Spider-Man Battles Doc Ock in Spider-Man 2

Jul 2, 2004 (Updated May 4, 2007)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Cast, story, effects, Doc Ock. Everything really.

Cons:Rude people in the theater.

The Bottom Line: Spider-Man 2 is absolutely amazing. People who liked the first movie, and fans of the comics should go see this movie. This is a movie to see in the theater.

I really enjoyed Spider-Man and I’ve been looking forward to seeing Spider-Man 2 for a long time now. The first preview I saw for it was very short and didn’t show a lot, but it made me want to see the movie even more. I wanted to go on opening day, but I wasn’t able to. I did make it on the second day, after I watched the first movie again.

When discussing some things about Spider-Man 2, I will mention a few things that happened in the first movie and that will be spoilers for that movie. Read with caution if you haven’t seen that movie yet. I do think that people should see Spider-Man before seeing Spider-Man 2.

The life of a super hero wasn’t easy for Peter Parker. He helped people and captured criminals whenever he could. Doing that didn’t pay his bills though, so Peter had a job delivering pizzas that he lost for being late one too many times. He was also missing some of his college classes and one of his instructors, Dr. Connors, warned him he was in danger of failing. Peter was working on a research paper on Dr. Otto Octavius, who happened to be a friend of Dr. Connors. Peter no longer lived with Harry, and the two didn’t see each other that often anymore. Harry was obsessed with finding Spider-Man and making him pay for Norman’s death. Peter was living in a very small, run down apartment, and he was behind on the rent on it. He still sold some pictures of Spider-Man to J. Jonah Jameson. Peter had trouble with his abilities at different times, which reinforced his thoughts of giving up being Spider-Man and living a normal life again.

Peter still loved Mary Jane, but he hadn’t seen in her a long time either. He was still convinced it would be too dangerous for them to be together. Mary Jane’s picture was plastered all over the city on billboards for a perfume and she was acting in an off Broadway production of The Importance of Being Ernest. Peter didn’t make it to the show on time, and the usher refused to let him enter. After the show, he saw Mary Jane leave with another man. A little later Peter learned that Mary Jane was dating John Jameson, an astronaut and son of J. Jonah Jameson.

Otto was working on a fusion experiment for Ozcorp. Harry was running the company and looking to Otto to make the company a fortune. Harry arranged for Peter to meet Otto. The two got along well, and Peter also met Otto’s wife Rosalie. The two were very much in love. During the demonstration, Otto revealed four robotic arms that he used during the experiment. The arms were linked to Otto’s brain so he could control them. The arms were very advanced, so he also included a special chip that would make sure he remained in complete control of the arms. Things went wrong during the experiment and something happened to Rosalie. The arms were fused to his body and the special chip was destroyed. He wasn’t the same anymore, though he decided to continue his work. He made an agreement with Harry to get something for the experiment in exchange for Spider-Man.


Tobey Maguire - Peter Parker/Spider-Man
Kirsten Dunst - Mary Jane Watson
James Franco - Harry Osborne
Alfred Molina - Dr. Otto Octavius/Doc Ock
Rosemary Harris - Aunt May
J.K. Simmons - J. Jonas Jameson
Donna Murphy - Rosalie Octavius
Daniel Gillies - John Jameson
Dylan Baker - Dr. Curt Conners

Sam Raimi - Director

Spider-Man 2 was released on June 30, 2004. The movie has already broken some box office records. It was rated PG-13 and 127 minutes long. I don’t think this is a movie for young children. There were a few in the theater when I saw the movie, and they were very bored when there wasn’t any action going on. The movie is based on the comic book and characters created by Stan Lee.

Spider-Man 2 picked up a while after the end of the first movie. There was a bit of a recap of the major events from the first movie provided during the opening credits. I like how that was done. At one point, it was mentioned that it had been two years since Ben’s death. Several characters returned from the first movie. Some like J. Jonah Jameson weren’t around too much in either movie. It seemed like Harry wasn’t around as much since he and Peter had grown apart. Mary Jane was a bit more important in this movie. I think Aunt May also had a few more scenes this time. Since several characters returned, it wasn’t necessary to spend as much time setting things up or introducing new characters. Doc Ock was the only new character that had a lot of screen time. He was a complex, well developed character.

