Summaries

Spider-Man (2002)

Film and Plot Synopsis

The greatest superhero of all time, Spider-Man, comes to big screen for the first time. Peter Parker is shy, studious high school student who is secretly in love with the girl next door, Mary Jane Watson. However, when he gets super powers after being bitten by a radioactive spider, Peter’s world turns up down. With his new powers, Peter potentially has the world by a string. But when tragedy strikes, Peter learns that with great power comes great responsibility and takes up the identity of Spider-Man.

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‘Spider-Man’ Movie Summary

The summary below contains spoilers.
Spider-Man (2002)In Spider-Man, Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) is a shy, studious senior at Midtown High School. He visits a genetics laboratory with his best friend Harry Osborn (James Franco) and his next door neighbor and secret crush Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst). Peter is bitten by a genetically engineered spider while at the exhibit. When Peter returns home, he feels sick and collapses unconscious on his bed. The next morning, Peter wakes to discover that he no longer needs his glasses and that he has gained muscle mass seemingly overnight. He discovers that he can shoot webs out of his wrists and has quickened reflexes when he gets into an altercation with bully Flash Thompson (Joe Manganiello) at school. Peter also discovers that he has increased speed and strength, the ability to stick to surfaces, and a heightened ability to sense danger.

Meanwhile, Norman Osborn (Willem Dafoe), Harry’s father and the owner of Oscorp, attempts to acquire an important and lucrative Defense Department contract. The military is not impressed with Osborn’s projects and indicates that it might give the contract to someone else. Desperate, Osborn uses an experimental drug on himself in the hope that it will give him enhanced strength. The performance enhancing chemical works, but it also drives Osborn insane. Osborn lashes out and kills his assistant and begins enhancing the designs he made for the military into a costume and weaponry.

Meanwhile, Peter is enjoying his new abilities. However, the abilities are also making him arrogant. Peter’s adoptive father, Uncle Ben (Cliff Robertson), tries to talk some sense into Peter and tells him that “with great power comes great responsibility.” Peter ignores his uncle’s advice and proceeds to try to impress Mary Jane. Peter wants to get a car and enters an amateur wrestling tournament to raise the money he needs. He wins his match against Bonesaw McGraw (Randy “Macho Man” Savage), but the wrestling promoter cheats him on his earnings. When a thief robs the promoter’s office, Peter allows the thief to escape rather than stop him.

Peter leaves the promoter’s office and goes to meet his uncle who believes he is studying at the library. However, Peter learns that his uncle is a victim of a violent carjacking and has been shot during the robbery. Uncle Ben dies in Peter’s arms. Peter pursues the carjacker to an abandoned warehouse. He subdues the carjacker and learns that it is the thief who he failed to stop at the promoter’s office. The thief, who is startled by Peter’s identity and abilities, trips and falls out a window to his death. Peter looks at the body and realizes that the killer’s death brings him no satisfaction. That same night, Osborn, disguised as the Green Goblin attacks a military demonstration by Quest Aerospace, Oscorp’s corporate rival. The Goblin kills several people during the attack.

Peter continues to feel guilty for his uncle’s death even after he graduates from high school. He decides to make a costume and fight crime as Spider-Man. Peter gets a job at the Daily Bugle newspaper working for J. Jonah Jameson (J. K. Simmons), who hates Spider-Man. Peter is able to take pictures of himself and sells them to the publisher.

Shortly thereafter, Osborn learns that the Oscorp’s board plans to force him out as CEO due to his continued instability and the company’s financial downturn. The board plans on selling to Quest. Osborn as the Goblin, kills the entire board at the World Unity Fair. During the attack, Mary Jane is almost killed as well when she is knocked from a ledge after attending the Fair as Harry’s date. Spider-Man arrives and defeats the Goblin and saves Mary Jane.
A few days later, Spider-Man intervenes in a building fire and tries to save its inhabitants. Spider-Man learns that the Goblin started the fire in order to get Spider-Man’s attention. The Goblin offers Spider-Man a place at his side, but Spider-Man refuses. The super powered beings fight, and Spider-Man is injured by one of the Goblin’s blades on his arm. Spider-Man is able to survive the encounter.

At Thanksgiving dinner, Peter’s Aunt May (Rosemary Harris) invites Mary Jane, Harry, and Osborn to Peter’s apartment for dinner. During the dinner, Osborn notices the cut on Peter’s arm and realizes Spider-Man’s secret identity. Later that night, the Goblin attacks May at her home and she is hospitalized.

Meanwhile, Mary Jane reveals to Peter than she has feelings for Spider-Man and asks Peter, since he takes photos of the web-slinger, if he ever asks about her. Harry sees Peter and Mary Jane having an intimate conversation and mistakenly believes that Mary Jane has feelings for Peter. Harry returns to his father’s home and tells Osborn that Peter loves Mary Jane. Osborn formulates a new plan to get a Spider-Man with this new information.

Osborn kidnaps Mary Jane and takes her to the top of the Queensboro Bridge. When Spider-Man arrives, he makes Peter choose between saving Mary Jane and a tram car full of children. He drops both from the top of the bridge. Spider-Man saves both to the Goblin’s chagrin. The Goblin grabs Spider-Man while he is vulnerable and throws him into an abandon building. The Goblin is severely beating Spider-Man until Osborn threatens to kill Mary Jane which pushes Peter over the edge. Spider-Man overpowers the Goblin, but when he is nearly beaten, he reveals his true identity to Peter. The Goblin begs for forgiveness from Peter while he really is trying to maneuver his Goblin glider into place to spear Spider-Man in the back. Peter’s spider-sense alerts him to danger and he leaps out of the way. The glider impales Osborn instead. Osborn makes a dying request for Peter to not tell Harry the truth about him.

Spider-Man removes the Goblin’s costume and weaponry and takes Osborn’s body back to his home. Harry sees Spider-Man standing over his father’s dead body and mistakenly believes that the wall crawler killed him. A few days later at Osborn’s funeral, Harry swears vengeance against Spider-Man for the death of his father. At the same time, he tells Peter that he is the only family he has left, not realizing Peter’s dual nature. Mary Jane confesses to Peter that she is in love with him, but Peter lies and tells her that he doesn’t share her feelings in fear that she will constantly be in danger from Spider-Man’s enemies. Peter turns away from Mary Jane and recall’s Uncle Ben’s words and accepts his fate and responsibility as Spider-Man.

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