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Spider-Man - The Acid Logic Review

By Anthony Passonno
May 16th, 2002

Spider-Man art by Daniel Gordon
Click graphic for larger version.

Greetings True Believers!!!

Were you to ask the geek/comic loving community about the state of big-screen comics translations ten years ago, they would have most likely groaned and shrugged their shoulders in defeat. It's not as though there was ever a lack of cinema presence for comic book heroes, it's just that they've always seemed to start off with grand ideas and somehow end up with bloated action set-pieces starring major actors with big time recognition.

This has not always meant failure, of course. The first two Batman films, starring Michael Keaton did well enough, even when saddled with somewhat over the top performances from Jack Nicholson and Danny Devito. Bryan Singer’s X-Men even kicked some ass.

That said, fans of both cinema and comic alike should enjoy the new film version of Spider-Man. the film, armed with a screenplay by David Koepp is action packed and entertaining and never veers far off course from the Spidey mythos (except for the organic webshooters - see Wil Forbis's interview with Joe O'Malley.) In addition the film, above and beyond all of the flash and shiny cgi, has a big heart.

Central to the heart of Spider-Man is the sense of regret. A longing to go back to being that nerdy science kid in high school who always got throttled by the jocks and never got the girl. A chance to bypass the arrogance and short-sightedness that led to the death of Peter Parker's beloved Uncle Ben. Tobey Maguire does a nice job of portraying the vulnerable, nice guy nerd Peter Parker, and you can’t help but feel exhilarated by his joy in discovering his super-human abilities.

Willem Dafoe is also damn good as Norman Osborn, the father of Harry Osborn, and Spider-Man’s Arch-Nemesis, The Green Goblin. You can see the intensity in his eyes, the lurking madness of evil and destruction The Green Goblin wreaks upon the city of New York and upon Peter Parker in particular.

Other notables include the bubbly Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane Watson, who turns in a solid, believable performance as a gruesomely wholesome romantic interest for Peter Parker/Spider-Man, and JK Simmons, portraying Daily Bugle Editor/Curmudgeon J. Jonah Jameson. Though he only has about 5 minutes of film you could really believe that JJJ was a real, breathing, seething old bastard with a thirst for money only outweighed by his desire for copy and big, dynamic, BOLD FACED New York Post type lead.

All in all, I would have to say that Spider-Man is one hell of a good time at the ole' Movie House. Just kick back, drop a couple of ‘ludes, and have yourself a fucking blast.


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