The Sensational Spider-Man is the second in a trilogy of remakes based on the Sam Raimi Spider-Man films, directed by Josh Trank. It is a sequel to The Sensational Spider-Man.
Peter Parker is having difficulties balancing his life as crime fighting superhero Spider-Man and his personal life, having become estranged from his love interest, Mary Jane Watson, and best friend, Harry Osborn. Harry still blames Spider-Man for the death of his father at the end of the previous film. Peter is also falling behind on the deadlines for his job; as a photographer for the Daily Bugle newspaper.
With his father gone, Harry takes over the research division at OsCorp and chooses to fund the experiments of renowned nuclear scientist Otto Octavius. Octavius holds a public experiment involving a large fusion core, seeking to perfect fusion power. For use in the experiment, Octavius wears four mechanical arms with artificial intelligence, but also a chip which prevents them controlling him, keeping the other way around. During the demonstration, the experiment becomes highly unstable. Peter slips away and becomes Spider-Man, returning to save Harry and an unconcious Octavius. However, he is unable to save Octavius' wife, who is killed when the fusion core explodes.
MJ lands a role in a big play, her debut, but Peter repeatedly misses it. She decides to finally move on from him and becomes engaged to the son of Peter's boss, J. Jonah Jameson; John Jameson, an astronaut. Due to his emotional state, Peter's powers start to cut out and he decides to abandon the superhero life.
Peter tries to reconcile with MJ, but gets nowhere. He breaks down and confesses to Aunt May that he failed to stop the thug who ultimately killed Uncle Ben, and holds himself responsible. May forgives him and also reminds him that everyone needs a hero. J. Jonah Jameson recovers Spider-Man's previously disposed of costume and uses his newspaper to inform the public that Spider-Man is gone.
Meanwhile, the chip protecting Octavius has been destroyed by the accident and the robotic arms encourage him to complete his experiment. They also remind him that Spider-Man failed to save his wife, and he should seek revenge. Needing to finance his work, Octavius robs a bank, a robbery which May and Peter happen to be present at. In response and in conjunction with the growing crime rate in New York, Peter decides to reclaim the mantle of Spider-Man, but is forced to create a new suit. Jameson hears of the attack on the bank and nicknames the villain Doctor Octopus, or Doc Ock for short.
With his project back on track, Octopus finds that he needs tritium to complete his work. He decides to approach Harry, who tells him that he will provide him with what he needs in return for Ock bringing him Spider-Man. He tells Ock that Peter should know how to find Spider-Man. However, Harry warns Ock not to harm Peter. Ock attacks and interrogates Peter, telling where he'll be later that day and ordering Peter to tell Spider-Man. He then dissappears, but not before abducting MJ.
Peter arrives at the meeting point and a brawl ensues, during which they fall onto a passing train. The fight culminates in Ock knocking Peter out and delivering him to Harry.
Harry takes a dagger and is prepared to kill Spider-Man, but not before he unmasks him and is shocked to find Peter under the mask. Peter persuades Harry to give up Ock's location so he can save MJ. Harry informs Peter of his makeshift labratory, set up in a waterfront warehouse.
Peter arrives and tries to discreetly free MJ, who is tied up, but is detected by Ock and they engage in a final showdown. At the same time, the reactor once again becomes highly unstable and dangerous. Peter and Ock fall through the floor into the water where Peter is unmasked in front of both Ock and MJ. Peter reminds him of a talk they had early, before the accident; to give up one's own ambitions for the greater good. Ock agrees and relents, finally taking control make from the tentacles. They both realise that the core is going to explode and level New York. Ock makes one last desperate effort to save the city, and tries to drown the reactor in the Hudson River while Peter and MJ escape. Ock plunges into the river with the core and sacrifices his life to destroy it.
Harry sees an image of his father in the mirror, demanding that he finish the job and kill Peter. Harry, enraged, throws the dagger at the mirror and shatters it, revealing the secret chamber containing his father's Goblin equipment. Back at the riverside, MJ realises Spider-Man's identity and why they can't be together. A somber Peter returns her to John's side and leaves.
On MJ's wedding day, Peter is sitting alone in his room, looking out the window at the New York skyline when MJ rushes in and tells him that she doesn't care; she's leaving John because she loves him. As they kiss, they hear some police sirens in the distance and MJ sends Peter after them, saying "Go get 'em, tiger."
Josh Hutcherson - Peter Parker/Spider-Man
Amanda Righetti - Mary Jane Watson
Jim Parsons - Harry Osborn
Michael Emerson - Otto Octavius/Doctor Octopus (Doc Ock)
Hugh Laurie - J. Jonah Jameson
Hugo Weaving - Norman Osborn
Michael Douglas - Uncle Ben Parker
The film was followed by The Sensational Spider-Man 3: Dark Descent.