User ReviewsAdd a Review
Spiderman has long been one of my favorite comic book stories, because it is so down to earth. The audience can really relate to Peter, because what happened to him could really happen to anyone. Sam Raimi's excellent direction does justice to Spiderman's story in the best way possible. It presents it on screen in a surprisingly mature way, realistically, with only a few spicy details thrown every now and then to remind the audience of the comic book fashion of the story. The plot is driven by the excellent pacing in a timely manner. Energetic, fluid, everything flows naturally. Also the fights are well choreographed but nothing too amazing. The movie is very entertaining and enjoyable to watch and re-watch.
The cast of characters is truly impeccable. One cannot simply forget the role of J. Jonah Jameson (played by J. K. Simmons) as the chief news editor of "The Daily Bugle" a news company, who employs Peter to take Spiderman's pictures. His cast could only be compared to Gandalf's in LOTR. The acting is great, except one or two scenes that in my opinion are a bit exaggerated. The dialogue is fantastic. As an example, the ending talk by M.J. talking to Peter is played perfectly (i was amazed by the level of emotion in this scene. I was convinced Kirsten Dunst was pefect in her role). The film contains some of the wittiest quotes you'll ever hear. Lets not forget the dialogue scene between Peter and his uncle Ben, "with great power comes great responsibility" speech, which for me is one of the greatest dialogue scenes ever depicted on film. The antagonist "The Green Goblin" is utterly ruthless and a worthy menace to our hero.
Cinematography encompasses some spectacular visuals in here, especially when Spiderman webs around the city's SkyScrapers, it is something you've never seen before. It's a delight to watch this movie. CGI aren't great though, they could benefit from a digital remaster. And let's not forget the fantastic work by Danny Elfman on the Soundtrack. It is a pure joy to hear, it enhances the dramatic moments of the film and fits so well throughout.
Spiderman is an amazing movie. I loved this film when i watched it when i was young. I rewatched it again yesterday and saw that it hasn't aged a bit. This is a refreshing story, released at an important time for comic book movies that were rising at the time with Blade and X-Men. There are only a few dramatically exagerated scenes, that although serve the story, could have been streamlined a bit for realism, but i understand the director's intentions.
Rating: 9/10 - Amazing
This movie has great FX and action AND it brought a Hulk-sized helping of funny.
The entire cast did a great job! Not to say all roles should have been included. The amount of soap in this web opera could clean up all the hillbillies in Kentucky. I guess if you're a 12 y/o girl or a lonely, middle-aged woman MJ might be likable but otherwise she's just obnoxious. So much so as to keep knocking me out of the story. All 3 of Raimi's Spidey flicks are hurt by this as well as his use of endless screeching. Seriously, does he hate his audiences? Everything else is good enough to make this a yearly watch for me.
The movie follows a high schooler named Peter Parker who is an outsider and can't bring himself to open up to his childhood crush, Mary Jane, but after being bitten by a genetically enhanced spider, Peter discovers that he has gained new abilities, but after his uncle is murdered, Peter decades to use his powers for good and learn what it means to have power and responsibility.
One of the more difficult tasks with bringing a character like Spiderman to the big screen is to give the audience plenty of background information on the lead character in order for us to care about him because if there is too much focus on the heroes origin then it tends to slow the movie down but if the viewer is given too little then they won't connect with the hero. This is something Sam Raimi is able to hit the right notes with by setting up our hero in the few minutes of the movie as we see Peter as a nerdy outsider, allowing the viewer to get to know him better, while another part of the movie's charm is the grand and beautiful style added to it thanks to the bouncy and attentive directing from Sam and writer David Koepp's engaging dialog which allows the story to unfold and allows each character to develop as the movie progresses and while Koepp's script might have an out-of-date touch to it, it feels like Burton's Batman when it comes to format and dialog and can come across as a bit off-putting, it still adds to the movie's charms and makes it a lot more timeless.
While Spiderman's origin is incredibly simple, it feels akin to Donner's Superman, telling the whole story of how the hero comes to be while Rami and Koepp approach the movie with a great deal of respect for the original 60s comic book by maintaining all the major elements of the story like the spider bite and Uncle Ben's murder but don't try to put their own spin on it, rather they adjust certain facts to apply to modern day and the end product is an enduring and touchingly inspiring origin perfectly suiting the character and Sam is able to get the tone of the movie just perfectly by letting the movie have a sense of fun, but never forgets the core message of the story and gives ample devotion to the serious stuff too.
