Spider-Man (2002). A retrospective on the film’s 15th anniversary

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(9) Comments

  1. Al

    My thoughts on the movie. Are aspects of it dated on a technological front? Sure, but that can’t be helped. In fact generally NOTHING can be helped when it comes to dating. Standards change arbitrailly. We should just judge the movie by the standards of when it was originally created. Peter Parker As for Peter Parker, I don’t think this is a bad interpretation at all when you consider this is a Peter Parker very early into his career as Spider-Man. Is it how modern Spider-Mans hould be played in comics? No. but for a Spider-Man VERY fresh off of getting his powers and being a mostly lonely and bullied nerd throughout his life, it makes sense. In the sequels though then that’s another debate. Plus Spider-man is after all supposed to be pretty nerdy so having that be prominent even in his superhero side is not illogical. I think a lot of the problems people have with his Spider-Man persona are more related to the writing and direction given to him. Remember this was the era where Batman and Robin had bombed hard and Blade and X-Men were trying to do more reserved and realistic takes on superheroes. So Its likely that given how much they were pushing their luck in other capacities the filmmakers felt they should be conservative when it came to Spider-Man as a banterer. Toby though could pull off the jokes as evidenced by his performances in video games. Spider-Man suit Whilst it’s unrealistic that Peter could create a costume like the Spider-Mans suit seen in the movie is it really much more unrealistic than his ability to sew together such an intricate design as he did in the comics? Not to mention make some one way lenses which somehow are attached to the mask no problem? Mary Jane Okay I have to say this for the record. Dialogue and directing are an issue for RamiMJ. Possibly Dunst was miscast as well. But she is NOT a bad character. She just isn’t Mary jane. In all seriousness she is a poor adaptation of Mary jane but as an OC, on paper she is actually a really well written and dare I say progressive female character. Yeah, yeah she got kidnapped and needed to be rescued a lot. But the thing is….that wasn’t the MAJORIOTY of her character in the movies, nor was there nothing more to her than that. She had her own arc, aspirations, character flaws and so on. She isn’t really fickle so much as coming from a really, really, really shitty homelife and is trying to make the best of a bad situation. She is hooking up with Harry not because she loves him but because her Dad treats her like such shit that Harry’s affections towards her make her gravitate towards him. She’s someone who’s self-esteem has been so horribly eroded she is kind of taking what she can get…up to a point. Harry himself doesn’t exactly truly love her either. Eventually she falls for Peter who’s got more genuine affection for her and who doesn’t just give her a degree of validation. I mean that was the point of her breaking up with Harry after his Dad called her a golddigger and he failed to defend her. Again her value and worth as a person was being eviscerated. If you had her needing to be resuced less frequently and altered the dialogue, on paper she’d be a perfectly fine or great character. Way better than Emma Stone’s Gwen who on paper sucks shit and really only works because Stone’s charm and chemistry with Garfield papered over the flaws. Now sure she was shallow in being attracted to Spider-Man. But…not only did that not last throughout the movie but more poignantly…is this really much different from Harry (or arguably peter’s) own attraction to her? I mean a lot of people would find someone like Spider-Man attractive in that situation. And again, her feelings do not last throughout the film. Norman Osborn Yes it’s a Power Rangers suit. But the Power Rangers are swesome so what’s the problem?

  2. ItsMichaelReid

    This was my Batman '89/ Superman the movie. When I was 6 before I learned how to properly use a computer I would constantly force my parents to take me to the theater just because there was a countdown timer on the bottom of the Spiderman poster there. I remember there were dozens of mary Jane toys strangely with her on the broken balcony from the time square scene. I got everything from this movie, from the red and blue pop tarts to cereal, to picture books retelling the movie, to posters, to toys, etc. This movie started a tradition for me in which I got a new spiderman shirt for every movie.. (even the Webb ones..).) When the movie finally came out on DVD I would just dance around to Nickelback's "Hero" during the end credits followed by the classic 60s Spiderman theme. 2002 was a fun year for me Birthday wise and Halloween-wise as I dressed up as spider-man and got the silly string web fluid. I know the film isn't accurate or perfect, it certainly has a place in my heart and memories.

