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Viewed at Pacific Place
Rated PG-13; running time of 121 minutes
Written by: David Koepp, based on the comic book by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko
Directed by: Sam Raimi
Cast: Tobey Maguire, Willem Dafoe, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, J.K. Simmons, Rosemary Harris, Cliff Robertson
WARNING - SPOILERS BELOW.
High School Senior Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) is a shy geek who is picked on by all of the jocks. To make matters worse he is in love with the one girl he can't have, Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst). Mary Jane has been his neighbor since he was six, but she has never seen him as anything more that just Peter next door. Despite all of this, Peter is content. He lives with his elderly Aunt May (Rosemary Harris) and Uncle Ben (Cliff Robertson) both of whom he loves to death. He also has a best friend in Harry Osborn (James Franco), a filthy rich young man who longs for acceptance from his father Norman ( Willem Dafoe). But Peter's world drastically changes while on a school trip to a science lab.
The lab in question is where scientists are genetically altering the DNA of spiders. They took a different trait from 3 different spiders and created 15 super spiders. A spider that has enormous strength; can leap and jump from amazing heights; has a super strong web; and has the gift of foresight. One of the super spiders gets out and bites Peter on the hand. Overnight, the spider's DNA meshes with Peter's and Spider-Man is born.
Meanwhile on the other side of town, Scientist Norman Osborn is struggling to keep his government project funded. Desperate, he tries the formula on himself and it causes his personality to split into two - the normal Osborn and a downright mean and nasty one. With a jet-powered scooter, a green flight suit and nasty little sphere's that hurt people, the Green Goblin emerges and begins to terrorize the city of New York.
Can Peter put his fear and reluctance behind him and stop the Green Goblin or will the citizens of New York perish?
Hot damn! Boy did I have fun watching this movie. More fun than I've had in a long time. And isn't that what the summer movie season is all about? Plot? We don't need no stinkin' plot! It met my expectations across the board. I wanted to be wowed by special effects. I didn't want to have to think at all, I just wanted to stare at the screen and drool. I wanted to laugh and smile. I was able to do all of that.
I've never really read the comic books, but I knew enough about Spider-Man to visualize what it should be like and I could find very little to fault. Tobey Maguire was born to be Spidey. Heck everyone was cast just perfect and wouldn't have picked any other actors. Next to Maguire, J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson and Dafoe as The Green Goblin were the best casting choices.
Between the pacing of the story, Danny Elfman's sweeping soundtrack, and Spidey zooming through New York. The audience was able to identify with Spidey. We all felt like we were climbing building and swinging through downtown Manhattan. Hell I want to get bitten by a spider now, and I hate those things.
Sometimes the acting was just way over the top to the point where it was down right corny, luckily that happened rarely. The constant theme and dialogue about being a man almost alienated me. I got it the first time, I didn't need to hear it 50 different ways from 50 different people.
Beyond that, it was a great treat and well worth the wait.
See this movie. Both you and your kids will love it. There is some cartoonish violence, some sensuality and 2 or 3 curse words, so I'll leave it up to you. I would take my niece if she were a little older. At 2 and 1/2 and I don't think she'd get it. If you can stand a little cheese and a little fluff, there is no reason for you to pass this one up.
A tightly woven web of fun.
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Copyright Kamal "The Diva" Larsuel-Ulbricht, 2002
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