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Spider-Man (2002)

Spider-Man (2002)

Tobey Maguire is Peter Parker, Kirsten Dunst is Mary Jane, James Franco is Harry and Willem Dafoe is Green Goblin. That's the main cast, and though they're all great actors in their own accord, they just don't strike this chord right. At least not as right as they did with the sequel, or better yet: the reboot.

Having seen the new version: the new story, and humor, and character chemistry, this one feels all wrong. Tobey Maguire is painfully goofy, the romance is excessively cheesy, and the CGI is terrible. The swings between buildings feel stiff and awkward, and the fights have that old Batman-style to them. Though that was fine and dandy with the Great Big Bat, it just doesn't work as well with a character who webs his way through the world rather than falling in or rising away theatrically.

The soundtrack feels similar, too, which doesn't mean it's bad, but it feels like it's aimed for another character, in another place; another time. Like Spider-Man hasn't found his true purpose, which in a way is relevant to the plot, though rather than enforce his lack of purposeless it just projects a different image. It's as pompous and orchestral as ever, but it's someone else's style. Not his; nor a blank-slate's.

Even the CGI intro was embarrassingly bad, with plastic-looking webs and unstable motions between the frames. Not how I remembered it.

It's a feel-good story though, about how Peter Parker first gains his Spider-Man powers, and how he manages his daily trials with school, his uncle's death, his tragic (but evolving) relationship with Mary Jane, and the soon-to-be unexpected clash between him and his best friend, when his best friend's father takes a strange drug and becomes the Green Goblin.

The intrigue's not bad, and Peter Parker's life and journey is bumpy and sad. Even if you're disappointed by the acting, and action, you do get into the mood. You relate to him, and hope it all works out, but at the same time have a hard time not continually comparing this to the reboot, and realizing the new is just so much better in so many ways. The character chemistry most of all.

I know I liked this the first time I saw this, and maybe it still is good, but now I know it can be better. If you're pending between seeing this and seeing the new one, I'd recommend the latter.

 rated 3/5: not bad


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  1. S3C
    Saturday Dec/31/2016

    lol if Tobey Maguire is goofy wait till you see Andrew Garfield's Spiderman! It's pretty much a joke. Don't remember the CGI being that bad though. Overall I'd say this is one of the better superhero movies of the 2000s (of course everything pales to Christopher Nolan's Batman...Watchmen is up there too). I'd rank the Spiderman trilogy 3-2-1.

  2. Cyber
    Saturday Dec/31/2016

    I have seen the new ones though, and I liked them a lot more. No joke. Saw them pretty recently too. The new guy is goofy, but in a whole other way. It just fits better, their chemistry is better, the plot isn't as predictable, and though it shouldn't matter as much: the CGI is worlds apart! I didn't remember it being so bad here either. Actually thought the old ones were obviously better than the new until I watched them again. Seems things aren't always as good as you remember them!

    Ah, third Spider-man first! That was the one that totally messed up the timeline and forced a reboot, but I assume everything else (as far as CGI, character chemistry etc) just kept improving. I'd rank them 2-3-1, though I haven't seen the third one recently, maybe I'll change my mind when I do.

  3. S3C
    Wednesday Jan/4/2017

    Spiderman 3 messed up the timeline? How so? I thought it by far had the most complete and dynamic storyline out of all 3, a good balance of villains, and emo-Spidey was a great touch. A highly satisfying cap to the series IMO.

  4. Cyber
    Wednesday Jan/4/2017

    Well. basically it had too many villains. They were brought in from different timelines, en masse, to make things as intense as possible. The director didn't want to add Venom yet, but the studio pushed for it to 'up the stakes'. He's said himself it was a big mistake, and left too little room to develop all characters and further intensify the plot. Maybe not a bad end to the trilogy, but not in line with the original story; not possible to build upon further, thus the reboot (now with more attention on keeping the story in line with the comic counterparts; developing at a reasonable pace)

    I honestly don't remember my own impressions when I saw the third one though, but I've read so much negative hype about it since that's the impression I have now. Should probably watch anew for fresher view.

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