As for the look and feel of the film, Raimi takes great care to be as faithful to the world of Spiderman as possible and New York looks amazing, not even Batman's Gotham City bears a flawless harmony of elegance and reality that Raimi has made. Sam's trademark dynamic camera works fits this kind of movie perfectly and every single shot in the movie is full of momentum and a wonder to be hold. Sam's concept for Spiderman is also supported convincingly by some top-notch visual effects and action with Spidy swings though the Manhattan streets with agility and elegance and while some of the CGI is a bit wonky at times, the visual effects in the movie are flawless for the most part while Raimi provides us with plenty of entertaining battle scenes throughout the film, climaxing in a ferocious and grand face-off that's more extreme and primeval than most other action scenes in superhero movies.
As with most comic book movies, Spiderman would be nothing without a stellar cast and it certainly delivers that in spades. Toby Maguire is an eye-opener as Spiderman/Peter Parker. Much like Robert Downey Jr. or Hugh Jackman, Maguire absolutely encompasses almost everything needed for Spiderman. He brings a good-heart-ed, timid, compassion to his performance but also skillfully portrays both the geeky side and heroic side of the character with remarkable ease while his enthusiastic looks assure the viewer that he looks like a teen, but even wearing the suit, Maguire exhibits a boyish boldness as well as a bit of innocence but nevertheless is fearless when he battles his foes, clearly Rami and Sony took a risk with Maguire and it pays off wonderfully. Kirsten Dunst is a believable Mary Jane and gives a wonderful performance plus the chemistry between her and Toby seems to ooze off the screen whenever they are together. James Franco is wonderful as Harry Osborn, bringing the character's conflicts with his father and his relationship with Peter to life in a wonderful way. Rosemary Harris is wonderful as Aunt May as is Cliff Robertson as Uncle Ben and J.K. Simmons steals every scene he's in as the fiery and grumpy J. Jonah Jameson while on the other side of the coin is Willem Dafoe as the evil Green Goblin/ Norman Osborn. When he is Norman, Dafoe portrays a more fatherly figure to Peter while displaying sighs of what he will later become, but when he becomes insane, Willem fully grasps his madness and goes as over-the-top as one can go and uses a richer voice tone for Norman while using a hoarser voice and psychotic laugh for the Goblin without going too cartoonish but still maintaining a conniving and threatening persona that invokes dread throughout New York, truly one of the finest villains in all of comic book filmdom.
If I did have an issue with the film, it would the Green Goblin suit as it does look like something out of Power Rangers, but apart from that, Spiderman is a truly fantastic comic book movie. Definitely one to watch.
If you love the comics you would love this movie. Tobey Maguire was awesome as Spiderman. I would say give it a go for the new generation of Spiderman fans.
I remember seeing Spiderman at the cinema like it was yesterday; okay maybe not quite as literal as that but I remember the WOW of it like it just happened. Seeing my equal favourite superhero of all time in a movie at long last was a once-in-a-lifetime event! The suit was amazing, the music was amazing and so was the action; though the visual CG-effects haven't aged very well. However the fighting was visceral just like the choreography in the sequences, and all these extremes actually respected Spiderman's character. The film was funny, exciting and emotional at times. It's pretty much a satisfying full-package of a superhero movie.
Spiderman is still my favourite Marvel superhero and this film compliments everything that makes the character memorable and distinct from the rest of the 'super-crowd'.
Perhaps it is the sweet nature of this origin story that makes it such a winner; we have Peter Parker who is perhaps one of the most unassuming comic book anti-heroes to grace the screen. As Parker, he has a nerdy-goofy charm about him that endears us towards him and as Spider-man he is cool and a great action hero. In the same vein as The Fantastic Four, Peter Parker struggles getting to grips with his super powers and it takes a bit of time for him to adjust to what he has become. This transition is fun to watch and the scene where he kicks that bully's ass was brilliant.
The real story here kicks in when Spider-man isn't paid properly for defeating a fearsome wrestler; he is only paid $100 dollars rather than $3,000 dollars. I won't say anymore than that, but this incident sets off a chain reaction which makes Spider-man the beloved anti-hero. The only minor negative with this story set-up is that you do feel that he becomes who he is out of a sense of guilt more than a sense of duty, but this is minor and is something that I was prepared to overlook in this film.
I normally hate love stories in film, but the blossoming love between Parker and Mary Jane Watson was quite endearing; Watson is a little misguided and can't really see what is right under her nose, but she is never unlikeable and the blossoming relationship between Watson and Parker did feel quite natural.
There are some minor flaws with this film such as there being no investigation into the death of Osborn's colleague after he performs the experiment on himself; they say he was murdered and that someone stole Osborn's prototype, but then that thread is conveniently dropped - we learn the truth later, but it still makes no sense that no-one would follow-up this crime with an investigation. It's also terribly convenient that Spider-man happens to be around to save the day with every crime committed in New York (which is incredible), but again I can suspend disbelief for these things due to how involved I was in the main story.
