Spider-Man Review (2002): The First Live-Action Adaptation of Spider-Man That Was Fun But Also Creepy – Maybe some of you are surprised why tavernamasti is reviewing the live-action adaptation of Spider-Man which was released almost 20 years ago. Well, don’t be surprised guys. Surely you can guess the reason, right?
Yes, Tavernamasti did this to do a retrospective as well as to welcome the release of the Spider-Man: No Way Home film which will be released in all Indonesian cinema networks, on December 15, 2021.
Well, the first Spider-Man review from director Sam Raimi’s (Evil Dead) Spider-Man trilogy, will be the first nostalgic Spider-Man review. Later, I will review all other Spider-Man films up to the last release, Spider-Man: Far From Home (2017).
So yep, you will also read the review of The Amazing Spider-Man starring Andrew Garfield later. Okay, without further ado, let’s just start with Raimi’s first Spider-Man review.
Won’t really Explain The Plotwist of The Story Anymore
Well, it seems that I don’t need to explain further about the plot of the story. Because many of us are still very familiar with the plot. Maybe even until the Far From Home review later, I won’t really explain behind the whole plot of the Spider-Man films
This is because Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy and other live-action Spider-Man films are still often broadcast not only on private TV, but also on subscription TV channels such as HBO or Fox Movies Premium.
Therefore, I think again (with the exception of the upcoming Spider-Man: No Way Home), will just jump right into the review.
Unique Step With Green Goblin As Villain
Now for the jump in the opening review, let’s talk about the villain in the film, Norman Osborn aka Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe). It’s undeniable that fans at that time were very surprised when they found out that Goblin would be the villain of this film.
Because when we hear Spider-Man movies or games, names like Venom, Carnage, Dr. Octopus, Kraven the Hunter, Rhino, Electro, and Mysterio, are the names of potential villains that immediately come to mind.
Green Goblin in my opinion, he is nothing more than a side villain. So again, no wonder it’s a very unique move to use Norman as the main villain here
But that’s where the coolness of a Sam Raimi lies. In the grip of both hands, the figure of the Green Goblin immediately looks fierce, scary, crazy, and super believable as the main villain. In other words, this villain character ends up being very important and just as terrible as Venom or Carnage.
But it’s not surprising if we feel that way, because as we all know Raimi is basically a specialist in the horror genre. Therefore, once again, don’t be surprised if both the Goblin figure and some of the scenes that show it feel spooky and make us jumpscare wildly.
Dafoe Is The Best Spider-Man Villain Actor
However, Raimi’s cold hands won’t feel cold if they don’t also help Dafoe as his Goblin. From the time I watched this film when I was about to enter high school until now, I still think that Dafoe is still the best Spider-Man villain actor to this day.
He is really like Jack Nicholson with his Joker role in Batman (1989) which is spooky, sadistic, and calculative. And by the way Joker, after re-watching this film, it’s true what many fanboys say.
Dafoe should have been cast to play the criminal prince from Gotham City. Because of the sadistic and mentally ill characteristics of Norman in this film, he really is 11-12 with Batman’s nemesis. And Dafoe was very successful in bringing it to life.
Other Actor Performances That Are Also Very Cool And Fit With Raimi’s Spider-Man Universe
But Dafoe wasn’t the only one who excelled. His other co-actors are also cool and really fit the characters they play. Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker aka Spider-Man, for this version of the film he is very fitting.
Because the character of Peter in the Raimi universe is indeed described as a super dorky bint geeky figure. And Maguire was very successful in bringing this Peter to life. Kristen Dunst as Mary Jane fits perfectly into this Spidey universe, and so does James Franco as Norman’s son, Harry Osborn.
But even though Dafoe, Maguire, Dunst, and Franco are really cool, there’s still no actor who fits the iconic Spider-Man comic character more than J.K. Simmons as Jonah Jamesson.
Starting from his standing hair, his small mustache, and his temper, Simmons not only fits in with Raimi’s Jameson universe, but also with the Jameson figure in his comics. Therefore, it is not surprising that when he appeared again as Jameson 2 years ago through Spider-Man: Far From Home 2, all audiences were very excited.
Relatable Realistic Reaction Fish
Although the strength of Raimi’s trilogy (well, all Spider-Man films too) is in the strong performance of the cast, we also can’t deny that the scripting side of the film also has an equal share.
The script written by David Koepp (Mission: Impossible, Secret Window) is very well structured and easy to digest. And the cool thing is that with the help of Raimi’s direction, the two of them also succeeded in injecting realistic reactions in this semi-campy nuanced film.
This is seen once through one of the early scenes when Peter let the robber who robbed all the money belonging to the wrestling promoter he was following, got away with it. Even though Peter’s actions are not commendable, but it seems that if we don’t get the appropriate wages as promised in the paper, we will react the same way, right?
Then another realistic injection scene is when the eating scene is together. In the scene, Aunt May (Rosemary Harris) notices that Peter’s wrist is injured. Well, he got this scratch after he fought the Green Goblin.
And when Norman asked again and also reacted to Peter’s wound, he immediately realized that his biological son’s best friend, was Spider-Man. After realizing it, he immediately said goodbye because he was very confused and super shocked by what he just saw.
Now when he got home again, Norman with his Green Goblin alter-ego immediately argued and felt super upset. Because actually, Norman did not want to fight his son’s best friend. But after the alter-ego influenced him strongly, he finally agreed to kill Peter.
These two sample scenes once again exemplify the injection of realism into this fantasy superhero film. And with the injection of realistic reactions, we as fans and audiences feel very appreciated for their intellectuality. This aspect is unfortunately something that we rarely see nowadays in superhero films.
Fantastic Spider-Man Trilogy Opening Movie
With all these assessments, we can conclude from this Spider-Man review, that this film is the opening film of the fantastic Spider-Man trilogy.
There is almost no shortage of any of this film. Even the injection of jumpscare horror elements and a slick scoring from Danny Elfman (Batman) makes this Spider-Man Tobey’s first film even cooler.
Even if there is a drawback is the Green Goblin costume which in my opinion, even though it looks modern and badass, it would be better if at that time the film gave it the original comic costume. But luckily this doesn’t bother us when watching the film.
Oh yes, one more thing, the ending that makes us feel “cheesy” and baper, just makes us even more excited to see the continuation of the story, aka Spider-Man 2 (2004).
With the achievements and perfect standards achieved by this first film, it is no wonder that Spider-Man Raimi is so successful and also, makes the spider-man’s sustainability on the big screen last forever and exists to this day.
That was the entire Spider-Man review. Hopefully the review is useful and see you on the Spider-Man 2 review okay.