Spider-Man movie reviewSpider-Man review


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Directed by Sam Raimi

Starring: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, Willem Dafoe, James Franco
Running Time: 2:01
Country: USA
Year: 2002
Web: Official Site
Sam Raimi's Spider-man is a surprisingly self-restrained work whose charming and quiet self-mocking narrative sometimes bursts into pure adrenaline. A perfect way to symbolize Peter Parker's character, the real hero of this film.

Spider-man needs no introduction. But Peter Parker does. That's what seemed to have been at the core of this scenario that works hard to focus on the nerdy boy behind the mask instead of just going for easy acrobatic thrills. And that's what makes Spider-man a good entertainment picture.

With the success of films like The Matrix and The Lord of the Rings and the rise of directors like Steven Soderbergh, the studios have finally realized that to be successful an entertainment piece doesn't always to be a braindead non-stop action ride. Instead of giving the responsibility of bringing Spidey to life to Roland Emmerich and have Vin Diesel jumping around in red pajamas like an orangutan, they went to cult indie director Sam Raimi—let's just forget about For the Love of the Game—and to real actors such as Willem Dafoe, Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst. Remi respectfully builds the movie around the transformation of a regular nerd into a hero—focusing on character development more than pure action.

The obvious fun that the actors took in embodying the characters makes the film work while the unusual absence of cheap clichés and one-liners make it a superior brand of Hollywood entertainment.

There are two parts within the movie, a drama and an action film spiced with some comics-toned interludes (mainly at the newspaper). All the characters are contrasted and this avoids the usual good vs. evil battle. Most of all, the film and the actors never take themselves too seriously, reminding you that you are only watching a comic book on the big screen.

The action is often spectacular but sometimes the settings have been neglected to focus on spider-man acrobatics. There are also some obvious visual references to The Matrix; maybe a thank you for the new level of special effects it defined. Raimi used a couple of horror tricks and the pace is a bit slow at times. But enough time is needed to cover the transformation and the first conflict with the Green Goblin.

Tobey Maguire is perfect for the role and he plays well with his geeky looks that are soon forgotten one he's in the red suit. Willem Dafoe has a lot of fun with his role, sometimes charming, sometimes creepy, and he never overplays by keeping a sense of self-mockery that is lacking in most actors playing villains. Kirsten Dunst is also convincing as a confused teenager.

Finally a spider you might like be bitten by.

  Fred Thom

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