The year was 2004, I had just turned two. My parents and I sat down to watch my first ever movie, Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man. Ever since I’ve been in love with the character, I quoted Uncle Ben’s famous line every day to the point it was driving my Mom crazy. I had Spider-Man wallpaper, Spider-Man sheets, Spider-man toys, Spider-man shampoo. You name it, I probably had it. If it wasn’t for this movie, my life wouldn’t be the same. I’m here to take a look back at this iconic take on the character and discuss why this film 16 years later, is still one of the best superhero movies of all time.
Tobey Maguire’s take on Spider-Man is as iconic as Robert Downey Jr‘s Iron Man. The nerdy part of the character is done pretty well, the only real complaint I have with it is that he’s too much of a goody two shoes. The Spider-Man aspect sadly is not as strong. They limited him to one joke per movie, which doesn’t really serve the duality of the character. Peter Parker and Spider-Man are two completely different people, Peter is shy and nerdy while Spidey is confident and a motor mouth who doesn’t know when to stop.
Kirsten Dunst’s Mary Jane is a great love interest, sadly she’s not as interesting as her comic counterpart. She’s probably the worst part of the movies, I blame the writing for that. MJ in the comics beat up Chameleon on her own and shot Green Goblin in the face. Comic MJ is a badass and doesn’t take crap from anyone, while this MJ is getting pushed around by everyone.
James Franco’s Harry Osborn is portrayed well. The thing they got right with Harry is that they made him extremely mediocre. That’s something a lot of adaptations don’t understand about Harry. He isn’t as gifted or as intelligent as his father. Which makes him try to do anything to impress him.
William Dafoe’s Norman Osborn is one of my favorite comic book Villians. The only negative thing I can say about him is that I don’t like the costume they went with, I prefer the classic green and purple. His motivations are relatable, and he’s really fun to watch on screen.
The writing is fantastic, the dialog is cheesy, the good kind. The plot is an epic tale, with themes of responsibility and choice. If you’ve seen the movie, and let’s be honest, you have, you know how good it is.
The Visuals are amazing, the CGI does have a few issues, but you only notice it if you are looking for it. The Spidey suit, while not my favorite version of it, is still stunning. The music by Danny Elfman is iconic and captures the magic of the character perfectly.
If you haven’t seen this movie, then you have missed out on childhood. This movie made me who I am today, and I have a feeling I’m not the only one who it had that effect on. It taught me lessons of responsibility, gave me a role-model that I still look up to till this day. I owe this movie my life, and that is a debt I will never be able to pay in full.