Since there wasn’t a need to set up and explain everything like there was in the first movie, Spider-Man 2 was able to get to the story and action a bit quicker. A big part of the movie this time was how Peter was struggling with the reality of being a super hero. People in the city did like him, but some considered him to be a criminal because of the way he was portrayed in the press. He did a lot of good as Spider-Man, but that didn’t pay his bills. He felt like he couldn’t be close to anyone because that would put them in danger. Peter was still struggling with guilt over the deaths of Ben and Norman. I have read some things about the movie that complained about some of what Peter was having to go through. I think that made the movie seem more realistic. When you really stop and think about it, being a super hero wouldn’t be great all the time, especially with some of what was related to Peter’s situation. It would be really tough to have to keep such a big part of your life secret all the time. I wasn’t bothered by Peter’s struggle with being a super hero. That made the movie richer and more than just a mindless action movie.

There was a lot of action in Spider-Man 2. The action sequences were very well done. Spider-Man was again swinging through the sky. I think those scenes looked a bit more natural this time. Spider-Man caught criminals at different times during the movie. He rescued people, including Aunt May and Mary Jane. He fought Doc Ock in some very impressive fight scenes. They had one fight on top of a moving elevated train. There were some explosions. I thought there was enough action in the movie to keep things interesting. There were some more serious and emotional scenes in the movie as well. Those scenes were a little slower, but that didn’t bother me. Some people could be bored by those parts, especially if they are just looking for nonstop mindless action. There was a bit of violence during the fights, as well as during the scene when Doc Ock first woke up after his accident, but those parts weren’t too extreme. I didn’t think that the movie that violent overall.

Special effects were important for Spider-Man 2 like they were in the first movie. CGI effects were used to show Spider-Man swinging through the sky. I think those effects did look a bit better in this movie. I know that some of the backgrounds for different scenes were created using computers from some things I’ve read about this movie, but those parts blended in well. I’m not sure exactly what kind of effects were done for Doc Ock, but I think that his robotic arms were CGI. I don’t know for sure though. Special effects were necessary for this movie, like they were in the first.

I watched a Spider-Man cartoon all the time when I was little. I have a few of the comic books, but not to many. I know some things about the characters, but not as much as die hard fans would. I do know in the comics that Peter and Mary Jane had a complicated relationship. I don’t know if she ever dated John Jameson though. I don’t remember anything like that. Aunt May turned up in the comics and the cartoon, though I don’t think she had to deal with the situation that she had in the movie. I don’t remember Harry at all. I do remember Doc Ock, but not how he ended up that way. I figure that things were different from the comics since things are always changed around some when movies are based on books. Some things that happened in the movie were predictable - I think I’ve yet to see an experiment go right in a movie based on a comic - but there were other things that I didn’t expect. There were a few scenes in the movie that hinted at things to come in the next movie.

Peter Parker/Spider-Man was the main character. He had been well developed in the first movie. His development continued in this movie. He is a complex character, full of doubts like a normal person. That makes him more realistic to me. Harry returned, though he and Peter weren’t as close as they once were. Harry didn’t have a major part in this movie, but he was still developed well. He was obsessed with finding Spider-Man and avenging his father’s death even though his relationship with his dad wasn’t always the best. He seemed ok when he first turned up, but as the movie progressed, he seemed to slip further into his obsession and even start to descend into madness. Mary Jane seemed to be around more often. She also grew over the course of the movie. She was acting in a play, which was her dream, and even doing some modeling, but she was troubled by things. She was even more conflicted about her emotions in this movie. Aunt May didn’t have too many scenes, but she was a full character too. She had her own set of problems she was trying to deal with.

Otto Octavius/Doc Ock was the main new character added to Spider-Man 2. He was a very complex man. When he and Peter first met, Otto was a kind, intelligent man. He was doing his experiments with fusion to try to find an alternate energy source to help people. He believed in using his intelligence to do what he could to help others. He was also deeply in love with his wife Rosalie, and she returned his feelings. The two only had a few short scenes together, but it was clear how they felt about each other. When the experiment didn’t go right, what happened to Rosalie along with the problem with the robotic arms radically changed Otto. He was going to do the experiment again, and he wasn’t going to let anything stop him. He was violent at times. I really liked this character. I liked him better than Norman/Green Goblin. Before his accident, Norman was already obsessed with keeping his company running and did seem to have some anger issues a few times. The accident just made that part of Norman worse. He was a decent bad guy, but I just liked Doc Ock better. Otto had an accident as well, but his personality change was more complete. I think he just looked cooler with those robotic arms than the Green Goblin did with that strange helmet.

