Spider-Man 2 (2004) - Rotten Tomatoes

Spider-Man 22004

Spider-Man 2 (2004)



Critic Consensus: Boasting an entertaining villain and deeper emotional focus, this is a nimble sequel that improves upon the original.

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Movie Info

Stan Lee's all-too-human superhero returns to the screen in this highly anticipated sequel to 2002's blockbuster hit Spider-Man. Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) is attempting to juggle college classes and his job as a photographer with the Daily Bugle while maintaining his secret life as costumed crime-fighter Spider-Man. Parker is also struggling to hold on to his relationship with Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst), who is beginning to enjoy success as a model and actress, and both Mary Jane and Peter have noticed he's beginning to buckle under the strain. Parker's friendship with Harry Osborn (James Franco) is also beginning to fray due to Peter's seeming alliance with Spider-Man, whom Harry blames for the death of his father, the nefarious Norman Osborn. As Parker weighs his responsibilities to himself and those around him against the obligations that come with his special powers, Spider-Man is faced with a new nemesis -- Dr. Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina), a deranged scientist whose latest project has turned him into the near-invincible cyborg Doctor Octopus. Spider-Man 2 was directed by Sam Raimi, who helmed the first film, and much of the original cast has also reunited for this sequel, including Rosemary Harris, J.K. Simmons, and Bruce Campbell. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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Tobey Maguire
as Peter Parker/Spider-Man
Kirsten Dunst
as Mary Jane Watson
James Franco
as Harry Osborn
Alfred Molina
as Dr. Otto Octavius/Doc Ock
Donna Murphy
as Rosalie Octavius
J.K. Simmons
as J. Jonah Jameson
Daniel Gillies
as John Jameson
Dylan Baker
as Dr. Curt Connors
Bill Nunn
as Robbie Robertson
Aasif Mandvi
as Mr. Aziz
Cliff Robertson
as Ben Parker
Willem Dafoe
as Norman Osborn
Ted Raimi
as Hoffman
Elizabeth Banks
as Miss Brant
Gregg Edelman
as Dr. Davis
Brooke Adams
as Felicia Hardy
Elya Baskin
as Mr. Ditkovich
Hal Sparks
as Man in Elevator
Joel McHale
as Mr. Jacks
Kelly Connell
as Dr. Isaacs
Stan Lee
as Debris-Dodging Man
Brent Briscoe
as Garbage Man
Emily Deschanel
as Snooty Receptionist
Jason Fiore-Ortiz
as Henry Jackson
Scott Spiegel
as Man on Balcony
Andrew Bale
as OsCorp Executive
Christine Estabrook
as Mrs. Jameson
Molly Cheek
as Society Lady
John Paxton
as Harry's Houseman
Lou Volpe
as Man at Web
Joy Bryant
as Woman at Web
Joanne Baron
as Skeptical Scientist
Tim Jerome
as Injured Scientist
Zachry Rogers
as Boy Saved by Spider-Man
Ella Rogers
as Girl Saved by Spider-Man
Taylor Gilbert
as Mrs. Watson
Peter Vouras
as Stage Manager
Donnell Rawlings
as Pizza `Heist' Witness
Louis Lombardi
as Poker Player
Roshon Fegan
as Amazed Kid
Brendan Connor
as Theater Traffic Cop
Reed Diamond
as `Algernon'
Elyse Dinh
as Street Violinist
Tim Storms
as Chainsaw Doctor
Susie Park
as Chainsaw Nurse
Christina Della Rose
as Chainsaw Nurse
Tricia Peters
as Chainsaw Nurse
Anne Betancourt
as Woman at Fire
Venus Lam
as Child in Burning Building
Joe Virzi
as Fireman
Tom Carey
as Conductor
Jopaul Epp
as Boy with Spider-Man's Mask
Weston Ep
as Boy with Spider-Man's Mask
Peter Allas
as Train Passenger
Brianna Brown
as Train Passenger
William Calvert
as Train Passenger
Tony Campisi
as Train Passenger
Joey "Coco" Diaz
as Train Passenger
Chloe Dykstra
as Train Passenger
Simone Gordon
as Train Passenger
Dan Hicks
as Train Passenger
Janet Huege
as Train Passenger
Julia Max
as Train Passenger
Savannah Pope
as Train Passenger
Timothy Patrick Quill
as Train Passenger
Jill Sayre
as Train Passenger
Rickey G. Williams
as Train Passenger
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Critic Reviews for Spider-Man 2

All Critics (276) | Top Critics (63)

Maybe it has something to do with Sam Raimi's skills as a director, or with Tobey Maguire's very human central performance, but the Spider-Man films are by far the best of the superhero genre.

