Peter Parker is an orphaned high schooler living with his Aunt May and Uncle Ben. He burns with love for his next door neighbor, Mary Jane Watson. Peter's life changes forever while he is on a class field trip and is bitten by a genetically-enhanced spider which had escaped from its container. After that day, Peter begins to develop odd abilities, such as clinging to walls, and shooting web-like material from his wrists. He uses these new-found skills to his advantage, participating in a wrestling match in order to win some money. Peter wins the match, but the dealer refuses to give him the amount of money that was promised. Moments after Peter leaves the dealer's office, it is robbed, but in an act of revenge, he allows the robber to escape with the stolen money. Later that night, it is discovered that the robber had murdered Peter's Uncle Ben when he refused to hand over his car. After that night, Peter uses his Uncle's death as motivation, and becomes the crime-fighter Spider-Man. A new evil turns up in New York, an evil known as the Green Goblin. Peter must use his abilities to defeat the menace, but he may need to take drastic measures in order to do so. Measures that might destroy everything he ever loved.
He eventually defeats Green Goblin, only to discover that he is his best friend's father. Soon after, he is impaled by his own glider and killed. When he places his corpse on his bed, Harry assumes he killed Norman.
Two years later, Peter faces new challenges as he struggles to cope with "the gift and curse" of his powers, while balancing his dual identities as the elusive superhero Spider-Man, and life as a college student. Relationships Peter holds most dear are in danger of unraveling as he clashes with the multi-tentacled villain Doctor Octopus. Peter's lifelong love for Mary Jane Watson becomes even stronger as he fights the impulse to abandon his secret life and Peter leaving Spider-Man behind and declare his love. In the meantime, M.J. has moved on with her life, embarked on an acting career, and gained a new man in her life. Peter's relationship with his best friend, Harry Osborn, has been overshadowed by the young C.E.O.'s growing antipathy for Spider-Man, whom he holds responsible for his father's death. Peter learns to accept his fate and harness all his superhero talents in order to stop the diabolical Doctor Octopus in quest for infinite nuclear power. The film ends with Mary Jane calling off her wedding and declaring that she would start a relationship with Peter (having learned that he was Spider-Man), regardless of the danger (or complications) it might inhere.
An alien Symbiote attaches itself to Peter's Spider-Man costume and displays the dark, arrogant, hateful side of his personality. He also discovers that the real killer of Uncle Ben is Flint Marko, who has recently become The Sandman. After sometime, Peter gets rid of the costume, but it bonds with Eddie Brock, who, as such, becomes the monstrous Venom. Venom kidnaps Mary Jane, and when Spider-Man attempts to save her he is brutally beaten by the combined powers of Venom and The Sandman. He is saved by Harry, and together they fight The Sandman and Venom. When Venom attempts to impale Peter, Harry jumps in front of the glider, mirroring the way his father died. Peter then uses one of Harry's pumpkin bombs to annihilate both The Symbiote and Eddie Brock. At the end of the film, he forgives The Sandman for killing his uncle (which is revealed to have been an accident). Mary Jane and Peter eventually get married.
- Spider-Sense: Spider-Man possesses an extrasensory "danger" or "spider" sense which warns him of potential immediate danger by the manifestation of a tingling sensation in the back of his skull, and links with his superhuman kinesthetics, enabling him to evade most any injuries, unless he cognitively overrides his automatic reflexes. The precise nature of this sense is unknown. It appears to be a simultaneous clairvoyant response to a wide variety of phenomena (everything from falling safes to speeding bullets to thrown punches), which has given several hundredths of a second warning, which is sufficient time for his reflexes to allow him to avoid injury. The sense also can create a general response on the order of several minutes: he cannot discern the nature of the threat by the sensation. He can, however, discern the severity of the danger by the strength of his response to it. Spider-Man Spider-Sense is directional and can guide him to or away from hidden weapons and enemies. Sudden and extreme threats can cause his Spider-Sense to react with painful intensity. Spider-Man can also sense and dodge attacks directed randomly or by a computer. Using his Spider-Sense to time his enhanced reflexes, Spider-Man can casually dodge attacks up to and including automatic-weapons fire, provided there is sufficient distance. His Spider-Sense is sufficiently well-linked to his reflexes to the point that a threat can trigger them even when Spider-Man is asleep or stunned. His Spider-Sense has helped him preserve his secret identity since it alerts him to observers or cameras when changing into or out of his costume. The Spider-Sense does react to those who Peter does not consider to be a threat, such as Aunt May. Spider-Man can choose to ignore his spider-sense, and distraction or fatigue diminish its effectiveness. Spider-Man's fighting style incorporates the advantage that his "Spider-Sense" provides him. His body begins to produce more adrenaline after the sense is triggered, an extension of the 'fight or flight syndrome.'
