‘SPIDER-MAN’: A REALLY ENTERTAINING MARVEL VERSION

July 17, 2012 10 Comments

By his own admission, Marvel creator Stan Lee says Spider-Man id his “favorite.” His comic book production company builds quite the empire, one that is perhaps more popular today than at its conception. This 2002 film tells the story of Peter Parker and his quest to live up to the great responsibility that comes with his powers.

Spider-Man (2002) Marvel Film Review

If anyone tells you Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) is ordinary, they’re lying. Or so he tells us. Every morning he wakes just hoping to get through the day. A bookworm with a scientific mind, Peter is never late for his bus every single morning. In the wake of his parent’s deaths, his aunt and uncle (Rosemary Harris, Cliff Robertson) take him in. His only real friend is Harry Osborn (James Franco), a wealthy young man whose father recently put him in public school instead of private Despite their vastly different backgrounds, Peter and Harry become fast friends but jealousy builds while Harry stands on the sidelines watching as his business-minded scientist father (Willem Dafoe) shows a greater interest in Peter.

Bitten by a radioactive spider, Peter suddenly transforms into a different person. He now has a well-built physique, develops a sense of impending danger, can scale walls and entrap people with webs. But with his newfound super powers comes a price. His beloved uncle dies in a random act of violence. Time heals, and Peter is able to move forward. Eventually he makes a move on the red-headed girl he’s been crushing on since fifth grade, Mary-Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst), little realizing there’s another vying for her affection.

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‘SPIDER-MAN’: A REALLY ENTERTAINING MARVEL VERSION. A review of the 2002 adaptation with Tobey McGuire. Text © Rissi JC

With the news that a new Spider-Man trilogy would return to the big screen, I knew it’d be something I’d want to see. Before this, I figured it’d be cool to return to the trilogy where it all starts. Though it’s somewhat odd that I haven’t seen these before now, ten years ago I wasn’t even paying attention to super heroes. Now I’ve discovered them, I suspect there is no going back. Though I must disrespectfully disagree with Stan Lee, this is still a fun ride.

The acting in this blockbuster is quite impressive. Considering I already like its leading lady, I naturally liked the idea of seeing her in another starring role while Tobey makes me see him differently. I’m pretty neutral about him as an actor. Here he plays a character that is bullied, trying to make it through college. Like Captain America, Peter is the all-American “good guy” when we meet him; his need for revenge may be the adrenaline he first runs off but in time, he feels the responsibility to protect the streets as something he feels privileged to do. And, I liked that about him. Every other name in the cast was good, particularly Willem as the conflicted Osborn.  

‘SPIDER-MAN’: A REALLY ENTERTAINING MARVEL VERSION. A review of the 2002 adaptation with Tobey McGuire. Text © Rissi JC / RissiWrites.com

The writing isn’t the most brilliant as far too much of the movie is so silly it’s hard to take anything seriously. From the costumes to the sometimes painfully horrible special effects, it’s amazing the difference a mere ten years makes in the business of filmmaking. What the script does have is good humor but the secret dating angle and love triangle is wearisome, and some of the filming styles is unusually annoying. Despite it all, there is some interesting dynamics and of course, there’s the adorable, iconic “kiss.”

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You can see Spider-Man (2002) digitally on Amazon Video

CONTENT: there’s some violence and “terrifying” situations. Spider-Man must save many lives; some from fire, others from falling to their deaths or a mugging. MJ dresses suggestively more than once; four or five guys nearly assault her. She also comes from a home where her father emotionally belittles her. There is a little profanity. The film is PG-13.

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

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10 Comments

  • jennifer blair July 17, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    I personally liked this one a little bit better…but then Emma Stone has me biased. I think I just like her! :)

  • Lauren July 17, 2012 at 6:25 PM

    I really enjoyed the new Spiderman, and the old ones as well:-) I think I preferred Emma Stone's character to Kirsten Dunst, though. Probably because she didn't have five different boyfriends…lol:-)

  • Charity July 17, 2012 at 7:45 PM

    Yeah, it is kind of dated, but in ten years we'll probably look back at The Avengers and laugh. CGI improves the more it is used. Of course, the less CGI a movie uses, the less easily it will date. I don't think TITANIC or THE LORD OF THE RINGS will ever become very dated — and that's really smart on the part of their directors.

    I like MJ, and the kiss in the rain, and Tobey being a dork. =)

  • Rissi July 18, 2012 at 2:42 AM

    Jennifer – I enjoyed this one a great deal! It was fun but not my favorite super hero. Like you, I think Emma is adorable so I suspect that the new version will be equally if not more entertaining. :-)

    Lauren – really??? Cool! I am definitely going to try and see it its first week to DVD. The cast has me excited plus it looks fun if not a copy-cat.

    Lovely of you to stop by – do visit again sometime. :-)

    Charity – don't get me wrong, I totally loved this movie… just not the same as some of the other super hero flicks. I laugh at dated movies now, and then turn and say to whoever will listen, "in another ten years, I'll be making fun of the ones I think are cool now!" ;-D

    For some reason films that are set in a different era don't show their age like modern films do. I suspect that it's because they tell a story from a different era! LOL!

    Anyway, I did thoroughly enjoy this – and look forward to 2 and 3. MJ is adorable (it helps that I like Dunst); the kiss was unique and Tobey… yep, he was cool. ;-)

  • Anonymous July 18, 2012 at 3:04 PM

    Okay, I have to be different, LOL! I hated Kirsten Dunst in the Spiderman movies — especially the third movie. She was so mean to poor Peter, I couldn't help wishing he would just dump her and find a girl who would appreciate him.

    I'm really looking forward to the new Spiderman movie with Emma Stone. I've heard she's great. :-)

  • Gwendolyn Gage July 18, 2012 at 3:05 PM

    Okay, I have to be different, LOL! I hated Kirsten Dunst in the Spiderman movies — especially the third movie. She was so mean to poor Peter, I couldn't help wishing he would just dump her and find a girl who would appreciate him.

    I'm really looking forward to the new Spiderman movie with Emma Stone. I've heard she's great. :-)

  • maria July 18, 2012 at 3:39 PM

    I haven't seen the amazing spider-man, but I have seen all 3 of the original series which, I must say, are quite enjoyable. Kristan Dunst and Tobey Maguire are super cute, IMO. I am interested in seeing Emma Stone in this latest spiderman film, though. From what I can tell, they did a good job casting 'amazing Spider-man'.

  • his little lady July 18, 2012 at 7:24 PM

    emma stone is making me all biased. i haven't seen it yet, but i absolutely adore her!!
    xo TJ

  • Rissi July 19, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    Gwendolyn – that is perfectly fine! It is good to be different. :-)

    I like Dunst as an actress. I think she is just adorable. She is in the 1994 version of Little Women and is quite young in the role but does it justice. Her change in attitude doesn't come 'til movie 2 or 3 (I think), so I am not there yet! LOL!

    Anyway… I too am excited about the new movie. It should be fun!

    Maria – I have the sequel rented so I am looking forward to watching that this weekend and like you, I thought Tobey and Kirsten are adorable together (even though they weren't really… together!).

    The re-boot does look fabulous! I am really looking forward to it. :-)

    Thanks so much for commenting!

    TJ – Emma is a doll. I've loved her in everything I've seen her in, so I am expecting similar results from the new "Spider-Man" flick. :-)

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