Writer: David Koepp (Screenplay) Stan Lee, Steve Ditko (Comic Book)
Starring: Tobey Maguire, Willem Dafoe, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Cliff Robertson, Rosemary Harris, J.K. Simmons
Plot: When bitten by a genetically modified spider, a nerdy, shy, and awkward high school student gains spider-like abilities that he eventually must use to fight evil as a superhero after tragedy befalls his family.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Truly Enjoyable Spiderman Movie
Story: Spider-Man starts as we meet high school student Peter Parker (Maguire), he only had one friend at school and that is over privileged Harry Osborn (Franco) and his high school crush Mary Jane (Dunst) attending a field trip at science laboratory where Peter gets bitten by one of the spiders.
The next day Peter finds himself stronger and more aware than ever, he has gained the spider skills, Peter uses his time to learn his abilities, but when his Uncle Ben (Robertson) becomes a victim of crime, Peter becomes Spiderman protecting New York City from the criminals.
With high school finished Peter and Harry move to New York, where they find jobs, but Peter has been fighting crime become front page news. Harry’s father Norman a CEO at Oscorp determined to make the most money unleashes the Green Goblin on the city, giving Spiderman his first opponent that will tests his abilities.
Thoughts on Spider-Man
Characters – Peter Parker is the socially awkward high school outcast, he does have the brains to become anything but when he gets bitten he becomes Spiderman where he starts to fight to protect his city after losing his Uncle. Norman Osborn is the career driven genius that will go to any lengths to be the leading developer in government technology, but when he loses his way, he goes out to stop anyone with his Green Goblin persona. Harry is Peter’s best friend and son of Norman, he watches how everything unfolds but also starts dating Mary Jane. Mary Jane is the high school crush of Peter, she does stick up for him as they share the same dreams.
Performance – Tobey Maguire is great in this leading role showing the innocence side of Peter but away from the high school age. Kirsten Dunst is a beautiful Mary Jane and while mostly the damsel in distress does give us a good performance. James Franco showed us all the potential he has started to show us in this role. Willem Dafoe enjoys the villainous role through the film and is easy one of the better conflicted villains in the universe.
Story – This is an origin story for Spiderman that came out just when the superhero boom was starting up, it bought us a new hero to root for and one that was filled with the odd joke. We have the motivation for Peter to become Spiderman, a friendship which will become important through this franchise and a villain that is conflicted with why he is doing the things he is doing. It may well be a by the book origin story it does have enough darker moments to make us see the light in his actions.
Action/Adventure – The action fits the comic book genre perfectly with the adventure side of the film coming from just what Peter is learning of his new skills.
Settings – New York City makes for the setting here, much like in the comics, it works because of the landscape that Spiderman will be taking on with his web slinging.
Scene of the Movie – The parade.
Final Thoughts – This is an origin film that does hit the marks, a villain that can do enough damage but is never a true threat, learning the correct path and building a bigger picture for the whole franchise.
Overall: Easily one of the best origin stories.