Spider-Man

SF elements

comic book mutant spider powers
  1. Spider-Man . 2002
  2. Spider-Man 2 . 2004
  3. Spider-Man 3. 2007


2002 / DVD

Spider-Man

Review

[DVD cover]

This is a competent translation of the Spider-Man comic tales to film. Tobey Maguire is convincing as the nerdy action hero, transformed by the bite of a genetically engineered (rather than the original radioactive) spider, Willem Dafoe makes a good Green Goblin, the plot swings easily between action scenes and the ones, and the special effects are good.

Like all such translations , it does suffer from the large amount of back story that gets crammed into the first film, but here it is spread through the film rather than lazily being all up front. I find it curious that the writers feel the need to put in all the backstory for newcomers -- after all, soap operas manage to bring in new viewers all the time without having the first half of each episode as recapitulation. Gradual revelation is much more interesting.

Rating: 3.5

[ unmissable | great stuff | worth watching | mind candy | waste of time | unfinishable ]

reviewed 1 January 2003


2004 / DVD

Spider-Man 2

Review

[DVD cover]
[there's a spider on the window!]

After a rather slow start, this leaps into slam-bam action as Spidey tackles Doctor Octopus, an originally mild-mannered scientist driven mad by his four artificially intelligent prosthetic tentacle arms. A traditional occupational hazard for scientists, that. The tentacle SFX are great, with the terminal pincers doubling as menacing snake heads (and even, I'm amazed to say, having a faint, equally menacing, Rod Hull Emu resonance!)

[can you guess my secret identity?]

There's a bit of a slow central portion, too, as Peter Parker's life disintegrates, so he decides to be "normal", and ditch the secret hero career. That idea doesn't last, of course, and soon he's web-spinning again, much of the time with his mask off, it seems: now his "secret" identity is known by a train-car full of passengers, his greatest enemy (Son of Green Goblin), and Mary-Jane.

Room for a sequel, then.

Rating: 3.5

[ unmissable | great stuff | worth watching | mind candy | waste of time | unfinishable ]

reviewed 30 December 2004