Peter Parker cannot seem to catch any kind of break. Being Spider-Man has brought him nothing but problems as far as his personal life is concerned.
Mary Jane Watson is engaged to astronaut John Jameson, and Peter may lose her forever. Things are so bad for him that he is pushed past his breaking point, so he decides that he doesn't want to be Spider-Man anymore, until a freak accident transforms Dr. Otto Octavius into Dr. Octopus, a super-villain with four metal tentacles protruding from his torso.
Peter realises that only Spider-Man can stop him but, of course, problems arise.
Mary Jane gets caught in the middle, and Harry Osborn, who still blames the web-slinger for the death of his father Norman Osborn, also the Green Goblin, wants him dead.
Spider-Man will have to push himself past his limits if he's going to survive....
Easily the best of the franchise, Spider-Man 2 also raises the benchmark in Marvel movies, this being the character driven and empathetic. What make it work is the way Raimi harnesses all of the characters stories, and how he doesn't let them spiral out of control, is amazing.
There is so much going on in this film, that it demands to be seen at least two times. Once as the blockbuster action-fest you want, and the other as a character study.
It's a lot of fun too. From Raimis trademark POV use of camera-work when Octavius first kills, to the obligatory Campbell Cameo, the film works on many levels.
Maguire is much better this time around, having less of the rabbit in the headlight face, and just getting on with it.
But Franco is really the main draw out of the regular cast. His dark side emanates evil whenever something goes wrong, and you can see that he will be a foe who causes great difficulty to Parker.
It's one of the best sequels to a summer movie, and it's a great film to boot also.