Movie Review: Spider-Man (2002)

Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man (C) skews too safe and squeaky-clean with Tobey Maguire a particularly bland central casting choice stuck playing the dual role of the superhero and Peter Parker. After dispensing with the mythology of how the teen becomes the “arachninspired” legend, Raimi plunges the story into a rather weak romance with Mary Jane (a dead-eyed Kirsten Dunst) and a beleaguered  battle with the Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe, in another “didn’t he used to be good?” role).  The special effects are obvious cartoonish CGI and miniatures, and the action just doesn’t seem all that urgent. The best thing that can be said is it’s a fairly harmless film that kids will enjoy as a starter comic book adventure, viewed with parental guidance of course. With great power comes great responsibility, and the usually very creative Raimi stumbled a bit on the job here. Kudos to the iconic upside-down spider-kiss though!

I've reviewed films for more than 20 years. Current movie reviews of new theatrical releases and direct-to-video or streaming films are added weekly to the Silver Screen Capture movie news site. Many capsule critiques originally appeared in expanded form in my syndicated Lights Camera Reaction column.

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Posted in 2002

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