Spider-Man (2002)


Movie Review

Directed by: Sam Raimi

Starring: Tobey Maguire, James Franco, Kirsten Dunst, and Willem Dafoe

Many people credit X-Men for starting the wave of films from Marvel Comics that has hit the box office over the last decade.  While X-Men was one of the first Marvel films (with the exception of Blade and Captain America), the critical and commercial success of Spider-Man paved the way for the comic book films of the last decade.  Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) is your everyday nerd until he goes on a high school field trip where he is bitten by a genetically-altered spider.  When he realizes that he has spider-like abilities, he begins a life of crime-fighting.  Peter becomes Spider-Man.  Meanwhile, Norman Osborn (Willem Dafoe) sees his company crumbling before his eyes.  In an effort to save it, he administers a performance enhancing drug to himself that turns him into a maniacal villain known as the Green Goblin.

Spider-Man is truly a larger-than-life film that took the comic book genre in a different direction than the Batman and Superman franchises.  While Raimi does provide a film full of dazzling special effects and lots of web-filled action, Raimi focuses on developing characters to make a more personal connection with the audience.  Unlike Batman and Superman, we actually care about the superhero in this movie.  This film is a great start to one of the most successful and acclaimed comic book franchises of all time.  Spider-Man deserves a sober rating. 



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