Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Spider-Man (2002)

"You're not Superman."

I'll be generous; this film is well-made, well-acted, looks good, has a decent plot and it was amazing at the time (unbelievably the first ever Spider-Man film was released as late as 2002) to see Spidey on-screen. Tobey Maguire is a good Peter Parker and the film faithfully translates the comics well, particularly visually. But... even at the time it was a little disappointing that the film was so serious and totally lacking in Spidey's signature quips.

Now? Well, several years of witty, cool Marvel Cinematic Universe films make this film seem stuff and awkward. It's quite good, but forgettable, and feels like a relic of a different era. The most interesting thing about it in 2016, sadly, is that Cliff Robertson, who plays Uncle Ben, also played Shame in the 1960's Batman series.

Still, there are lots of things to praise, from the costume to the realisation of Spidey's web swinging to the casting of J.L. Simmons as a perfect J. Jonah Jameson. Doing an origin story for a superhero film is generally not a good idea but they get away with it; nice to see the radioactive spider being updated to a genetically engineered one. And Willem Dafoe makes a splendid Green Goblin.

It's just that, well, these days we expect our superhero films to be a bit less serious. Not a bad film, but surprisingly dated..

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