Spider-Man. Who is he? What is he? What does he do? This movie takes a little bit of time to get to that, but when it does it’s very enjoyable. And the people making the film are clearly enjoying it. Tobey Maguire might be a bit too old to play a convincing teenager and he might be a bit too much of a cry baby at times, but I think he’s a pretty good Peter Parker. He’s fun and you feel sorry for him but then you also cheer for him. Director Sam Raimi is also a great choice, bringing in some of his horror influence at dark moments.
Willem Dafoe is perfectly cast as the Green Goblin. He’s so evil and crazy that you almost forget his costume is just a rubbish green motorcycle suit. Kirsten Dunst is okay as Mary Jane, if a little annoying and James Franco is serviceable as Harry Osborn. Oh, and don’t even get me started on the best part of this film trilogy: J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson. Peter’s loud and brash boss is so perfectly cast. He’s hilarious! The origin of Uncle Ben dying and Peter blaming himself is a great one, causing him to become a hero. The action scenes are pretty decent and the special effects are fairly good. Overall this is a pretty decent film.
JACK’S SCORE: 3/5
Spider-Man 2 (2004)
This is still one of my favourite superhero movies. It’s got a great villain, great action and a great personal story for Peter Parker himself. The story sees Peter doubting himself as Spider-Man and wondering if he should leave the hero life behind in order to finally be with MJ. Meanwhile, the scientist turned villain Dr. Octopus and his four mechanical arms are terrorising the city to recreate a science experiment that could destroy them all.
The acting from Alfred Molina as Doc Ock is pitch perfect. He’s so mesmerising, so good at what he does that you can’t take your eyes off of him. Add to that that he’s a great, tragic villain with awesome extra limbs and that makes for a very great film. His fight scenes with Spider-Man are creative, action packed and fun. The train sequence alone is superb, but so are the others too.
Peter’s personal journey as a troubled hero is also great to watch, and fairly emotional too. Rosemary Harris as Aunt May gets a lot to do as the voice of reason for Peter and they get some touching moments together. But really, everything in this film is great. It has action, humour, drama… It’s awesome!
JACK’S SCORE: 5/5
Spider-Man 3 (2007)
What a mess of a movie this is. The movie might work okay if it wasn’t so overstuffed. You’ve got Sandman, who starts off as the only bad and should remain that way really. He has ties to Peter’s past and has a tragic past of his own. Is he was the only villain, this film would probably work a lot better. But Harry Osborn also turns evil in this one, becoming a newer version of the Green Goblin and whining and moping more than ever. Oh and then there’s also Topher Grace as Venom. A fan favourite character who was forced into this movie by the studio against director Sam Raimi’s wishes and is not done justice at all and is another whiny villain with poor motivation.
The acting also takes a dip in this one, as does the comedy. Tobey Maguire dancing in the streets, trying to be emo and hitting his girlfriend are not enjoyable things to watch. And neither are most of the action scenes. The Sandman stuff is good, but the rest of it isn’t. The acting is bad too. Maguire going over the top isn’t pleasant, nor is Kirsten Dunst’s mouth breathing performance. She’s not been amazing in any of the films but even less so in this one. Franco is poor, as is Topher Grace. Basically, none of it is particularly pleasant to watch at all. A convoluted, misguided mess of a film.
JACK’S SCORE: 2/5