- Superhuman Strength: Spider-Man possesses superhuman strength enabling him to lift approximately 10 tons. Spider-Man's physical strength is sufficient to lift and throw objects as heavy as most standard automobiles with ease. He must also pull his punches and kicks unless fighting someone of similar or greater physical durability. Otherwise, his blows would prove fatal to a normal human being. Spider-Man's physical strength also extends into his legs, enabling him to be able to jump to a height of several stories in a single bound.
- Superhuman Speed: Spider-Man can run and move at speeds that are beyond the physical limits of the finest human athlete. He is ultimately capable of running at speeds in excess of 30 miles per hour.
- Superhuman Stamina: Spider-Man's advanced musculature produces less fatigue toxins during physical activity than an ordinary human. This allows him to exert himself physically for much longer periods of time before fatigue begins to impair him. At his peak, Spider-Man can physically exert himself for several hours before the build up of fatigue toxins in his blood begins to impair him.
- Superhuman Durability: Spider-Man's body is physically tougher and more resistant to some types of injury than the body of a normal human. His body is more resistant to impact forces than anything else. He can withstand great impacts, such as falling from a height of several stories or being struck by a superhumanly strong opponent, that would severely injure or kill a normal human with little to no discomfort.
- Superhuman Agility: Spider-Man's agility, balance, and bodily coordination are all enhanced to levels that are beyond the natural physical limits of the finest human athlete. Spider-Man is extraordinarily limber and his tendons and connective tissues are twice as elastic as the average human being's, despite their enhanced strength. He has the combined agility and acrobatic prowess of the most accomplished circus aerialists and acrobats. He can also perform any complicated sequence of gymnastic stunts such as flips, rolls, and springs. He can easily match or top any Olympic record at gymnastics apparatus such as flying rings, climbing ropes, horizontal bars, trampolines.
- Superhuman Reflexes: Spider-Man's reflexes are similarly enhanced and are currently about 15 times greater than those of an ordinary human. In combination with his Spider-Sense, the speed of his reflexes allows him to dodge almost any attack, or even gunfire, if he is far enough away.
- Wall-Crawling: Spider-Man's exposure to the mutated spider venom induced a mutagenic, cerebellum-wide alteration of his engrams resulting in the ability to mentally control the flux of inter-atomic attraction (electrostatic force) between molecular boundary layers. This overcomes the outer electron shell's normal behavior of mutual repulsion with other outer electron shells and permits the tremendous potential for electron attraction to prevail. The mentally controlled sub-atomic particle responsible for this has yet to be identified. This ability to affect the attraction between surfaces is so far limited to Spider-Man's body (especially concentrated in his hands and feet) and another object, with an upper limit of several tons per finger. Limits to this ability seem to be psychosomatic, and the full nature of this ability has yet to be established.
- Organic Webbing Generation: In the Sam Raimi movie trilogy, Spider-Man was also gifted with the ability to organically produce his own silk webbing from glands within his forearms, limited by his body's health and nutrition. These organic webs have many of the same properties as a spider. Thanks to its similar properties, it appears Spider-Man can utilize his organic webbing in any way he could with his artificial webbing. The silk is released through a spinneret near each wrist containing a central web spigot orifice used for web-slinging and drag lines, supplemented by several radial minor spigots for other types of webs connected to specialized glands; he can from his wrists organic webbing (without web shooters).although in the marc webb version peter does have web shooters.
- Regenerative Healing Factor: Spider-Man regenerates his injuries faster and more extensively than a normal human. Minor injuries heal in a matter of hours and serious injuries in a matter of days. Although Spider-Man is not able to regenerate missing limbs or organs. Thanks to his regenerative power he is more immune to the effects of alcohol and drugs. It is unknown if the power slows down aging process. However, the power is not as near sufficient as Wolverine.