Marvel's Spider-Man II is a 2008 Marvel Comics film directed by Sam Raimi, co-produced by Kevin Feige, Amy Pascal and Marvel Studios, with a screenplay penned by Alvin Sargent, John Francis Daley and David Koepp. Spider-Man II is the sequel to 2006's Spider-Man, and is the second installation in Marvel's Spider-Man shared universe franchise.
The film stars Logan Lerman as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, along with Michael Shannon, Julianne Hough, Lilly Collins, Alex Pettyfer, Jason Isaacs and JK Simmons. Following his debut as the Spider-Man and defeating the Vulture, Peter Parker struggles to balance his life as Spider-Man and as an ordinary high school student, however, he realizes that not all things are fun and games being the hero, as he is forced the tragic Curt Connors, who transforms into the monstrous Lizard. This movie goes through the notions of Peter opening up to everyone and learning to cooperate with others, fearing that he will be responsible for the deaths of his loved ones, if he involves them in his dangerous life. The film received generally positive reviews, praised for it's action sequences, the antagonist played by Michael Shannon, and with the chemistry of Peter between Gwen and MJ, although it was criticized for being too surreal at times and being more shallow than the previous installment. The movie has a runtime of 145 minutes.
The film opens up six years ago, a war veteran and scientist, Dr. Curtis Connors, who decides to participate in the War in Iraq, where he witnesses his fellow soldiers getting shot in cold blood. The use of his arm eventually decays after he is hit with the force of a bomb, and later, an enemy soldier cuts off his arm, and right before he can be killed, American soldiers arrive to shoot down the enemy forces and rescue him. A quick cut; we jump back to America, where we see a washed down, Curtis Connors, denied his pension, and trying to indulge himself in the sciences in his job at Oscorp, ultimately, his post traumatic stress disorder causes the separation of him and his wife and child. He starts to break down in tears and knock everything out of his path, until he stumbles down towards a wall, where he sees a lizard crawling.
Cut, intro, and begin again! A year has passed since the events of the film. In the opening scene of the film, Spider-Man stops a bank robbery attempted by Wilson Fisk's goons, but in the process, he gets shot. He returns home, to recuperate from his wounds. It is revealed that he and Gwen got into a big fight over Peter constantly missing projects and not spending enough time with her and his other friends. Aunt May constantly pesters Peter over taking up the offer of having a date with their next door neighbor, Anna May's niece. Peter rejects the offer, which becomes a running joke for the first half of the movie. Peter also has a panic attack, and he starts to have anxieties about May and his friends discovering his identity, fearing that they might get into trouble because of his crimefighting.
Meanwhile, Peter Parker has started to keep tabs on Norman Osborn following the feud from the previous film, however, he sees no signs of suspicious activities. At an awkward dinner's at Harry and Norman's mansion, along with aunt May, Curt Connors, Gwen and her father, Captain George Stacy of the NYPD, Osborn reveals that Curt has become the head of the Horizons Laboratories, a small Oscorp genetics research division, in Manhattan, New York, and asks whether Peter and Gwen would like to intern him. They both reluctantly agree, upon their respective guardian's advice. Norman pulls Connors to a corner and asks whether his research has been finished or not, Connors says no, and Osborn tells him that he will pull the fundings if the research does not show any form of success.
The following day, Peter and Gwen awkwardly reunite in Horizons Lab, where they build a mentor-student relationship with Curtis, who shows them his research on cross-species genetics and how he hopes to combine it with the human dna to create the perfect, evolved human being. They spend the whole day with Connors and get closer to him, and he reveals to them about his situation with his family. They encourage him to call his wife and child. Peter and Gwen help Curtis reach a level of success through some electrolysis trials, and they get into another argument, when both of them try to reconcile with each other, but they both fail miserably and do the very opposite. After the two leave, Curtis tries to communicate with his wife and child, but they don't reply to him. Trying to avoid his sadness at all costs, he absorbs himself in the cross species experiments once again, but his colleague, Miles Warrens, starts to pester him over budgetary costs, ultimately he reaches his split personality, his dark side, and injects Miles with the serum, who apparently dies. Once again returning to his base personality, Connors is terrified, and with no options left, he dumps him in a lake far by, and destroys all surveilance footage.
After some stressful school hours, Peter suits up as Spider-Man and patrols the streets when he encounters a grotesque, 'jackal-like' creature, who nearly kills him. Their fight shifts to the subway train, back up again, to a construction site, before he lures the creature into a concrete crusher, shredding it into pieces. Disgusted yet absolutely confused by the existence of such a creature, Peter waits for George Stacy and the police to arrive. The Forensics Division eventually come too and he steals one of their test tubes and collects some dna samples.
Peter finally agrees to go out on that date with Mary Jane during the trisemester fall annual, and meets Mary Jane Watson for the first time (along with that classic door open jawdrop quote). The two quickly befriend each other, and Peter nearly falls for her, but rather than doing so, they end up talking about Gwen and Peter tells to MJ that he realized that he loves Gwen. MJ gives her advice on how to talk to her, and Peter and MJ befriend each other very quickly. At the end of the night, Peter tries to talk to Gwen and help her 'investigate some samples of ooze that he picked up during the day' (referring to Jackal). Gwen agrees, and the two analyze it to find it to be a mismash of genetic materials, right between the human-animalistic chromosomes. Peter tries to make a move on Gwen yet again, but fails miserably once again, and Gwen declares that destiny is trying to stop them from being together (ironic, you'll see in a later film). Peter and Gwen realize that Connor's research is dangerously close to this and they decide to investigate.
