Thursday, May 03, 2007



In response to the upcoming release of Spider-Man 3 this weekend, it seems fitting to review the previous two films. Will people disagree with me? Compared to previous outings I know that this one will get a lot of people annoyed more than others. Why might you ask? Because I’ve had verbal arguments with my friends over these two films.

Simply put Spider-Man one is a solid film. The changes made from the comic book don’t bother me because I never was a huge comic book person. Most of what I’ve gathered about Spider-Man comes directly from the daily comic strip in the newspaper, and the great mid-nineties cartoon. Outside of that I only knew a handful of other things about it.

Tobey McGuire is pretty good as Peter, aside from the numerous blank stares that were caught on screen – was he meant to look bored? I mean, okay he must have been thinking about whether or not people would buy a 27 year old as a just recently graduated high school student. That would explain it. Kirsten Dunst is pretty good as Mary Jane. And Willem Dafoe does a fantastic job as Norman Osborn. Without Dafoe, the film would have probably been a disaster as he keeps the rest of the film afloat with his acting ability.

The serious problem with this film (and even worse in the sequel) is the pacing of the story. Like most origin stories, they delve too far back into the mythos – and retread a lot of the same territory. Most people seeing a popular comic book character/group’s film already are at least somewhat familiar with the plot, or at the very least it isn’t important enough to show us as the people sitting in the seats are really only looking for one thing – to finally see the “character” they know and love on the screen.

The biggest problem with the film is the camp. I realize that it’s directed and produced by Sam Raimi – one of the biggest schlock-meisters out there. I mean, he produced Xena. The film is presented in such a way that the film tries too hard to both be “fun and easy” one minute and then “serious” the next. The end result is a near-mediocre experience that is only raised to the level of an average film by the wonderful performances (albeit still cheesy).

Verdict: ***/*****

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