Saturday, 14 July 2012

Mini-Review: Spider-Man

It’s crazy to think but before 2002 there were no superhero movies in theatres. The last attempt at any sort of venture was with 1997’s abomination ‘Batman and Robin’. Marvel had yet to make any headway into the world of live-action adaptions of their heroes, but decided to begin with Spider-Man. Flash-forward to 2012 and you can’t go 6 months without seeing a new superhero film, Hollywood has embraced the genre and made it one of the most successful of all time. Back in 2002 though ‘Spider-Man’ was revolutionary.

(I’m not going to do a story recap since I’ve recapped this story about 4 times this week, if you don’t already know the story then why are you reading this?)

This movie has a pretty solid script, its characters are given enough room to develop before they are called upon for forwarding the core plot, particularly Peter Parker who becomes a very personable character for the audience to latch onto from the onset of the film. The classic story of Spider-Man’s origin is told with the respect it deserves and Sam Raimi doesn’t ever try to distract from who the real star of the movie is, Spider-Man.

Raimi’s direction is a great match for a hero such as Spider-Man, all the fantastical qualities are there including the larger than life action sequences with the wall crawler and the Green Goblin, but what Raimi really succeeds at is portraying of the realistic aspects of this story such as Peter’s day to day life at home and at the Daily Bugle. The Green Goblin in particular was handled expertly in this movie and Willem Defoe delivers a performance as Norman Osborn that will be incredibly difficult to top for any future actor taking on the role. The main players are well cast for the most part but there are a few duds in the mix, Cliff Robertson and Rosemary Harris did not the suit the parts of aunt May and uncle Ben to me, they even seemed to old to even be such a relation to Peter.

The impact this film had was enormous, as I stated earlier the superhero genre has become commonplace since the release of this film and I personally think it has a lot to do with the success and quality of this movie. The series may have gone drastically downhill with the horrendous ‘Spider-Man 3’ and if I’m honest ‘Spider-Man 2’ is probably a better crafted film than this one but for what it did to cinema and for the amazement it made me feel the first time I saw it, I can’t deny that ‘Spider-Man’ was pure magic.

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