan on April 12, 2003 in New York City. The crew moved on May 13 to Los Angeles, shooting on 10 major sets created by producer designer Neil Spisak. After the scare surrounding his back pains, Tobey Maguirerelished performing many of his stunts, even creating a joke of it with Raimi, creating the line "My back, my back" as Spider-Man tries to regain his powers. Even Rosemary Harristook a turn, putting her stunt double out of work. In contrast, Alfred Molinajoked that the stunt team would "trick" him into performing a stunt time and again.
Filming was put on hiatus for eight weeks, in order to build Doc Ock's pier lair. It had been Spisak's idea to use a collapsed pier as Ock's lair, reflecting an exploded version of the previous lab and representing how Octavius' life had collapsed and grown more monstrous, evoking the cinema of
Fritz Langand the film " The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari". [cite news | author = Tom Russo | title = A Bug's Life | publisher = Premiere | url = http://www.premiere.com/movienews/1704/a-bugs-life.html | accessdate=2007-05-06] Filming then resumed on that set, having taken 15 weeks to build, occupying Sony's Stage 30. It was 60 by 120 feet long, and 40 feet high, and a quarter-scale miniature was also built for the finale as it collapses. Filming was still going after Christmas2003. [cite news | author = Patrick Sauriol | title = SCOOP: SPIDER-MAN 2 reshoots this week? | publisher = Mania Movies | date = 2003-12-28| url = http://www.mania.com/40497.html | accessdate=2007-05-03] A camera system called the Spydercam was used to allow filmmakers to express more of Spider-Man's world view, at times dropping 50 stories and with shot lengths of just over 2400 feet (in New York) or 3200 feet (Los Angeles). For some shots the camera would shoot at six frames per second for a faster playback increasing the sense of speed. Shots using the Spydercam were pre-planned in digital versions of cities, and movement of the camera was controlled with motion control, making it highly cost-effective. The camera system was only used in the previous film for the final shot.
Although roughly the same, costume designer
James Achesonmade numerous subtle changes to Spider-Man's costume. The colors were made richer and bolder, the spider emblem was given more elegant lines, the eye-lenses were somewhat smaller, and the muscle suit underneath was made into pieces, to give a better sense of movement. The helmet Maguire wore under his mask was also improved, with better movement for the false jaw and magnetic eye pieces, which were easier to remove.
Doctor Octopus' mechanical tentacles, Edge FX was hired to create a corset, a metal and rubber girdle, a rubber spine and four foam rubber tentacles which were eight feet long, which altogether weighed 100 pounds. The claws of each tentacle, which were dubbed "death flowers", were controlled by a single puppeteer in a chair, to control every available form on the claw. Each tentacle was controlled by four people, who rehearsed every scene with Molina to give a natural sense of movement as if the tentacles were moving due to Octavius' muscle movement. On-set, Molina christened his co-stars "Larry", "Harry", "Moe" and "Flo", with "Flo" being the top-right tentacle.Mike Cotton. "Spider-Man 3." June 2007: p. 30–31.]
Edge FX was only hired to do scenes where Octavius carries his tentacles. CGI was used for when the tentacles carry Octavius: a twenty feet high rig held Molina to glide through his surroundings, with CG tentacles added later.cite video | title = Eight Arms To Hold You | format = DVD | publisher = Sony | year = 2004] The CG versions were scanned straight from the practical ones. However, using the practical versions was always preferred to save money, and each scene was always filmed first with Edge FX's creations to see if CGI was truly necessary. Completing the illusion, the sound designers chose not to use servo sound effects, feeling it would rob the tentacles of the sense that they were part of Octavius' body, and instead used motorcycle chains and piano wires.
