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Spider-Man (2002)

Spider-Man is a 2002 action film distributed by Columbia Pictures. It stars Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane Watson, James Franco as Harry Osborn, Willem Dafoe as Norman Osborn/The Green Goblin, and Rosemary Harris as Aunt May. The director is Sam Raimi.

Peter Parker is a teenager who has few friends. One day, while on a field trip at a laboratory, he is bitten by a genetically-engineered "super spider". He later passes out in his bedroom and wakes up to find himself more muscular and now has the ability to shoot web from his wrists. Peter uses his new powers to enter a wrestling match to win enough money to buy a car to impress the love of his life, Mary Jane Watson. After he is cheated out of the money, the man in charge is robbed. Peter allows the thief to escape as revenge for not paying him the full sum of money. But that same thief shoots and kills his beloved Uncle Ben. After chasing and killing the man responsible, he decides to use his gift to help the people of New York.

Those who are fans of superhero films may notice a similarity between this film and Batman(1989). That similarity is the type of villain the hero faces. In Batman, the antagonist is the Joker, arguably one of Batman's most sadistic enemies. Spider-Man's nemesis in Spider-Man is the Green Goblin. The Green Goblin, like the Joker, kills without remorse and often takes pleasure in causing personal tragedy in Spider-Man's life. In short, both villains are considered to be their rivals' most bitter foes and, I do believe, that the success of Batman featuring the Joker may have had some influence on Spider-Man featuring the Green Goblin. (Ironically, the same man, Danny Elfman, also composed the main themes for both films.)

Roger Ebert says that CGI (Computer Generated Imagery), made the stunts look too fake. I disagree. Although I too am no fan of CGI, I believe it works here. It adds a sort-of comic book feel to the film. For example, the scenes where Spider-Man is swinging from building to building are clearly computer-generated, but I think of it as if the viewer is looking at panels from the comics. I could clearly see stills from those scenes in the panels of a "Spider-Man" comic book. I do believe that it was to the film's benefit to have some of those computer graphics to maintain the feeling.

To wrap, Spider-Man is a great film that combines the elements of both the comic books and the big screen and will be sure to please the avid fan!

Kevin T. Dillehay has written more than 100 movie reviews from all genres. He provides a unique perspective on the movies you see all the time but may not stop and think about in depth. You are invited to check out his work at

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