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Spider-Man Reviews

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garyX
garyX

Super Reviewer

October 20, 2006
One of Marvel's flagship characters finally makes it to the big screen and with Sam Raimi at the helm, you have a sure-fire winner. The first half of the film is as expected, fantastic. It has just the right balance of humour and action and although Tobey Maguire's acting talents are rather limited, he manages to pull off the dorky charm of Peter Parker with some success. There's a lot of humour in the discovery of his powers and how to use them and the supporting characters are all believable. It also shows the motivations and character development of Spiderman really well and rarely descends into schmaltz. Unfortunately once the tights go on, things are not quite as strong. The Green Goblin was never a particularly interesting character and although the schizophrenia plot line is clever, Defoe holds the attention far more as the disappointed father than a dayglo action figure on a hover board. Raimi handles the action nicely though and it's worth it alone for J. K. Simmons whose hilarious J. Jonah Jameson steals every scene he is in.
Phil H

Super Reviewer

August 8, 2007
Hey anybody remember those really old Sam Raimi Spider-Man films? you know there were three of them and I think they were quite popular at the time. Ah who cares now we have a much better rebooted franchise which isn't exactly the same right? errr yeah, sure.

Yep so we still have these old Raimi films, they won't vanish or anything. But before tossing these old Raimi films into the bin of film oblivion lets discuss how dated and so not cool they are now. So its film one and naturally we get the origins of Spider-Man/Parker and all the various characters around him. 'Harry Osborn' is trying to maintain his company and experiments on himself with their new performance enhancing vapour drug stuff to try and keep the important military contract which is dangling by a thread (oh and he's already building the Glider and special suit combo too for some reason). Low and behold it kinda turns him crazy as an unfortunate side effect even though it does sort of work. From there on out Osborn slowly turns into the Green Goblin and Spider-Man must defeat him whilst protecting his family and friends.

What made me giggle a bit was the fact that Parker goes to this genetics laboratory where he is shown all these genetically enhanced spiders. He of course gets bitten by one of them which has somehow escaped and it leaves a nasty little red mark. Now you'd think he would report that asap really, you've been bitten by a spider in a laboratory full of dangerous arachnids, might die here fella. Nope he goes home feeling ill, once home the bite has now swollen badly and he's feeling pretty ill it seems, time to call the hospit...nope it'll clear up.

After the discovery he can climb walls, leap around like crazy, fight etc...he then gets carried away and goes off across the rooftops like someone who wants to get spotted and exposed. Oh wait he doesn't wanna do that does he, kinda silly thing to do then really. On an honest note I did quite like the origin build up in this film I admit, its done in a nice light-hearted true comicbook fashion that is simply likeable. The effects used to show how he can see fights and things in slow motion works really well without actually having to use all that Zack '300' Snyder tomfoolery. Seeing Parker crawl up walls is an old but neat trick of the eye and its a nice touch to see him in his initial childish homemade outfit getting to grips with his skills. Not too sure how he made his proper outfit though, he just swings into one scene and its there, presumably he made it? how?? looks expensive.

Of course the effects for Parker swinging through the air are now pretty dated looking even though it doesn't seem like a really old film. The CGI is average and ranges from passable to down right awful at times, although the famous Spider-Man outfit makes it look better than it actually is. There is also some nasty use of bluescreen here and there along with some quite cringeworthy comical moments, or should that be attempts. Even the photos of Spider-Man taken by Parker for the 'Daily Bugle' look completely fake which was amusing. It is a comicbook adaptation of course so there is a very limited amount of graphic violence or blood on screen, there are some edgy bits though no doubt but overall its actually handled well and holds that balance just right, in other words this isn't an infantile flick.

The Green Goblin was a hot topic at the time due to the fact it wasn't actually the Green Goblin, it was a man in a suit. I must admit now I think this works OK, at the time I didn't like it and I can see why as you kinda feel cheated (bit like The Mandarin in 'Iron Man 3'). But watching this now I think it was a good move to show Osborn going nuts and developing a split personality, it feels much more realistic and gives much more depth to the character...like did Osborn ever really have control? should Spider-Man tried to save him in the end? etc...The Goblin suit is a touch off visually I gotta say, I think they could of done that a bit better, used some other green tones on there, maybe make his helmet a bit more striking. It did look more like a giant plastic suit for a toy character that some poor sod would be wearing in a mall for advertising purposes, a bit hokey. On the other hand the CGI and prop work for the Glider was fine I think, looked pretty sweet.

