Definitely very well made, and extremely interesting in that we get to see
the creation of Spider-man as he himself makes the discoveries. Even the
love story was palatable. I only wish the bad guys in comic books were not
I was very intrigued for the first half of this movie. I
could relate to Peter Parker, who is a high school geek or nerd. Although
I was never abused by class-mates, and had many friends of my own, it was
easiest to relate to how Peter felt shy and intimidated by beautiful girls.
In particular, his next door neighbor, Mary Jane Watson, otherwise known as M.J.
I was surprised to see her defend him so often, especially from her boyfriend.
Maybe that's why she can't see his infatuation- he can't defend himself.
Peter's friend Harry was a quick study, and is a particularly slimy creature,
which is probably genetics at work. Every chance he gets, he makes moves
for M.J. Often enough she is as clueless to his advances as she is to
Peter, but after graduation, he seemed able to snag her. But he keeps it a
secret from Peter for as long as he can!
As for Peter, after being bitten by a genetically enhanced spider, he gains the
spider's abilities. This is Star Trek science at its worst, unfortunately.
If I bite somebody, they will not become me, or even partly me.
Fortunately for evolution. But I suppose we can rationalize this by saying they
had adaptive DNA, which they also secreted into Peter's bloodstream, which can
reorganize his DNA, kind of like AIDS does. But for him, the results is
It's refreshing to see him spin webs and fight back at the bully, especially
when he scares himself, as well as everybody else in school. And this is
when he tests his limits. He goes off, climbing buildings with his
newfound grips. He bounds from building to building, spins webs, and makes
clumsy mistakes. It is really fun to watch him make those mistakes, because they
come from a natural curiosity.
The funniest part of the movie has to be his entry into the wrestling
competition. Wanting to impress M.J. by buying a car (to compete with the sports
car her boyfriend received for his birthday), Peter attempts to win the money at
this competition with his new abilities. He enters as The Human Spider,
and keeps trying to correct the announcer, who calls him the much better name of
Peter gets a huge wake-up call in the name of justice immediately following
that match. I know the feeling of showing up a cheater. It must have
been infuriating to be cheated out of his $3000 by a technicality by the
organizer, but it must have felt infinitely better when the money was stolen
right in front of his eyes, since it wasn't going to him, anyway.
But as his uncle told him, not even knowing anything about his newborn abilities,
that "with great power comes great responsibility". And he was right.
Sure, it felt good to get even, but he didn't realize that there were
consequences beyond that satisfaction. Justice doesn't even enter into it.
But when we find out that his uncle has been killed by a car-jacker, I knew
immediately that the person responsible could have been stopped if Peter had not
taken his revenge on the wrestling organizers. And I was right. It
is unfortunate that it takes a great loss to create that wake-up call for him,
but it really drives the message home, hard.
While racing to catch up with the bad guy, Peter swings through the streets
on his webs for the very first time -very awkwardly. He kills the man in
anger when he realizes who it was (the flashback was not necessary), and flees police. From this moment on, he decides to take justice
into his own hands, stopping robberies and muggings and other criminal acts.
The newspaper editor, Jameson, was hilarious! Offering a reward for
pictures of Spider-Man, and then putting a slanderous headline on the front
page, the man was completely flippant in his attitude. Peter decides to make some money by putting a camera nearby when he
thwarts a robbery. He provides enough photos to keep himself going for a
Things start to turn ugly when Harry's father develops an evil side. He
loses a government contract for metabolic enhancers, so tries the drugs on
himself. But he never remembers anything evil that he does. He turns
into the Green Goblin, destroys the competition to his product (which looked
incredibly unwieldy), kills the board of directors to his own company, who
kicked him out, and takes on Spider-Man.
I am surprised that he didn't remove the mask when he had Spider-Man drugged
at one point. But all he wanted was to offer a partnership, which Peter
refused, of course.
The middle section of the movie, right up to the confrontation at the end, is
rather non-descript. Spider-Man and the Green Goblin compete, using New
York as their battleground. Meanwhile, Peter courts M.J. by not courting
her, by simply being her support. And when Harry's father figures out that
Peter is Spider-Man, because of a gash given during one of their battles, he
rushes off and plans his next move.
First, he injures Peter's aunt, sending a clear signal that he knows the
hero's identity. Then, when he discovers that Peter is deeply infatuated
with M.J., he captures her. The climactic battle is cool in that it looks
like Peter will choose love over the lives of small children when the Green
Goblin threatens both. I liked the tribute to New Yorkers ("you mess with
one of us, you mess with us all!") as they pelt Green Goblin from the bridge.
But Spider-Man manages to save both M.J. and the load of children, and lower
them safely onto a barge in the water below.
Then we get a duel, which was no better or worse than any of the other
battles, except that Peter doesn't actually kill the Green Goblin -it's the
Goblin's treachery that eventually kills himself. I think this lessens the
impact (except that Peter has already killed a man), so he doesn't have to go
through more growing pains.
The ending leaves the door wide open for sequels. Harry is convinced
that Spider-Man killed his father. On a wish from the good side of Norman
Osborn, Peter didn't tell anybody of the real identity of the Green Goblin.
Harry promises revenge. There is also the love story angle. Just
when M.J. professes her love for Peter, he must deny it, because he can't have
the same thing happen again -he can't put his loved ones in danger (although the
fact remains that his aunt is still alive, and he still loves M.J.- anybody who
knows him will figure this out, also). But the
ending makes us wonder if she has figured out his identity anyway -she wonders
why his kiss feels so similar to the kiss she received from Spider-Man when he
rescued her (for the second time).
I truly enjoyed this movie, but I don't think it was as perfect as its insane
box-office numbers make it seem! I especially liked the way the producers
made the creation of this super-hero step-by-step, letting us discover the
results as Peter first experiences them. The love story was also quite
natural, and the two leads pretty to look at (I think Kirstin Dunst in the rain
was pure demographic, and nothing else!), and they had good chemistry together. All of the characters, from the
major ones to the smaller roles like Peter's Aunt and Uncle, were well
developed. And the bad guy, even though he was insane, was still good at
I still don't understand how it could have made all the money
that it has so far. Yes, I'm a little incensed that it will undoubtedly
beat all the Star Wars films on the all-time gross
list! Was it better than Attack of the
Clones? No, but it wasn't any worse, either. I think they stand
about even, though for different reasons. The special effects in
Spider-Man were more subtle, and not as grandiose, the music was more
pop-oriented, and the love angle worked better.