  3. Crime Master

    'As a strange side-note, I'd like to say that while the '70s live-action show was not the best, Nicholas Hammond doesn't get the love he deserves for Peter Parker. He was great as Peter.' I think a big problem was in the writing, while he played the heroic and good-natured element of the character very well, the lack of guilt for Uncle Ben's death meant he could never capture the tragedy. This isn't really his fault at all though.

  4. Adam S.

    One more thing I forgot to add: I don't think the Spidey suit looks that bad. The only thing I would really criticize are the eye-pieces on the mask. They're not my preferred style of Spider-Man eye-pieces, but I still think they look pretty good/acceptable throughout the franchise.

  5. Andrew C

    I think it was good for its time (like X-Men (2000)), but it hasn't aged well. Don't think it holds up to 2017 CBM standards. The Spidey quips are cringe inducing, the CGI is dated, and the scene that was shoehorned after 9/11 with all the New Yorkers attacking GG is just dumb. I can't rewatch it now. Like looking at your old highschool yearbook picture.

  6. JMH

    Not to be a nitpicker, but it's Tobey Maguire not Toby McGuire. I was sixteen when this film came out and it was madness. The movie was so huge, it was crazy. This film (along with Blade and X-Men) really launched the super-hero movie craze. In fact, much of the MCU is patterned after this trilogy. Superman (1978) and Spider-Man might just be the two most influential super-hero films ever made. I think Tobey is so far unmatched. He isn't a perfect adaption of comic book Peter Parker, but he has captured the essence of the character better than any other actor (sorry, Tom Holland's ten minute run isn't sufficient enough to judge). The jokes being limited is a good thing, if he joked as much on screen as he did in the comics, he'd just come off as an ass. There is something about these films that just can't be duplicated, and that is Sam Raimi. Say what you will about him, but no director has worked on Spidey since that cares as deeply for the character as Sam. The "amazing" series was a reminder of why these movies (especially 1 & 2) were so darn good. Will Homecoming match the first two films in quality? Time will tell. As a strange side-note, I'd like to say that while the '70s live-action show was not the best, Nicholas Hammond doesn't get the love he deserves for Peter Parker. He was great as Peter.

  7. Crime Master

    Watching this film always makes me wish we could get another Spider-Man instalment in its universe instead of the constant reboots. I've always been impressed with just how much character it has, so many great little touches and visuals, and even characters who get little more than five seconds of screen-time are memorable and quotable. It's incredibly well-structured as well, and even though it does set up some future things with Harry blaming Spider-Man for Norman's death, it feels like it'd have been a satisfying story even if the sequels weren't made. Even the cornier stuff like the infamous Goblin costume or the people of NYC standing up for Spider-Man in the climax kind of works in the context of the film to me because of just how earnestly the film treats them, something I miss in the constantly snarky MCU. One thing I can't forgive of the film however is the depiction of Mary Jane, taking one of the best characters in comics and making her so utterly bland and useless is almost an achievement, frankly.

  8. Adam S.

    I remember I saw the movie with my dad the weekend it came out. Theater was packed (of course) and we were sitting in one of the very front rows. After the movie, I remember telling my dad all about how Norman eventually comes back to life, and when we got home I remember we talked about how unsettling that scene was where Norman vaporizes the Oscorp board members. I think Toby is pretty charming in the movie in an unconventional way. I agree that he could've delivered the "Gobby" line way better. One of the great things about the movie is that it's insanely quotable. I watched it with a few friends a while back and now we quote it a lot as part of our in-jokes. Ultimately, I think what's great about the Raimi films in particular is that they don't take themselves too seriously, but the world being presented to you is still believable. All in all, I have a lot of good memories of the movie. I think it might be my favorite of all of the Spider-Man movies released so far.

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