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Starring: Tobey Maguire, Willem Dafoe, Kirsten Dunst
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Released By: Columbia Pictures
Kiddie Movie: Okay, but not too young.
Date Movie: It's good for dudes and dudettes.
Gratuitous Sex: Kirsten in a wet t-shirt.
Gratuitous Violence: Nothing to graphic, but there is some.
Action: Lots of it.
Laughs: Lots of them.
Memorable Scene: Peter Parker beginning to discover his powers, especially trying to get the webbing to work.
Memorable Quote: Too many to list.
Directed By: Sam Raimi
Produced By: Ian Bryce, Laura Ziskin

A Movie Review

MPAA Rated - PG-13

It's 2:01 Long

A Review by
The Dude on the Right
Sure, sometimes the effects looked a little cheesy. Sure, the Green Goblinís mask looked pretty stale. Sure, the ending pretty much assures a future storyline. And sure, the film people took some liberties with parts of the spider-man story. But with all of that, "Spider-Man" is just a fun time, showing that even nerdy kids can be super-heroes.

This big-screen version of the comic book, Spider-Man, gives us Tobey Maguire as the nerdy, picked-on teenager, Peter Parker. Heís a brain and likes to take pictures. He is also in love with the girl next door, Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst), but too shy to do anything about it. Being raised by his Aunt and Uncle, one day on a field trip Peter gets bitten by a genetically altered spider. Overnight Peter has become a svelte dude, muscles in tone, and with incredible energy. Then, one by one, Peter finds that he has weird powers and that his body has changed in more ways than just being in shape. All of a sudden he has little barbs coming out of the palms of his hands that allow him to climb walls. Heís super strong and he fights the school bully and punches him down the hallway. He has strange webbing that shoots out of his wrists. And he now has spidey-sense.

What to do, what to do? Youíre a teenager in love with a girl who seems to like sports cars and you donít have one. Youíve got new-found strength and the local wrestling circuit is offering $3000 if you stay in the ring with the mean-olí wrestler. Maybe using your new powers for material gain is the way to go. So thatís what Peter does, but when he gets stiffed from the money he is owed by the shyster wrestling promoter, and a chain of events a little too obvious happens, well, Peter realizes that his power should be used for good, for saving babies in fires and stopping the bad guys, but what kind of movie would that be. You need a villain.  Enter the Green Goblin.

The Green Goblin is born when Norman Olson (Willem Dafoe) becomes the human guinea pig for an untested performance enhancing treatment. Things donít go as planned, and now Norman has voices in his head, namely the Goblinís, making him do bad things as he cruises around on a glider-type device. So, the Goblin creates havoc at a company picnic, Spider-Man does his best to save the day, and now the Goblin knows one thing stands in his way from world domination Ė Spider-Man. The Goblin is now on a quest to kill Spidey, and the rest of the movie is born as Spider-Man has to protect his loved ones and eventually go on to defeat the Goblin.

In the end "Spider-Man" is what it is supposed to be: Not as dark as Batman, not as serious as Superman, but just a fun time. Sure, there are some dark episodes, like when Peterís uncle dies, and sure, there are some serious sides like Peter realizing he canít be with the woman he loves because it endangers her life, but mostly this movie is just fun as Spider-Man comically captures the bad guys, J. Jonah Jameson wisecracks his way in the editorís office, and Peter is happy knowing he is cool, even if people donít know itís him.

What makes this movie really work is simply Tobey Maguire. Just nerdy enough to be Peter, just cool enough to be Spider-Man, he was a great choice for the role. Kirsten Dunst is also great as the "girl-next-door" but not so hot she is unattainable by the nerdy kid. J.K Simmons is a perfect J. Jonah Jameson, and Dafoe works well as the rich dude gone crazy. All in all I just liked the way things clicked together in the movie. Raimi, the director, is already on board for the sequel, as is Maguire, and the story of the Hobgoblin is already in place. I hope they keep part II just as fun as part I.

If you like a movie that can be just a good time if you let it, youíll do well to see "Spider-Man." Itís got some romance (one of the best kissing scenes of all time in my opinion), itís got action, and the dream for every nerdy kid out there Ė to be cool. Itís 4 Ĺ stars out of 5 for "Spider-Man."

Thatís it for this one! Iím The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!


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