Norman and Connors talk again, and Connors lies about using the budget for human trials proceedings, however, he actually wasted it on drugs to take his mind out of the crime he did. Norman intimidates and threatens Norman that he has been working on this for five years, with additional years before his participation in the war, and that if Connors isn't ready for his demonstration by the week, he'll make sure to make him pay for wasting his money and time. Connors becomes desperate and uses a modified version of the cross species genetics serum into himself, this time extracting the genetic makeup of a lizard with more efficiency. His hand regenerates, but he quickly turns into a giant lizard creature. He tries to control himself, but finds himself leading to Peter's school, which his brain subconsciously brought him to, actually wanting to ask for help, but only going berserk. Midtown High is attacked by the Lizard, and Peter battles the Lizard, now sure that Connors is indeed the reason why a Jackal creature was present and the perpetrator. The fight diverts to the sewers and back to the school again, before the police authorities arrive. Curt escapes after being shot numerous times. An injured Gwen discovers Peter's true identity. Horrified, Peter tries to hide it, but Gwen now knows the truth. George Stacy has become vigilant of Spider-Man after seeing him and the Lizard fight with Gwen in the middle of it.
Curt retreats to the sewers, where his monstrous personality manifests and starts to take over his split dark personality. He goes to his wife and child's house, where they are terrified to see him. Horrified, Curt's maniacal alter ego manifests once again, and he escapes, believing that the world does not accept disabled people like him, the reason why his wife left him, the fact that the world despites ugly beings causes Curt to decide that he will make everyone feel the same as he does, and make everyone feel the pain he does. J. Jonah Jameson prints a propaganda article on Spider-Man, claiming that Spider-Man might be involved with the series of grotesque monstrous appearances. Norman realizes that it is Curt who is the Lizard and tries to shut down the lab but also take the other batch of cross species serums, Spider-Man arrives in time, wanting to burn down the facility before any threat appears again. The Lizard arrives as well. A three-way battle begins, and an all-out crazed Norman Osborn and his minions (who shows his power-loving and pain-loving side for the first time in full notion) aids Spider-Man into battling the Lizard, who has evolved. The facility starts to burn down. Norman escapes with two cartons of the cross species serum, while Spider-Man is defeated. The Lizard escapes with the rest of the cross species ingredients.
Peter narrowly escapes the facility before it explodes. He recuperates his wounds at Gwen's house, and they kiss, however, Peter quickly takes it back, stating that the horrible experiences he has faced will not also be a regularity of Gwen, who states that it does not matter, as long as she is with him, everything will be fine. As Spidey, Peter's Spider-Sense is ticking furiously, and he convinces George Stacy, who despises him, to surround perimeters around subways and tunnels, where the Lizard might be. They wait for the Lizard to strike for forty two hours, as they prepare for attack. Curt, now fully under the influence of his maniacal alter-ego, infiltrates another Oscorp division, and kills all the employees to steal some equipment. The Lizard unleashes gas-compressed versions of the cross species serums, and a lot of people are infected and transform into green monstrous like creatures. The police and the uncontrollable creatures riot. Peter realizes that he must overcome his stubborn attitude and decides to team up with the police to restore order and balance.
Manhattan is locked down by a barrier and Gwen confronts Norman Osborn to cook up an antidote against the cross species alterations. Their building is also attacked by the monstrosities but Harry Osborn defends them while they cook up a formula. Peter realizes that his house must have been attacked too, knowing that Connors knows about May. He rushes there, to see Mary Jane fending off some lizard-like creatures. He is knocked down, MJ helps him neutralize the monsters. Norman and Gwen successfully develop a synthesis of the antidote and Gwen tells Peter to come to the Oscorp Tower. Spidey goes there and is intervened by the Lizard, who is planning to release a chemical gas, containing the Lizard formula, to plague humanity of it's weaknesses. The chemical cloud is to be activated, but George Stacy arrives, aiding Peter to get the antidote formula up to the dispenser. George is impaled by the Lizard, and Spider-Man disperses the antidote cloud just in the nick of time before everything goes haywire. Curt is killed by the antidote dispersion, albeit, tragically, in his true and insecure personality.
George Stacy realizes Peter is Spider-Man and tells Peter to love Gwen, and keep her out of his dangerous activities. Norman Osborn is forced to dunk his cargo of cross species formulas, but he keeps one to himself. At Stacy's funeral, Peter breaks up with Gwen, believing that he was right when he thought that involving his loved ones would mean their very demise. However, Peter revisits a flashback of a conversation that he and Uncle Ben which was shown at the beginning of the movie, about being with family no matter what. Peter decides to take responsibility for what happens, and takes MJ's advice yet again, and decides to reconcile with her, but ultimately, as he is about to call her and try to reconcile with her, he decides that she needs time to get over her father's death, and ultimately decides to call his plan of reconcilation. He suits up as Spider-Man and swings over the city while a somber music plays in the background.
- Logan Lerman as Peter Parker/Spider-Man
- Michael Shannon as The Lizard
- Jason Isaacs as Norman Osborn
- Julianne Hough as Gwen Stacy
- Mark Harmon as Captain George Stacy
- Alex Pettyfer as Harry Osborn
- Marisa Tomei as May Parker
- JK Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson
- Zooey Deschanel as Betty Brant
- Brooke Shields as Anna May Watson
- David Cross as Miles Warren
- Stan Lee as janitor (cameo)