Directed by Sam Raimi
Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tobey Maguire)
Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst)
Harry Osborne (James Franco)
Ben Parker (Cliff Robertson)
May Parker (Rosemary Harris)
Norman Osborne/The Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe)
This movie even went all out. It ignored Gwen Stacey altogether and focused on Peter Parker’s second and more prominent love interest, Mary Jane Watson, and went straight into having the villain be Spider-Man’s greatest foe – The Green Goblin. And Willem Dafoe was a great Norman Osborne. He had to really play two people, one who hid behind a mask, and one who hid behind a mask, and did an excellent job at it.
James Franco was almost cast as Peter Parker for this movie, but instead got the role of his best friend, Harry Osborne, who is also the villain’s son. Nothing spectacular, but he was good.
Kirsten Dunst was okay, I guess. I feel like Isla Fisher could have made a better Mary Jane though.
Now, Tobey Maguire. I don’t think there’s a person in the world that would say he wasn’t suited for the role. He had that look about him. You felt for him. He captured Peter Parker well, or at least, one side of him, which I will explain in my review for The Amazing Spider-Man.
The story in this movie had to be an origin story, and that was done really well. While the story in the next one was better in my opinion, this isn’t anything bad. I loved the Randy Savage cameo, and the way Peter’s suit kind of evolved. I liked how his struggles were really captured in a teenger’s sense – his inner battle for Mary Jane; his relationship with Harry; being there for Aunt May. That is true for every Spider-Man movie, in the sense that Peter Parker is captured really well.
And of course, of course, JK Simmons as J Jonah Jameson. Unbelievable. One of the best performances cinema will ever see, and he didn’t even have a major role.
My one gripe with this movie is that it was a bit cheesy at times. Those weird ringside women at the wrestling event (don’t be mistaken; as a wrestling fan, this was one of my favourite parts of the movie) were like cartoons. The Green Goblin’s suit isn’t the Green Goblin’s suit, it’s something straight out of Power Rangers, and it’s such a shame that of the three Goblins we’ve had on screen (yes, three), this suit is the best one. It’s nothing like the Green Goblin’s actual suit.
I mean, look, the character was well done, but the suit… No. But I will say one thing. As a kid (And by the way, nobody in the world has watched Raimi’s original trilogy more times than me), it was pretty terrifying, so if that was the aim, then it worked out.
In the end though, Spider-Man birthed a childhood hero for me, and a character that I adore and will forever adore. The movie itself changed the face of comic book movies, and is a staple in popular culture.
On a scale where M is the lowest, and R is the highest possible rating, with the highlighted letter being the rating: