As I didn't see this movie in the theatres, and am
a huge Sam Raimi fan, I wanted to see if the movie
lived up to the hype. So I rented the newly released
Spider-Man Widescreen Special Edition DVD and was
treated to a big-budget adaptation that was true to
the original spirit of the comic book.
The first half of the movie resonated with my inner
geek, with Tobey Maguire's nerdy Peter Parker suffering
stoically through his high-school years then by chance
gaining superhuman strength, agility, and perception
after the infamous radioactive spider bite, altered
to fit our times by being a genetically altered spider's
bite. He's transformed into a teenager with no idea
of how to be a hero.
At first he uses his new abilities for material gain
to impress the girl of his dreams with tragic results,
indirectly causing the death of someone he cares deeply
about. Inspired by the words of his uncle, "With
great power comes great responsibility", he devotes
himself to fighting crime as the superhero Spider-Man.
His long standing secret love for the girl next door,
Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst), adds a sweet but cheesy
element to the story. However, it's Willem Dafoe's
Green Goblin that takes the movie over the edge into
fromage-land, as Spider-Man's generic arch enemy.
This movie appeals to younger viewers with good
reason. Some of the CGI action sequences looked artificial
and the extras on the DVD were more hype than insight,
but I did enjoy Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst's
portrayals of Peter and Mary Jane. As Amazon.com says:
"a great movie for comic hero buffs, adventure
movie watchers, and not-so-young kids." 2