The film ticks along just fine really and the cast are likeable fitting their roles well. Maguire is a good Peter Parker no doubt but I still have a hard time thinking he's under the Spider-Man suit, luckily we don't actually see that so it could be anyone and probably is. Dafoe is the best thing in the film by far with his scene stealing scenery chewing performance, not only that but his face is the perfect shape and structure for the Goblin too. When you see the Goblin swoop down you totally believe its Dafoe overacting all the way, I could almost say he saves the film because without a good villain this would have sunk, good CGI effects or not. I love the way he growls and cackles into the mirror with those devilish eyes of his.

The finale is daft I will say it now. How the hell does Parker/Spider-Man manage to hold onto that cable car full of kids with one arm whilst using the other arm to stay clinging to the bridge is beyond me. Its there I also realised that his spider web squirty stuff is also damn strong it seems...really damn strong! The actual final fight between the two main characters is decent enough though showing Spider-Man battered pretty good with blood!

In my personal opinion this is a better film than the recent rebooted version, its a much easier fun going Spider-Man adaptation with more comicbook-esque visuals. There are silly moments and bits that don't work sure, why on earth they stuck Macy Gray in there I don't know because that dates the film badly and her voice is annoying, there are a few Superman-esque shots where Parker rips his shirt to reveal the Spider-Man logo, Sony product placements! and 'Mary Jane' only recognises Parker as Spider-Man by his kiss?! wut?! what about his voice?! The Green Goblin's attacks are also completely inconsistent as one minute he uses bombs and vaporising bombs to kill, the next he throws some whirling blade things when he should of used the bombs that would have worked very effectively. It is certainly pretty cheesy and pantomime-like looking back but hey that's fine, I found myself enjoying this film much more than I recall back in the day and like I said I also enjoyed it much more than the reboot.
KJ P

Super Reviewer

January 10, 2010
Even with all it's cheesiness, Sam Raimi's "Spider-man" stands as one of my favourite superhero movies, and it has one of the greatest superhero stories to be told. It may have it's cheesiness running throughout, but who better to present us with that, than the one and only Sam Raimi. Almost every superhero film can be laughed at through it's corn, but the fact is, when you watch a piece of fiction, it doesn't matter whether it's believable or realistic, because it's meant to be fake. "Spider-Man" is my favourite superhero, and this is one of the best origin films out there today. It may not follow the comic books very well, but when you have a film that is constructed as well as this, you cannot make an argument that this film is bad. I really enjoy watching this film, even though it becomes a little too silly at times.
Edward B

Super Reviewer

May 14, 2007
Spider-Man is a strong entry into the comic book cannon, and not least because it's based on my all time favourite superhero. It gives Peter Parker a great origin story. The web-slinging action scenes are awesome. Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, Willem Dafoe and James Franco bring unique perspectives to their characters. Sam Raimi's unique style permeates the film and enhances the material rather detracting from it.
Samuel Riley
Samuel Riley

Super Reviewer

June 29, 2012
Sam Raimi- The Director of the 'Evil Dead' Trilogy, has created a superb beginning chapter for Spider-Man. What it succeeds in is the dark atmospheres and the strength in characters. The highlights are Toby Maguire and Willhem Dafoe. While Maguire gives off a truely confident and heroic role, Dafoe presents a powerful and sinister villian.
Matthew Samuel M

Super Reviewer

January 1, 2010
It's cheesy, yes, and silly at times, but it is far superior to the 2012 remake as a result of an intriguing villain, better writing, and a higher degree of suspense. All in all, it's a bunch of good old action movie fun with some actual human emotion--due to Maguire's performance and Dunst's reliable likability. You get Superhero action with a side of teenage rom-com. Who can forget that iconic upside kiss? It's a whole lot of fun.
bbcfloridabound
bbcfloridabound

Super Reviewer

September 14, 2007
The first half of the movie was very good. Why? Because Amazing Fantasy #15 was one of the greatest stories from a comic book and the movie adapted it very well. The other half of it was just as standard as other (comic book) movies . This is a bad sign for the next movie!
1 Star 9-27-07
EightThirty .