The acting is also of the highest calibre; Maguire is very good as both the nerdy-geek and as everyone favourite anti-hero. Dunst is good as the female heroine; she has a nice naïve charm about her, but is also good at playing the damsel-in-distress. The likes of Dafoe and Simmons both have fun chewing the scenery, but the latter comes off as the best putting in a brief, but memorable performance. Franco is perhaps the only weak link in the film, but that's mainly because he is given so little to do.
Spider-man is one of the best superhero films out there and contains a great origin story, a believable romance, an impressive villain and good anti-hero. Despite its two hour running time, it moves at a lightning fast-pace, is never dull and boasts some pretty good special effects.
At Peter's home, Uncle Ben (Cliff Robertson) and Aunt May (Rosemary Harris) worry about their financial stability and Peter who comes home sick. Norman moves ahead with the human trial testing it on himself but it drives him crazy and he kills a researcher. Peter wakes up to find he has strange power like better eyesight, a ripped body, faster reflexes, and a strange webbing coming out of his wrists. When the bully Flash Thompson (Joe Manganiello) tries to fight him, Peter easily outmaneuvers him and punches him across the hall. He begins to experiment with his newfound abilities, crawling, jumping and swinging around buildings. The oddest thing about this film is the natural web shooting out of his arms, which at first, I thought wasn't so strange but didn't realize this was not the original way it was written in the comics.
Check out more of this review and others at swilliky.com
Before the golden age of superhero film, Spider-Man came out at a time when being inspired by Donner's 1978 Superman and Burton's 1989 Batman was the norm. You can clearly see how influenced Sam Raimi was to those films, specifically with his choice of bringing in Danny Elfman to do the music. This all gives the film a very nostalgic vibe to me. However, some dated qualities manage to shine through some of the better moments.
Those being the fact that Kirsten Dunst's 'Mary Jane' is essentially a useless plot device for the entire film. This doesn't necessarily change throughout the trilogy, but it's overtly clear with the first Spider-Man. My 8-year-old mind can push aside the damsel in distress moments, but 15 years later it becomes increasingly more difficult. The same goes for the dull dialogue between MJ and Peter, and the unquestionably awkward line delivery at times. I'm all for Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst, but their relationship isn't always sold well enough in the various scenes they have together.
With that said, someone who undoubtedly does sell their scenes is Willem Dafoe. He was terrifying as Norman Osborn a child, and he still sends a few chills down my spine when I see him talking to himself through a mirror in the Osborn mansion. But he isn't just a one-note villain either. Significant time is spent developing him as a forceful antagonist, but also a troubled man with misplaced intentions. In today's age of setting up future films way too far in advance, there usually isn't enough time given to developing villains (i.e. every MCU film), but luckily that's not the case with Green Goblin.
Overall, Spider-Man is clearly a dated film in many areas upon re- watch, but it's hard not to overlook them based on pure nostalgic alone. In a way, some of the dated qualities actually end up making it even more charming.
-Dated, and definitely cheesy
Although it was 2000's "X-Men" that ushered in the modern superhero film, it was "Spider-Man" that drove it home. The movie remains an exhilarating example of the genre and is markedly superior to the merely competent reboot "The Amazing Spider-Man," which came out just 10 years later. Compare the costumes, for instance, particularly the masks; there's no contest.
There are some flaws: The second half isn't as compelling as the first and the apartment fire sequence is eye-rolling in that there's zero smoke in the abode. Then there are changes from the comics, some which work great (e.g. scrapping Spidey's web-shooters in favor of intrinsic web-powers) and some which are just acceptable (e.g. MJ's noticeably different disposition). But such quibbles are made up for by the movie's overall mojo. Simmons nails it as the quirky & kinetic Jameson.
"Spider-Man" remains the second best Spider-Man film, second only to "Spider-Man 3" (2007), not including "Spider-Man: Homecoming" (2017), which I haven't seen yet.
The film runs 121 minutes and was shot in New York City & Los Angeles, as well as a few other areas in New York and Southern Cal, e.g. the cemetery scene in Valhalla, NY. The screenplay was written by David Koepp.
The movie begins and automatically I love the score. Danny Elfman did a superb job composing my favorite Spider-Man theme so far. The opening credits, while being long, really prepare you for this awesome comic book ride you are about to go on and yes a lot of scenes are very cheesy. Even the opening credits are cheesy. The dialogue begins with Peter Parker, played by Tobey McGuire, narrating. Right off the bat you feel very sorry for Peter as he is without a doubt bullied in many ways in this movie. The only people who seem to care are MJ, played by Kirsten Dust, and Harry Osborne, played by James Franco.
In this film, Peter has a large crush on MJ, which was handled very well. The dialogue they share together in this movie work 100%. It was very relatable. When I first saw this movie I had a massive crush on a girl and I really understood Peter's feelings and emotions which makes Peter Parker in this movie more likable.
