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Spider-Man 2 is a 2004 American superhero film directed by Sam Raimi, written by Alvin Sargent and 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 Comics character Spider-Man. It saw the return of Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker, Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane Watson and James Franco as Harry Osborn.

Set two years after the original, the film 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 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 the final sequel, Spider-Man 3.

PlotEdit

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 physics studies at Columbia University. Moreover, he has become estranged from both love interest Mary Jane and best friend Harry Osborn, and Aunt May is 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 intelligent mechanical 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 prevented the advanced AI of the arms from influencing Octavius's own mind 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 corrupt 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 Octopus or "Doc Ock". In an effort to finance his experiments, 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 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 J. Jonah Jameson's son, 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 tritium which 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. Doc Ock, having been advised by Harry that Peter was the key to finding Spider-Man, tries to attack him by throwing a car at him. Peter regains his spider-sense for a split second, grabs Mary Jane and dodges the car, but Doc Ock abducts Mary Jane in a plot to lure Spider-Man into a trap. Peter's powers fully 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. He nearly falls, but the people in the train save him and see him without his mask on. They agree to keep his identity a secret and try to protect him from Doc Ock, but fail at trying to protect him. Weak, he is captured by Doctor Octopus and delivered to Harry Osborn. Harry unmasks Spider-Man and is shocked to discover that his sworn enemy is 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 by the shock 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 illusion demands 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. She looks on in uncertainty as Spider-Man swings away.

Cast and charactersEdit

  • Tobey Maguire as 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.[1] While filming Seabiscuit in late 2002, Maguire suffered injuries to his back and Sony was faced with the possibility of recasting their lead.[2] 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.[3]
  • Alfred Molina as Dr. Otto Octavius / Doc Ock: A scientist and Peter's role model 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.[4] Raimi had been impressed by his performance in Frida and also felt he had the physicality.[5] Molina only briefly discussed the role and was not aware that he was a strong contender for the role,[6] and was excited, being a big fan of Marvel Comics.[7] 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.[8]
  • James Franco as 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 alcoholism and 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.
  • Kirsten Dunst as 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, even her abusive father, has seen it.
  • J.K. Simmons as 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. When Spider-Man returns, he takes his suit back from Jameson, who instantly reverts to his vendetta
  • Rosemary Harris as 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. Her house is threatened with foreclosure.
  • Daniel Gillies as John Jameson: The son of J. Jonah Jameson, fiancé of Mary Jane and a national hero.
  • Dylan Baker as 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 Murphy as Rosalie Octavius: Rosalie Octavius is the dedicated wife and assistant of Otto Octavius. She is killed when Octavius' experiment goes awry.
  • Willem Dafoe as 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 Hamlet haunting his son to avenge him.[9]
  • Mageina Tovah as Ursula Ditkovich: An unassuming girl next door who is the daughter of Peter's landlord.
File:Spideygivesup.jpg

Bruce Campbell cameos 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 Lee, as a man on the street who saves a woman from falling debris during a battle between Spider-Man and Doc Oc. Evil Dead II co-writer Scott Spiegel, as a man who attempts to eat some pizza Spider-Man is delivering, only to have it webbed from his hands. Joel McHale, as the teller in the bank who refuses Aunt May's loan. Hal Sparks, as the elevator passenger who has a conversation with Spidey. Comedian Donnell Rawlings, as the New Yorker who exclaims that Spider-Man stole pizza. Actor Joey Diaz, as a train passenger who tells Doctor Octopus that he has to get past him to get to Spider-Man. Actress Vanessa Ferlito, as one of Mary Jane's co-stars. Model/Actress Joy Bryant makes a cameo appearance as a spectator that witnesses Spiderman in action. Director John Landis also appears briefly as one of the doctors who operates on Doctor Octopus. Actor Johnny Tri Nguyen appears as a stunt performer.

ProductionEdit

DevelopmentEdit

File:SpiderManNoMore.jpg

Immediately after finishing Spider-Man, director Sam Raimi segued into directing a sequel.[6] In April 2002, Sony hired Alfred Gough and Miles Millar to write a script with Doctor Octopus, the Lizard and Black Cat as villains.[2] On May 8, 2002, following Spider-Man's record breaking $115 million opening weekend, Sony Pictures announced a sequel for 2004.[10] Entitled The Amazing Spider-Man, after the character's main comic book title,[11] the film was given a budget of $200 million[12] and aimed for a release date of May 7, 2004. The following month, David Koepp was added to co-write with Gough and Millar.[2]

In September 2002, Michael Chabon was hired to rewrite.[2] His draft had a younger Doc Oc, 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 Bugle put a $10 million price on Spider-Man's head, causing the city's citizens to turn against him.[13] Producer Avi Arad rejected the love triangle angle on Oc, and found Harry putting a price on Spider-Man's head unsubtle.[6]