June 29, 2015 | Rating: 4/5

A sequel that not only outstrips its predecessor but has a perversity and quick-wittedness that hardly seem to belong in a comic-book movie.

June 29, 2015 | Full Review…

Spider-Man 2 is better than just dark, it's touched by authentic teenage paranoia and neurosis.

June 29, 2015

This is a better picture than the first because it makes its characters human, doesn't camp it up and refuses to believe that Kerpow! Kerching! is more than a constituent part of the proceedings.

June 29, 2015 | Full Review…

Alfred Molina makes a more baroque supervillain than Willem Dafoe's Green Goblin, but the other stars seem happy to be giving us more of the same. Sam Raimi's direction, on the other hand, is even more fluent and well paced.

August 5, 2013 | Full Review…

The web-slinging sequences are bigger-better-brighter-faster than the already spectacular ones in 2002's Spider-Man, and at the same time, the film's smaller emotional moments are denser, richer and more resonant than those in the first.

July 9, 2012 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Spider-Man 2

So after the massive success of the first film and fears about a low budget horror director taking the helm put to rest, amongst other things, we get the obligatory sequel. A second chance for another Spider-Man thriller with better effects, better sets, better costumes, better CGI...better everything, but still just a tad exactly the same as the first film. Two years on and Parker is trying to cope with his daily grind, his love for Mary Jane and of course being Spidey. Ah but wait, Peter Parker let me introduce the rather stocky Dr. Octavius and his obvious pending disaster he calls a self-sustaining fusion reaction (which he handles with large mechanical, artificially intelligent tentacles attached to his nervous system through a special chip). Before you can say 'my Spidey sense is tingling' it all goes tits up as the experiment goes, errr...tits up! A power surge disrupts the spinal chip that controls Octavius's mechanical tentacles making them sentient, which in turn start to influence Octavius. And voila! the Doc becomes a dastardly baddie hell bent on...umm doing his experiment all over again for some reason. Yep the introduction of Alfred Molina was yet another brilliant bit of casting as his performance as the calm methodical Doc Ock (along with his perfect build and looks) save the film from becoming rather mundane. Just like the first film the villain is the winning ticket and gives this adventure a shot in the arm which is so clearly required. Now I'm not saying this film was bad but the strangest thing...back in the day I always preferred this film over the original, but now the tables have turned and I find myself enjoying the original much more. I think the problem with this film is it really starts to lose its sense of semi realism and my suspension of disbelief goes right out the window. Although that being said, the sequence where doctors attempt to remove Octavius's mechanical arms from his body is actually pretty heavy on the horror factor. With the arms developing sentience they take out all the doctors in a pretty ferocious manner, its pretty dark. Raimi clearly has fun here and even manages to include a little chainsaw homage. Now I always thought Spider-Man was merely a regular guy with extra strength, speed, endurance and jumping ability, along with the few special skills of being able to climb walls and shoot gooey web stuff. But he was still able to get hurt, cut, bleed and generally die. In this film Spider-Man is virtually invincible and practically as strong as the Hulk or Superman so it seems. I mean really...he's falling from massive heights and slamming into walls and cars, he can hold up huge metal structures, lift incredible weights and stop a runaway train with his gooey web stuff and arms! Was Spider-Man always this powerful?? There are also some really silly hokey issues dotted throughout that bugged me. Doc Ock hides out in the one and only run down shack in the middle of the harbour and it stands out like a sore thumb, no one ever thought of looking there? Even when the lights were on? When Doc Ock robs the bank no one notices him just standing there right next to the vault door in his long trench coat, hat and shades looking pretty suspicious. Oh and how do you hide four giant mechanical arms under a coat? Why does the Doc go from being a decent human being into someone who would kill innocent people? I realise the tentacles are influencing him slowly but would he really kill people? Plus when the Doc goes to see Osborn for the tritium why didn't he just force Osborn to hand it over instead of agreeing to get Spider-Man in exchange for it, surely that would have been easier and saved time. How does the Doc get all that expensive equipment? I know he pinched some cash from the bank but that wouldn't cover it. Plus how was it delivered?! Didn't anyone notice all this stuff being delivered to this abandoned building in the harbour where no one goes or lives? Didn't anyone think it was odd or suspicious? And what on earth was his experiment about?? What was it for? What would it do? It just felt like an outrageously diabolical device just for the sake of being a diabolical device. If he managed to finish it then what? Would he become a good guy again? All he wanted to do was finish the experiment so its not like he was trying to do anything bad, and the experiment was suppose to be for the good of mankind right? Maybe let him do his stuff? The special effects in the film were an improvement over the first film but again looking back they still look a bit dated. Seeing Spider-Man swing through the city (but what the hell is he attached too?? its hilarious!) is looking much better but most of the shots were we see Doc Ock walking along via his four mechanical arms are really bad at times. The entire runaway subway train sequence is really dodgy looking nowadays, the fight on top of the train and seeing the Doc throw those obviously bad CGI people from the train...blimey its bad! So yes the action is bigger louder and more impressive than the first film but the CGI effects are way more obvious to me, far more hokey looking. Close up shots of Doc Ock and his arms are fantastic, the way the arms lift him up, the way the arms look...all brilliant, but the bad outweighs the good I'm afraid. There is so much dodgy CGI and bluescreen work in here, the sequence where Parker rescues the little girl from the burning building, rescuing May Parker from the Doc halfway up a skyscraper made me cringe especially, the car being chucked through the cafe window etc... Oh and why does Parker seemingly lose his Spidey powers halfway through yet gains them back again from nowhere? I realise Parker goes through something of a mental breakdown what with everything going wrong in his life, but would that cause his spidey powers to disappear? Would he really lose his abilities through sheer depression and anxiety? Surprisingly I didn't enjoy this as much as I thought I would...and I'm honesty being honest here. Molina is superb as Doc Ock and the action is deserving of kudos for the ambition, but visually it lacks quality in my opinion and there are lots more silly niggly bits that stand out to me. This sequel definitely felt more along the lines of a Schumacher Batman flick at times, its reasonable fun but the original still easily surpasses it.

