Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Classic and satisfying.
Who is your favorite superhero? The options vary, and the reasoning behind the favoritism also vary, but you’d typically find that you like the hero that relates closely to yourself. For me, I have been a monumental fan of Spider-Man since I first saw… the 90’s Saturday morning cartoon show…shut up. I wasn’t against comics, but keeping up with them just seems to be a hassle. Anyways, I was a fan of Spider-man and couldn’t wait to get my hands on Tobey Maguire’s version of the hero. Spider-Man was the first real shot we had at a real live-action flick, and what a solid film it was.
So, everyone already knows the story of how Peter Parker became Spider-man, but I’m gonna tell it as if you have all been living under a rock for the last couple of decades (to be safe). Peter Parker (Maguire) is the downright nerd of nerds. He’s in love with the girl next door (literally), but no one pays him any mind. Well, on a field trip, Peter is bitten by a radioactive spider, and the next morning he found out he had some crazy awesome powers. Things like sticky fingers, super-strength, 20/20 vision, and of course – the power to shoot webs out of his wrists. When Norman Osborn, a scientist at Oscorp, begins human testing on himself, he becomes the Green Goblin. A villain that has one true goal – to keep his job.
So I’ve been getting used to talking about a film’s theme lately. So why stop now when a movie’s theme is pretty much a major blatant plot tool? What I mean by that is the primary theme in the film is spoken numerous times in the film – responsibility. Beyond that, I would say empathy. Spider-Man is one of the most caring and responsible heroes that I have ever seen. At the same time, though, he loves to play around and act sarcastic as its part of his character. It is his actions, though, that deserve credit. Moral and selfish dilemmas are pretty apparent in this film, and for the most part, Peter does the right thing. He isn’t prideful, he’s selfless. At the same time, he isn’t perfect, so he does end up kicking himself for different things. It makes him feel that much more human.
Tobey Maguire was a magnificent pick for the role of Peter Parker. I haven’t known any other interpretations as convincing as this. Don’t get me started on Andrew Garfield. Let’s just say if Garfield was in this film, I’d expect him to be hanging around Flash Thompson and the boys. Maguire was a great pick…even if he, Mary-Jane, Harry, and the rest of them did look too old to be high schoolers. Thankfully, they weren’t in school long enough for us to really complain. That’s another thing…people have complained about Kirsten Dunst as Mary-Jane. I honestly have no complaints about her. None whatsoever. I thought she was great.
If I had one major complaint – it would be that the Green Goblin wasn’t fully…as evil as he could possibly be. If you really think about it, his involvement in the film wouldn’t be half as bad if Spider-Man didn’t show up. Most of the bad stuff the Green Goblin does wasn’t on a global or city-wide scale, but on a close level to Spider-Man. He attacked Aunt May, he attacked Mary Jane…and his main goal was to simply keep his job. When this film first came out, no one really thought twice about it, but we have stuff to compare it to now. His character could have been more effective. We, as an audience, should feel fear not only for the hero, but for the city as well. Sure, there were a couple of scenes that heightened that level of danger, but nothing at the level of any of the other Spider-Man flicks.
Spider-Man satisfies that kid in you that you forgot even existed. Tobey Maguire is the perfect nerd and perfect Peter Parker, and Spider-Man is epic for a first on-screen appearance.