Raimi sifted through the previous drafts by Gough, Millar, Koepp and Chabon, picking what he liked with screenwriter Alvin Sargent.[14] 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.[6] Raimi stated the story was partly influenced by Superman II, which also explored the titular hero giving up his responsibilities.[15] The story is mainly taken from The Amazing Spider-Man #50, "Spider-Man No More!" It was decided that Doc Oc 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.[6] 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.[11]

FilmingEdit

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Spider-Man 2 was shot on over 100 sets and locations, beginning with a pre-shoot on the Loop in Chicago during two days in November 2002. The crew bought a carriage, placing 16 cameras for background shots of Spider-Man and Doc Oc's train fight.[6] Principal photography began on April 12, 2003 in New York City. The crew moved on May 13 to Los Angeles,[2] shooting on 10 major sets created by production designer Neil Spisak. After the scare surrounding his back pains, Tobey Maguire relished 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.[14] Even Rosemary Harris took a turn, putting her stunt double out of work. In contrast, Alfred Molina joked that the stunt team would "trick" him into performing a stunt time and again.[6]

Filming was put on hiatus for eight weeks, in order to build Doc Oc'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,[6] evoking the cinema of Fritz Lang and the film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.[16] Filming then resumed on that set, having taken 15 weeks to build, occupying Sony's Stage 30. It was 60 by Template:Convert long, and Template:Convert high, and a quarter-scale miniature was also built for the finale as it collapses.[6] Filming was still going after Christmas 2003.[17]

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 2,400 feet (in New York) or 3,200 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.[6]

EffectsEdit

Although roughly the same, costume designer James Acheson made 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.[6]

To create 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.[18] On-set, Molina christened his co-stars "Larry", "Harry", "Moe" and "Flo", with "Flo" being the top-right tentacle.[19]

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.[18] The CG versions were scanned straight from the practical ones.[6] However, using the practical versions was always preferred to save money,[18] 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.[6]

ReceptionEdit

Box officeEdit

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.[20] In its first six days the film had grossed over $180 million[21] and eventually went on to gross $373.5 million, becoming the second-highest grossing film of 2004, behind Shrek 2. Worldwide, the film grossed $783.7 million, ranking 3rd highest-grossing film of 2004 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).[22]

Critical receptionEdit

Spider-Man 2 was critically acclaimed. Based on 231 reviews collected by Rotten Tomatoes, Spider-Man 2 has a 94% overall approval rating from critics, with an average score of 8.3 out of 10.[23] Among Rotten Tomatoes' Top Critics, which consists of popular and notable critics from the top newspapers, websites, television and radio programs,[24] the film holds an approval rating of 95%.[25] By comparison, Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, calculated an average score of 83, based on 41 reviews.[26]. The film was placed at #411 on Empire Magazine's top 500 movies of all time list and Total Film Magazine named it as the 28th greatest movie of all time on their top 100 list.

Chicago Tribune's Mark Caro stated that Alfred Molina was a "pleasingly complex" villain, and the film as a whole "improves upon its predecessor in almost every way."[27] 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."[28] 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."[29] He later called it the fourth best film of 2004."[30] 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."[31]

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.[32] 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."[33]

Awards and nominationsEdit

Spider-Man 2 won the Academy Award for Visual Effects, and was nominated for Sound and Sound Editing.[34] The film won Saturn Awards for Best Actor, Best Director, Best Fantasy Film, Best Special Effects, and Best Writer, while being nominated for Best Supporting Actor and Best Music.[35] It was nominated for two BAFTA awards for Special Visual Effects and Sound.[36] AFI listed the movie as one of the 10 best films of 2004.[37] Spider-Man 2 topped Rotten Tomatoes's list of the best-reviewed comic book movies of all time, beating out X2: X-Men United, Batman Begins and Superman.[38] In 2007, Entertainment Weekly named it the #21 greatest action movie of all time.[39]

Home mediaEdit

The film was initially released on DVD as a 2-disc special edition on November 30, 2004. It was available in full screen and widescreen, as well as a Superbit edition 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.[40] Best Buy and Future Shop also released a bonus disc with the Widescreen and Full Screen Special Editions that includes a selection of trailers and 2003's "VH1 Goes Inside Spider-Man".

An extended cut of the film, with eight minutes of new footage, was released as Spider-Man 2.1 on DVD and Blu-ray on April 17, 2007 and on October 30, 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.[41]

The film was released on the Blu-ray high definition format in October, 2007 as a part of the Spider-Man: The High Definition Trilogy box set.

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

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Template:Spider-Man in popular media Template:Marvel comics films Template:Spider-Man film series Template:Sam Raimi


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