Phil Hubbs
Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer

Spider-Man 2 is that extremely rare gem that manages to exceed the high qualities of its predecessor in everyway.Tobey Maguire reprises his role and maintains to present the perfect portrayal of Peter Parker. While struggling with real life and his heroic life, Parker's growing love for Mary Jane grows and flawlessly creates a strong emotional trend to this film. Alfred Molina gives audiences one of the strongest performances with a Marvel villain through his role as the notorious Doctor Octopus. From a potent script and incredible visual effects (more practical then CGI), Sam Raimi succeeds in creating an intimidating foe who is both interesting and sophisticated. Without a doubt one of the very best Marvel films to come out is cemented as my most favoured superhero film of all time.

Samuel Riley
Samuel Riley

Super Reviewer

Peter Parker begins to find the life of a super hero a rather thankless task and increasingly stressed by his inability to balance work, school and fighting crime he decides to quit being Spiderman. Unfortunately he does not count on a disastrous scientific experiment that turns an altruistic genius into a mechanically enhanced megalomaniac! Spiderman builds on a fine original and delivers all it promised and more. The action sequences are brilliantly done and even more importantly, it intelligently fleshes out the characters with humour and depth. The way Peter has to confront the pros and cons of superhero-dom is really cleverly done and it injects even more clever humour; in particular the scenes when Peter accidentally dyes his smalls with his spider suit and taking a lift when his powers fail him. It's witty, funny and exciting and everything a superhero film should be. And once more I felt sorry for anyone having to share a scene with the brilliant J. K. Simmons! One of the best hero movies out there.

xGary Xx
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

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