Steve’s Media Blog

Retro Review: Spider-Man (2002)

Posted on: April 23, 2009

This is an expanded review from Quick n’ Dirty Movie Reviews

Spider-Man is one of those movies that I didn’t particularly like when I first saw it opening night in the theatres, but eventually grew on me on future viewings.   There are just some little things in there that makes me really enjoy it every time I see it now.

I can’t even remember why I didn’t initially like the movie – but the reason I do like it is because it really captures the campy feel of the comic book movie that something like Spider-Man should have.  Batman Begins and The Dark Knight should have that dark feeling – I mean Batman is a pretty brooding guy.  But Spider-Man is full of crazy villains (I mean you’ve got mutating lizards, space aliens, and a crazy hunter) that probably wouldn’t work well in a serious setting.

The other really great thing about the first Spider-Man movie is the editing and pace of the film.  You can tell a lot of work went into shaping this movie.  It doesn’t feel like it’s running too long (and actually, at 121 minutes this is the shortest of the three), and the story is straightforward and easy to follow.  It goes from Point A to B to C without deviating.

With such a rich history and multitude of backstory re-tellings, this movie needed to be strict with its story telling.  I think it says a lot when you can feel Peter Parker’s awkwardness around Mary-Jane through high school when the movie spends all of 20 minutes in that time frame.  As Peter learns of his new powers (and the responsibilities that come with it), he’s thrust into the real world where he has to learn about different priorities and responsibilities.

But there’s other things that make me enjoy the movie when watched in retrospect, after having seen the two sequels.  Remember that part in Spider-Man 3 where he poses by the American flag?  Well, check out the final scene in Spider-Man.  Pretty similar, I think!

Overall, this movie is well-produced and works with the vast array of source material efficiently.  If you haven’t seen it, where have you been for the past 7 years?

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3 Responses to "Retro Review: Spider-Man (2002)"

[…] this review is going to be too long for this blog – click here to read an expanded […]

The best parts of Spider-Man all involved Peter learning about his powers. Once the film gets beyond that point, it unfortunately kind of loses some of it’s spark. Still a pretty good movie, though.

No question, those are the best parts. But at least it doesn’t harp on too long with the villain – it’s still rather structured in that respect and doesn’t seem like it’s dragging on. When Norman finds out Peter is Spider-Man, things heat up and don’t let down until the end.

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