5 things to love/hate about Spider-Man (movie review)

This movie is everything that The Amazing Spider-Man wasn’t; it’s full of charm, drama, and characters you care about. It’s not perfect, but 2002’s Spider-man is certainly good enough. Here’s five things to love and five things to hate about Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire’s take on ol’ web head.

First, the love:

1. Charm
Check out the clip above. How effing charming is Maguire as Spider-Man? Very. The answer is very. And the movie itself is charming; it’s funny, kinda silly, but it has heart.

2. Characters
It’s easy to relate to these characters – they’re a little flat (Mary Jane isn’t the best drawn character… neither is Harry…), but the bottom line is, Peter Parker is easy to latch on to. You care about him and his problems and you want to see him win the day – it’s the reason this movie works and The Amazing Spider-Man is something of a dud.

3. Story
The tone waves around a bit – there’s the fun of the wrestling match and then the sheer terror of the climax – but for the most part, the story works great here. There are lots of memorable scenes here: I’m a big fan of the “Now Choose!” moment.

4. Action
It sure is fun watching Spider-Man zoom all over the place in this movie. Even the wrestling match is fun, and the cage isn’t especially well used, considering Spider-Man could have been crawling all over the sides… anyway, still fine!

5. It looks like a comic book! (Sometimes!)
There are some really great images in this movie – my favorite is the aforementioned “Now Choose!” moment when the Green Goblin drops both Mary Jane and the Tram car – in Spider-Man’s reaction shot, you see both the tram car and Mary Jane falling reflecting in his eyes. It’s still one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen in a comic book movie.

Then, there’s the hate:

1. The Green Goblin’s costume/mask.
I friggin’ HATE the Green Goblin’s costume, but not as much as I hate his mask. I HATE that they went through the trouble to reveal his eyes, but not his mouth. If we’re going to watch a dialogue scene, why bother to show only his eyes? WORDS COME OUT OF THE MOUTH!

2. Sometimes it looks like crap.
There are a few effects in this movie that just aren’t up to par – the scene where The Green Goblin knocks out Spider-Man with colored gas and he’s falling… that looks like crap.

3. Harry’s some sort of weird stalker.
I just don’t understand Harry’s character and I never really do, in any of the movies in the series. He’s just… weird. I don’t understand his motivations… well, the Spider-Man hate that comes later makes sense, but that phone call he has with Mary Jane is weird – and then she hangs up abruptly, making it weirder… I don’t get it.

4. Ow! Stop beating me over the head with everything!
The Green Goblin is evil/Harry Osborne is crazy. I get it. J. Jonah Jameson is loud, obnoxious and exploitative – I get it. We don’t need quite so many scenes constantly establishing these things… this is a big part of the reason why this movie is 121 minutes, but it could probably get down to a trim 90 or 100 easily.

5. What was the point of the Spider-Kidnapping?
I keep picking on this scene, don’t I? Well, I hate it – that’s why. I don’t get why the Green Goblin ever made the proposal that he and Spider-Man work together, never mind trying to understand why he gave him some time to think it over. Work together on what? I’d love to see these guys paint the interior of a house together.

Spider-man isn’t perfect, but it’s solid entertainment, and it’s way better than the first reboot, that’s for sure. I give it a 7.8 out of 10.


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About Jamie Insalaco

Jamie Insalaco is the author of CreativeJamie.com, BomberBanter.com and editor in chief of ComicBookClog.com

Posted on April 17, 2014, in lists, movie review and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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