John, the man Mary Jane was dating, wasn’t in too many scenes at all and he really wasn’t developed. Most of the characters in the movie are well rounded and have depth to them, which doesn’t happen too often in movies that are marketed to be blockbuster summer movies. Usually those movies go for the action and special effects, and the characters suffer, and end up being flat, one-dimensional characters. I have seen and enjoyed many movies like that, but the fact that the characters in this movie were developed so much made the movie that much better. It gave the movie a heart.

I thought that the acting in Spider-Man 2 was good. Tobey Maguire has become Spider-Man now. He does well with the part. I’ve never been overly fond of Kirsten Dunst, but she did really well in this movie. Mary Jane had a lot of emotional scenes, and Dunst did very well with them. I could tell how conflicted Mary Jane was about some things because of her expressions. I think she did better in this movie. For the people who enjoyed seeing her in the very wet shirt in the first movie, there was a scene in this movie where Mary Jane was wet, and the top of her dress was clinging. It wasn’t as noticeable this time, but it was there. James Franco did really well as Harry. The character had some mood swings, and Franco was believable with those parts. J. K. Simmons didn’t have too much to do in this movie, though he may have been around in a few more scenes. He fits the part perfectly. I thought that Alfred Molina was wonderful as Otto. I think he gave the best performance in the movie. He made Doc Ock one of the best movie villains ever. He wasn’t over the top like Willem Dafoe was as the Green Goblin. Willem Dafoe did make a brief appearance in some sort of vision Harry had. Cliff Robertson made a similar appearance in a vision Peter had.


Peter Parker/Spider-Man - He was juggling being a super hero with going to college and working. He had problems that regular people had in addition to problems related with being Spider-Man. He was conflicted about what he chose to do with his life.

Mary Jane Watson - She was now an actress and modeled for a perfume ad. She had feelings for Peter but she was tired of him letting her down. She was dating someone else.

Harry Osborne - He had been Peter’s best friend but the two grew apart. Harry was running Ozcorp, the company his father started. Harry was focused on finding Spider-Man and getting revenge for his father’s death. Harry was having mood swings and drinking more.

May - Peter’s aunt. She was a kind woman. She still missed her husband Ben. She was having some problems that she didn’t share with Peter at first. She worried about her nephew a lot.

Dr. Otto Octavius/Doc Ock - He was a very intelligent scientist working on an experiment with fusion. He was kind and believed he should use his knowledge to help people. He saw it as a gift. He changed greatly after an experiment didn’t go right.

J. Jonah Jameson - He was the editor of the Daily Bugle.

John Jameson - Astronaut that Mary Jane was dating.

I loved Spider-Man 2. I wouldn’t hesitate to get see it again and I will be getting the DVD. I do think I was surrounded by the rudest group of people I’ve had the misfortune to sit near during a movie, but even they didn’t stop me from enjoying the movie. People who liked the first movie should go see this one. This is a movie to go see at a theater. People who enjoy movies based on comic books should like this one. I think this is the best movie I’ve ever seen that was based on comic book characters. It is already one of my favorite super hero movies, along with the first movie and the X-Men movies.

Spider-Man Reviews
Spider-Man ~ Spider-Man 3 ~ The Amazing Spider-Man: The Ultimate Guide ~

Superhero Reviews
Batman ~ Batman Returns ~ Batman Forever ~ Batman Begins ~ Batman: The Ultimate Guide to The Dark Knight ~ Elektra ~ Fantastic Four ~ The Incredibles ~ Lois & Clark: The Complete First Season ~ Sky High ~ Superman Returns ~ Superman: The Ultimate Guide to the Man of Steel ~ X-Men ~ X2: X-Men United ~ X-Men: The Last Stand ~ X-Men: The Legend of Wolverine ~ Ultimate X-Men ~

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