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A movie directed by Sam Raimi

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Excellent Debut For Spidey

  • Jun 21, 2008
This review will be split into three sections, they will be The Story, The Characters & The Verdict. This will give you a fair and true description of the movie and its characters and will give you my personal opinion of the movie which should help you make an informed decision on whether to watch this film for the first time or whether to stay away like you have already done for six years.

The Story: Tobey Maguire plays Peter Parker an aspiring photographer who one day is taking pictures of his crush Mary Jane Watson for the "School Newspaper" when he's bitten by a radioactive spider. After the incident Peter goes through a change and gains powers that are similar to a spider, he can walk up walls, shoot web, he gains super human strength, agility and has the ability to sense danger before it comes. One day after Peter uses his powers to take part in a wrestling event to try and win some money, his uncle Ben is shot dead, Peter discovers that his uncle was shot by the man he'd let pass by after stealing money from the wrestling promoter who'd cheated Peter out of money. Peter tracks down the criminal and through a series of incidents the man is killed for which Peter makes the decision to become a superhero, thus giving birth to the phrase "With great power comes great responsibility." The best friend of Peter, Harry Osbourne is the son of the CEO of Ozcorp Industries Norman Osbourne. Ozcorp industries develop weapons and other experimental devices for the United States Army, they're also working on an experimental treatment that would increase the speed and strength of soldiers. One night Norman tests this treatment on himself, but something goes wrong with the treatment and it develops an alternate evil personality that we come to know as the Green Goblin.

The Characters:
Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker was a genius choice to make and at the time he was chosen, Tobey was very much an unknown actor but he's now an A-Lister and it's thanks to his stellar performance as the troubled Peter Parker. You gain this sympathy for Peter as he's the typical geek who always gets the worst of everything, you begin to feel like you really want him to succeed in getting the girl and getting the great career being a photographer for the Daily Bugle.
Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane was again a genius choice of casting as the chemistry between the two was something inspirational. Kirsten is a really good fit for this character and through the movie you expect her to go with Harry but you know she really wants the excuse she's looking for to get with Peter. To be able to convince the viewer that you're going to go in the opposite direction than is obvious for the story to progress is something special and I hope if there is a Spiderman 4 then these are the first two to get re-signed as the main characters.
Willem Dafoe: I've never really been familiar with Willems work and I think a lot of people went into this movie and said "who the hell is he?" when he first came on the screen. After about the first half hour and after first seeing him play the psychotic Green Goblin, we came to realise that although to many casual movie goers he may have been an unknown we came to recognise that he was the perfect choice for this part.

The Verdict: Many would agree that the Spider-Man character is Marvels greatest creation and the mainstream success of this movie would not dispute that in the slightest. Personally I loved this film, the action sequences between Spidey and the Goblin are intense and something that although they're minimal they get the job done in establishing the characters and the story. The relationship between MJ & Peter is at times heart wrenching as you first see that Peter is starting to win her over then when he saves her as Spidey she's won over by him. Peter becomes stuck in sort of a four way relationship and one of the other people he's competing with is himself. Because of the reason he can't tell MJ he's spidey it becomes heartbreaking to see her love struck by him and yet Peter can't tell her that he's Spiderman. This is a really good movie that gives us a great blend of both character development and action. It takes a completely fantasy element like an average man getting superpowers and puts it in the real world setting with real characters that people can relate to, this is something Stan Lee set out to do when originally creating the spiderman character and this is something that is carried on with the movie.

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More Spider-Man (movie) reviews
review by . July 18, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I'm not really a huge spider-man fan, i never really liked the comic books, and other than this one none of the movies really appealed to me. One of the things that made this movie so popular is the truly amazing special effects used. The computer animation is so good that its very difficult to see the difference between the real action and the CGI. The story was very well laid out and interesting enough to encourage the viewer to finish the movie. This is another one of those action movies …
review by . December 05, 2009
   It took many years to get this project done and it certainly delivers as not only a great super hero story but a great film in general that has something to please all movie-goers. From Peter's relationships with his Uncle and Aunt, his persuit of Mary Jane, and the valuable lesson he learns when he abuses his powers (with great power comes great responsibility).    Toby Maguire became a household name from this film and Kurstin Dunst is excellent as Mary Jane.  For those …
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Quick Tip by . July 20, 2010
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Quick Tip by . July 12, 2010
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Entertaining movie with great special effects. Not happy with the way they have Peter become Spiderman in this movie.
review by . November 08, 2009
When I heard they had made a big screen, live action adaption of  one of Marvels most profitable and most popular heroes, Spider-Man I was a little  less than enthusiastic seeing as I grew up watching the Spider-Man 1994 animated series when I was  younger. But after finally viewing it  and seeing it for what it is, Sam Rami's Spider-Man  is a masterstroke among the comic book films and is quite possible the   film that started the  Marvel revolution.   …
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review by . September 17, 2004
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Sam Rami needs to be congratulated on making a film that totally outdoes its predecessor. Tobey McGuire is great and is one of the most likeable characters (re: Peter Parker) that I have seen in a film in a long time. Alfred Molina is great as one of the more charismatic villains that have ever been portrayed on the screen. I found myself cheering several times throughout the movie.    Peter Parker can't seem to hold a job (he's killing a pizza business that promises on-time …
review by . January 22, 2004
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It took many years to get this project done and it certainly delivers as not only a great super hero story but a great film in general that has something to please all movie-goers. From Peter's relationships with his Uncle and Aunt, his persuit of Mary Jane, and the valuable lesson he learns when he abuses his powers (with great power comes great responsibility).The special effects were amazing and the choice of the Green Goblin as the tortured Norman Osbourn was perfect. Whatever you do, don't …
review by . August 05, 2003
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Let me start off by saying that "Spiderman" was my favorite superhero when I was a young child. Perhaps that is why I enjoyed this movie so much. It brought me back to a time when I just loved being a kid. Sure, I got picked on by bullies and I was a nerd, but "Spiderman" always gave me the hope that one day I would become something that no bully could ever touch. That's the brilliant thing about this movie. It reminds you that we have all been the geek or the loser at some point in our lives, but …
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Steven Stewart ()
Ranked #47
Currently studying Law at University, my main interests revolve around Politics. I read quite a lot and love learning about History. Not just the history of a specific time, place and person, but I'm … more
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About this movie


Based on the classic Marvel Comics series, Sam Raimi's SPIDER-MAN deftly details the origin of the web-slinging superhero. When awkward New York City teenager Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) attends a class field trip to a laboratory, he gets bitten by a genetically altered spider while taking photos of his longtime crush, the lovely Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst). Soon he discovers this bite has given him remarkable powers--heightened strength, dexterity, and awareness, along with the ability to cling to walls and shoot webs from his wrists. Hoping to win Mary Jane's heart using his new talents, Peter becomes distracted from home life with his doting Aunt May (Rosemary Harris) and Uncle Ben (Cliff Robertson), ultimately leading to tragedy--and his new role as the crime-fighting Spider-Man. Meanwhile Harry Osborn (Willem Dafoe), the industrialist father of Peter's friend Norman (James Franco), undergoes a transformation of his own, bringing about the creation of Spider-Man's arch-nemesis: The Green Goblin...                                            
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Director: Sam Raimi
Genre: Action, Drama, Sci-Fi
Release Date: 2002, May 3, 2002
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Screen Writer: Stan Lee, David Koepp, Steve Ditko
DVD Release Date: November 1, 2002
Runtime: 2hrs 1min
Studio: Sony Pictures, Columbia Pictures
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