121 Min | Action – Fantasy | June 2002
IMDB Rating: 7.3
Director: Sam Raimi
Starring: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, Willem Dafoe
Spider-Man Review: “With great power comes great responsibility”. These words, spoken by Peter Parker’s uncle Ben(Cliff Robertson)during their last conversation and which have become Spider-Man’s motto, also perfectly represent the challenge Sam Raimi was facing when asked to bring one of America’s most loved superheroes to the screen. You can relax, fellas Raimi’s movie is definitely worth a look. Loosely based on the origin story and the Stan Lee/John Romita Sr. run, it’s a fascinating mix of spectacular action and powerful drama, as it chronicles Peter Parker’s(Tobey Maguire) transformation into a superhuman and the responsibilities deriving from said metamorphosis while fighting crime to avenge his uncle’s death, he also has to deal with his feelings for Mary Jane Watson(Kirsten Dunst) and his friendship with Harry Osborn(James Franco), add Harry’s father Norman(Willem Dafoe), who’s become schizophrenic psycho Green Goblin, and you’ve got a quite complicated situation.
Likewise James Franco, who looks enough like Dafoe that they could be father and son, is a youth who seems tormented by the fact that no matter what success he achieves, his father never gives him his just due. Kirsten Dunst is also beautiful and charming as Mary Jane. Her romantic scenes with Spiderman are wonderfully played, and she has an especially moving scene with Peter Parker as the film draws to a close.
The story of Spider-Man is well written and keeps you along for the entire ride, coupled with action that’s explosive and thrilling. Definitely fun for all, even die hard Spidey fans won’t be disappointed. Raimi’s excellent at showing us the hero’s pain, as well as the one he causes to others, and he gets terrific performances from the entire cast, particularly Maguire, Dafoe and Robertson. On its own, it’s a very good superhero flick, alongside the sequel, it’s an absolute masterpiece.