- Sam Raimi
- Reviewed by
- Gon Curiel a.k.a. Groucho
- Review date
- Wednesday, May 22, 2002
After years of struggle, the definitive film adaptation of the famous comic book (published by Marvel Comics) is finally here. It was a long wait, and there were many failed attempts and dreadful flops. Even the cartoons weren’t any good (though some of them were really fun). I’m glad to say, as a fan, that it sure was worth the wait: Not only is it perfectly adapted from the book (except for a few necessary changes) but it is realistic, somehow managing to make us believe everything that we see is true.
Some dudes who really knew what the original comic book was about realized Peter was as un-cool as could be, and Tobey Maguire was the perfect choice; he’s as good playing an awkward loser is as he is playing a charming fellow. They also realized that Mary Jane was nothing spectacular, and so it is with Kirsten Dunst… Don’t take me wrong, she’s great!, but she’s also perfect as an ordinary girl next door. Peter and M.J.’s romance is very credible and they are both sympathetic; Maguire is especially good at making us care for him.
A couple of scenes are unforgettable: the discovery of the “spider sense” and the design of the Spider-Man suit. The latter is a real tribute to comic books in general. Talking about unforgettable scenes, what about that upside-down kiss under the rain? Certainly memorable!
In the meantime, as a more than necessary subplot, the original Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe as Norman Osborn and his evil alter-ego) acquires super abilities, and causes a lot of trouble in New York City. Dafoe is perfect as the maniac, though he’s not stronger in impact than the hero: another asset of the script.
Some visual effects are too evident but it is forgiven: the action scenes have no equal.
Other performers include Cliff Robertson and Rosemary Harris as Peter’s Uncle Ben and Aunt May, James Franco as Harry Osborn and J.K. Simmons, incredibly effective as J. Jonah Jameson of the Daily Bugle.
Also worth noting: another great score by Danny Elfman.
This movie has it all, even to the level of Superman (1978), for which it shows both respect and admiration.
Here’s a comic book fan talking, dudes. This is one worthy piece!
“With great power comes great responsibility.”
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Other reviews of Spider-Man (2002): Morris