The scene where he gets bitten by the spider actually holds up very well. It's very dramatic and the cinematography is very good. He comes home from his field trip after he was bitten and we meet Aunt May and Uncle Ben. In my opinion, this is perfect casting and these two are brilliant. So far they are my favorite Uncle Ben and Aunt May. Peter is feeling very sick and he looks very pale. The spider bite on his hand has swollen up and looks very disgusting but it makes his transformation that much cooler.
We also get introduced to Norman Osborne, played by William Dafoe. He was a good actor throughout the movie, but his voice acting sometimes suffered, not to mention his Green Goblin suit is Power Ranger-like. The costumes in the movie elsewhere are completely fine but this suit just seemed to lack.
When Peter becomes Spider-Man, this movie really starts to get fun. It's very funny, cheesy of course, but very good set pieces when he climbs his first wall. And yes, he has organic web shooters which I am totally fine with. He got the powers of a spider, why can't he shoot webs? It makes sense to me. And the sound mixing for the webs are iconic and very good.
The wrestling scene is very good and very funny, which leads to Uncle Ben's death, which was very emotional and one of the best scenes in this movie, and right away you feel for Peter and you are rooting for Peter. I love the car chase right after, and the fight in the abandoned building is brilliant film making with the lack of music and lighting.
From here on out Spider-Man is awesome, but also cheesy like the comic books. In fact, some of the dialogue with Spider-Man and Green Goblin are lines straight from the books. And I got to say my least favorite scene in this movie is the first action scene with Spidey and the Green Goblin. It is very cheesy, kind of cliché, and the CGI doesn't hold up well in that scene.
However, Green Goblin gets really cool when he learns Peter is Spider-Man. He breaks into Aunt May's home and May is taken to the hospital which is a very well directed scene and one of the better scenes with the Green Goblin. And of course, the abandoned hospital scene is beautifully directed in terms of almost everything! The lack of music, lighting, costumes and stunts it's all very good! Spider- Man's suit gets so worn and ripped it's very good visual art.
This movie ends on a very good note and yes a lot of scenes hold up well. Yes it's cheesy. Yes, CGI is a bit dated and the Green Goblin looks like a Power Ranger we get it. But this movie is loads of fun and a must see.
Based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name, the story of Spider-Man follows Peter Parker; a high-school kid who after being bitten by a radioactive spider at a genetic laboratory begins to develop spider-like abilities and puts his new powers to good use by turning to crimefighting. Meanwhile, Norman Osborn experiments a power-enhancing drug on himself as a desperate attempt to preserve a military contract critical for his company's survival.
Directed by Sam Raimi, Spider-Man has all the ingredients of a summer blockbuster plus it benefits a lot from Raimi's dynamic filmmaking style that doesn't dwell on a single moment for far too long, keeps the story fresh, light-hearted & action-packed for the most part, plus never loses its initially-gained momentum. David Koepp's screenplay is no slouch either for it packs in a compelling plot & few interesting characters and the whole story is cheesy but well humoured.
The technical aspects are all brilliantly executed. Camera-work is excellent for the most part for the chosen angles, swift movements, slow-mo shots & warm colour palette are correctly employed. Editing provides a frenetic pace to its narrative, each moment has a role to play, and its 121 minutes of runtime simply flies by. Visual effects team makes use of both CGI & practical stuntwork and it's amazing just how well it has aged when compared to other effects-laden movies released back then.
Coming to the performances, Spider-Man packs in a very interesting cast in Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Willem Dafoe, J.K. Simmons & others, and many of them are pretty convincing in their given roles. Maguire does a terrific job under Raimi's supervision, Dafoe plays Norman Osborn with finesse but that Green Goblin suit is extremely off-putting, Simmons is a near-perfect rendition of J. Jonah Jameson from the comics while both Dunst & Franco do a fine job as Mary Jane Watson & Harry Osborn, respectively.
Also worthy of admiration is Danny Elfman's outstanding score that captures just the right tone & feel of your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man's universe and brims with tracks that seamlessly integrate into the story. On an overall scale, Spider-Man may not seem as impressive today as it did back when it made its debut on the silver screen but it still remains one of the best offerings of its category and delivers a roller- coasted ride that's enjoyable, entertaining & highly satisfying. Spider-Man is a summer popcorn extravaganza right on the money.
And these days, I still watch it with the firmly-imprinted memory of its success in 2002. The genre landscape was entirely different back then, and a Spider-Man movie wasn't a sure thing. Raimi was a genuine surprise as director, but he produced a film that retained the vibrancy of its source material and populated it with grounded characters. And the timing really helped; it ended up being an anthem for a post-9/11 New York.
In other words, it was a breath of fresh air.