Spider-Man has always been my favorite super hero. For as long as I can remember I have wanted to swing through my town protecting all the innocent people. When I was 7 or 8 I got a Spider-Man costume for my birthday. Equipped with that was some silly string that acted like web shooters. It came with two bottles of silly string. I used them all up in about 5 minutes. I just went crazy imagining I was battling villains like Green Goblin, Venom, Doctor Octopus, and so on. This big screen debut of the web slinger is the most accurate portrayal of what I imagined when I thought I was Spider-Man. If you want to know what I was thinking, watch this movie.
This movie does a lot of things right. Perhaps my favorite part about this movie is the simplicity about it. We have a ton of franchise movies today that are so focused on contributing to a bigger universe. During the early 2000s, there really was no big franchise. It was really only X-Men and Spider-Man that were the main comic book movies of those years. The fact that this didn’t need to set up a universe only benefited the film. It took the time to zone in on the miniscule details that might be missed in the big blockbusters of today.
If I taught film school this would be a movie that I would have my students study. It masterfully relates the characters emotions to the story beats that are throughout. It is a good character study. It’s weird saying that about a comic-book movie but it’s certainly true. The film showcases its best character study through the villain Green Goblin/Norman Osborne played by Willem Dafoe. It is by far one of the most underrated portrayals of a villain in a comic book movie. It’s a dark, twisted, sadistic character that just fascinates you from the beginning. Dafoe does an excellent job at adding so many layers to this character. A good villain can really raise a movie to the next level. This movie is evident of that.
Maguire’s portrayal of the character is much different than I would do it but it worked out wonderfully. He nailed the awkwardness of a guy when talking to a girl. He nailed the feeling you get when you think you are the coolest person alive. He took all the key parts of Peter Parker and showcased them in a wonderful manner. He was a perfect Peter Parker for this time in the early 2000s. Would his version of the role work out today? Probably not. But it holds up.
Now, you might have heard complaints from people saying that Maguire’s chemistry with Dunst (who plays Mary Jane) didn’t work. It actually worked really well. The character that Maguire established in the first is pretty consistent throughout the movie. He evolves and develops with his challenges along with giving you a good idea about what type of relationship he has with Mary Jane. It works out really well.
This movie shines with the characters of Green Goblin and Peter Parker. It will entertain you from beginning to end. It places you in the middle of the action so you feel like you are fighting with Spider-Man. You will immediately want to see this journey continue.
This film does something different when compared to other comic book movies. I just can’t put my finger on it. It just has that special charm to it. It just gives you a really good feeling inside. I guarantee that you will have a great time watching this movie.