Danny Elfmanreturned to compose the music for "Spider-Man 2" and described his experience on the film as miserable. [cite news | author=Clint Morris | url=http://www.moviehole.net/news/6250.html | title=Elfman speaks on Spider-Man split | publisher=Moviehole.net | date= 2005-09-13| accessdate=2006-08-19 ] Christopher Youngwas also brought on to write music for Doctor Octopus' creation and the train fight. [cite news | title = ScoreKeeper With Composer Christopher Young Re: The Challenges Of Scoring SPIDER-MAN 3, Omitted Music From The Film, And More!! | publisher = Ain't It Cool News| date = 2007-06-07| url = http://www.aintitcool.com/node/32911 | accessdate=2007-06-08]
"Spider-Man 2" opened in the United States on June 30, 2004 and grossed $40.4 million in its first day; this was the second highest opening day, after "
The Matrix Reloaded". [cite news | title = Arachnophilia at Box Office as Spidey Sets Record | publisher = Internet Movie Database| url = http://www.imdb.com/news/sb/2004-07-01#film2 | date = 2004-07-01| accessdate=2007-06-07] In its first six days the film had grossed over $180 million [cite news | title = Spidey, The Champ | publisher = Internet Movie Database| url = http://www.imdb.com/news/sb/2004-07-07#film2 | date = 2004-07-07| accessdate=2007-06-07] and eventually went on to gross $373.5 million, becoming the second-highest grossing film of 2004, behind " Shrek 2". Worldwide, the film grossed $783.8 million, ranking behind " Shrek 2" and "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban". "Spider-Man 2"'s gross is currently among the all-time top fifteen grossing films domestically (#11) and is among the top twenty-five worldwide (#24). [cite web | title = Spider-Man 2 | publisher = Box Office Mojo| url = http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=spiderman2.htm | accessdate=2007-06-07]
"Spider-Man 2" won the Academy Award for Visual Effects, and was nominated for Sound and Sound Editing. [cite web | url=http://www.oscars.org/77academyawards/nomswins.html | title=77th Academy Awards | publisher=Oscars.org | accessdate=2007-06-03] The film won
Saturn Awardsfor Best Actor, Best Director, Best Fantasy Film, Best Special Effects, and Best Writer, while being nominated for Best Supporting Actor and Best Music. [cite web | url=http://www.locusmag.com/SFAwards/Db/Saturn2005.html | title=2005 Saturn Awards | publisher=LOCUS Index | accessdate=2007-06-03] It was nominated for two BAFTA awards for Special Visual Effects and Sound. [cite web | url=http://www.bafta.org/site/webdav/site/myjahiasite/shared/import/Film_Winners_2000-present.pdf | title=BAFTA awards from 2000-present | publisher=BAFTA | format=PDF | accessdate=2007-06-03] AFI listed the movie as one of the 10 best films of 2004. [cite web | url=http://www.afi.com/tvevents/afiawards04/movies04.aspx | title=AFI MOVIES OF THE YEAR-OFFICIAL SELECTIONS | publisher=American Film Institute | accessdate=2007-06-03] "Spider-Man 2" topped Rotten Tomatoes's list of the best-reviewed comic book movies of all time, beating out "", " Batman Begins" and "Superman". [cite web | url=http://www.rottentomatoes.com/features/special/2007/comic/?r=1&mid=1133520 | title=Comix Best to Worst: The best-reviewed comic book movies of all time | publisher= Rotten Tomatoes| accessdate=2007-06-03]
The film was extremely well received; it earned a collective rating of 83 out of 100, based on 41 reviews, on
Metacritic. [cite web | url=http://www.metacritic.com/film/titles/spiderman2/ | title=Spider-Man 2 | publisher= Metacritic| accessdate=2007-05-06] Rotten Tomatoescalculated a "Certified Fresh" rating of 93%, based on 230 reviews, with a "Cream of the Crop" rating of 95%, based on 42 reviews. [cite web | url=http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/SpiderMan2-1133520/reviews.php | title=Spider-Man 2 | publisher=Rotten Tomatoes | accessdate=2007-05-06] " Chicago Tribune"'s Mark Carostated that Alfred Molina was a "pleasingly complex" villain, and the film as a whole "improves upon its predecessor in almost every way." [cite news | author= Mark Caro| url=http://metromix.chicagotribune.com/movies/mmx-040628-moviespiderman2,0,7449342.story | title=Caro reviews "Spider-Man 2" | publisher= Chicago Tribune| date= 2004-06-28| accessdate=2007-05-29] Kenneth Turan, of the " Los Angeles Times", gave the film 4 out of 5 stars, and concurred with Caro when he stated, "Doc Ock grabs this film with his quartet of sinisterly serpentine mechanical arms and refuses to let go." [cite news | author=Kenneth Turan | url=http://www.calendarlive.com/movies/reviews/cl-et-turan29jun29,2,5508627.story?coll=cl-mreview | title=Turan reviews "Spider-Man 2" | publisher=LA Times | date= 2004-06-29| accessdate=2007-05-29] Roger Ebert, who was lukewarm on the first film, called it, "The best superhero movie since the modern genre was launched with "Superman" (1978)", and praised the film for "effortlessly [combining] special effects and a human story, keeping its parallel plots alive and moving." [cite news | author= Roger Ebert| url=http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040629/REVIEWS/406300301/1023 | title=Ebert reviews "Spider-Man 2" | publisher= Chicago Sun-Times| date= 2004-06-30| accessdate=2007-05-29] He later called it the fourth best film of 2004." [cite news | author= Roger Ebert| http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20041215/COMMENTARY/41215001/1023 | title=Ebert's 10 Best Lists 1967-Present | publisher= Chicago Sun-Times| date= 2004-12-15| accessdate=2008-07-12] IGN's Richard George felt "Sam Raimi and his writing team delivered an iconic, compelling version of Spider-Man's classic foe... We almost wish there was a way to retroactively add some of these elements to the original character." [cite news | author = Richard George | title = Spider-Man in Film Volume One | publisher = IGN| date = 2007-04-19| url = http://uk.comics.ign.com/articles/782/782199p1.html | accessdate=2007-06-07]
Despite all the positive reviews, there were critics who did not care for the film.
J. Hoberman, of " The Village Voice", thought the first half of the film was "talky bordering on tiresome", with the film often stopping to showcase Raimi's idea of humor. [cite news | author= J. Hoberman| url=http://www.villagevoice.com/film/0426,hoberman2,54647,20.html | title=Depressed Superhero Battles New Nemesis and Old Neuroses | publisher= The Village Voice| date= 2004-06-28| accessdate=2007-06-03] Charles Taylor believed, "The script's miscalculation of Peter's decision feeds into the pedestrian quality of Raimi's direction and into Maguire's weightlessness... [Maguire] simply does not suggest a heroic presence", and suggested that "Dunst appears to be chafing against strictures she cannot articulate." [cite news | author=Charles Taylor | url=http://dir.salon.com/story/ent/movies/review/2004/06/30/spider_man_2/index.html | title=Taylor reviews "Spider-Man 2" | publisher= Salon.com| date= 2004-06-30| accessdate=2007-05-30]
The film was initially released on
DVDas a 2-disc special edition on November 30, 2004. It was available in full screenand widescreen, as well as a Superbitedition and in a box-set with the first film. There was also a collector's edition including a reprint of "The Amazing Spider-Man" #50. [cite news | author = Tom Woodward | title = Spider-Man 2 US - DVD R1 | url = http://www.dvdactive.com/news/releases/spider-man-23.html | publisher = DVDActive | date = 2004-09-13| accessdate=2007-06-07]
An extended cut of the film, with eight minutes of new footage, was released as "Spider-Man 2.1" on DVD on April 17, 2007. In addition to the new cut, the DVD also included new special features not on the original release, as well as a sneak preview of "
Spider-Man 3". [cite news | title = US - DVD R1 Spider-Man 2.1 | url = http://www.dvdactive.com/news/releases/spiderman-21.html | publisher = DVDActive | date = 2007-02-02| author = Tom Woodward | accessdate=2007-06-07]
* [http://spiderman.sonypictures.com/index.php Official Spider-Man Movie Network]
* [http://marvel.com/movies/Spider-Man.Spider-Man_2 Spider-Man 2 on Marvel.com]
*metacritic film|id=spiderman2|title=Spider-Man 2
*imdb title|id=0316654|title=Spider-Man 2
Box Office Leaders USA
year = 2004
date = July 4
date2 = July 11
after = I, Robot
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