Super Reviewer

April 22, 2007
10/12/2012 (BluRay)
Eugene B

Super Reviewer

August 22, 2008
For a 2002 superhero comic-book film. It was the most visually stunning film of that time. Sam Raimi presented some comedy, some suspense, some peril and some romance. Altogether provided a good mixture to make this film one of the best of all-time. 4.5/5
sanjurosamurai
sanjurosamurai

Super Reviewer

January 5, 2007
the cast is the problem, and the design for green goblin, but the campiness of the film worked for me and overall i was very entertained.
Dan S

Super Reviewer

June 24, 2007
An ambitious and ultimately satisfying superhero saga concerning your everyday nerdy kid who gets bitten by a spider and starts to experience strange changes. While the ending becomes a little cartoon-ish and James Franco doesn't bring a lot to the character of Harry Osbourne, Maguire is a perfect fit for the role of Peter Parker. It risks becoming a little too preachy at parts, but overall it sticks to the basics and develops its lead character well enough so that you care about him. See this over the 2012 version "The Amazing Spider-Man".
Everett J

Super Reviewer

October 25, 2009
With the new "Amazing Spider Man" movie coming out and relaunching the series, it ultimately makes this movie(and it's two sequels) irrelevant. However, that doesn't make it any less entertaining. Tobey Maguire is Peter Parker(well, Andrew Garfield is now, but it's TBD if he's better). He makes you cheer for him, feel his pain with Uncle Ben dies, and really takes you on the journey with him as he becomes Spider Man. This is a great origin story, one of the better comic book origin movies out there. Kirstin Dunst as Mary Jane works fantastic as well, and you can see why Parker would be head over heels for her. Heck, the movie features one of the best/romantic on screen kisses ever. The effects after 10 years feel a little cheesy, but not in a bad way. Guess you could say the movie has a true "retro" feel, that most modern movies don't really have. The biggest issue with the movie is the villain, Green Goblin. Willem Dafoe does great as the maniacal Norman Osborne, but once he has that ugly suit on, he is laughable, not menacing at all. Other than that, the movie is nearly flawless, and really sets the stage for what would be a good 1st trilogy of Spider Man movies.
Jason S

Super Reviewer

December 26, 2006
Pretty stinkin good
Albert K

Super Reviewer

September 18, 2010
Possibly the first super-hero movie to have a rags-to-riches story that was actually engaging. Unfortunately, its style wasn't my thing; I hated the cheesiness.
Anatoliy D

Super Reviewer

November 5, 2008
Rating 3,5 stars
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

November 1, 2011
One word to describe Spiderman would be cliche. I had high expectations of the film and I felt let down. I felt there was nothing but mindless action sequences and campy dialogue. It's a visual masterpiece and the cast perform well but the script lets the whole film's web break.
Colin M

Super Reviewer

July 30, 2008
The Beginning of the 2000s Spider Man Trilogy helped define my early childhood, and spawned its even greater sequel "Spider-Man 2", which is behind only 2008's "The Dark Knight" as the greatest super hero film of all time.
TheDudeLebowski65
TheDudeLebowski65

Super Reviewer

August 26, 2011
Spiderman is a decent action film. Though I never was a Spiderman fan, I thought that this first film was fairly good considering that the film was made for a teenage audience. When the film first came out, I thought it was really enjoyable, but as the years past, the film has become slightly dated I find. For what it is, Spiderman is a decent action film that is entertaining, but it's not the superhero film everyone raves it to be. I thought that some parts were fairly silly, and the film lacked the real power of other superhero films such as both of Christopher Nolan's Batman Films and the first two X-Men films. Though the film doesn't define its audience specifically, like most superhero films. Spiderman was made for a younger audience and it shows. There's a lot of fun moments to be had watching this film. But I felt it lacked the seriousness of other superhero films, which I thought was disappointing. For me, Spiderman is one of the weaker films that Sam Raimi has helmed, but this isn't as bad as the sequels. One thing that I thought was one of the weaker aspects of the film is the fact that they made the Peter Parker character without any sense of conflict. I felt that the reason he started fighting crime, was almost silly, not believable enough. I can say that Spiderman is the least awful of the three, entertaining, but flawed. But as a superhero film, it doesn't belong alongside greats such as The Dark Knight or X2. Where the film lacks the most is the paper thin story, and it has minimal development in that regard. This could have been a terrific superhero film, but it ends up being a decent one at best. A shame cause the Spiderman character is quite intriguing.
Alexander D

Super Reviewer

June 14, 2011
One of Marvel's best film adaptations, SPIDER-MAN is thoroughly brilliant. It begins as a cheesy popcorn flick with a camera that looks like its coloration is homaging that of the 1970s; but by the final minute of the film, it has fully evolved into an outrageous thrill ride and we are all desperate for a sequel.
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