Rating:

A Web-Crawling Wonder

Main Cast: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, Willem Defoe, James Franco

Director: Sam Rami

Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie’s plot.

074_SPIDER_MAN_XAfter having a few tough nights in a row taking care of under the weather children as my wife worked some late shifts, I needed to go hang with the boys. And what better to do on a Friday night than to go see the newest and baddest (at least until Episode II comes out) movie on the block, Spiderman. While not being the biggest comic book fan out of the bunch of friends (Eddy, Randy and Blake (or Blakey to make everything rhyme) I was able to watch this movie without prior knowledge of how Spiderman evolved. I understood some of it, but not the technical stuff that my buddy Eddy said was pretty dead on, with the exception of the way he shoots his webs, which you’ll have to see for yourself. So I guess it’s kind of like watching Star Wars for the first time without having any prior knowledge of the space odyssey (and I can’t imagine that). I didn’t have any preconceived notions on how the movie would turn out and didn’t really know Peter Parker enough to compare him to Tobey Maguire’s translation of Marvel’s character.

With that being said, the movie is very enjoyable. The web slinging stunts are done well. Watching Spiderman travel from building to building based on his quick reflexes is a sight to behold. Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin character is a very acceptable baddy for Spidey. (Wait, Eddy, Randy, Blakey, and Spidey. That’s a gang for you.) Dafoe’s Goblin has you itching for Spidey to take him out and in a great fight sequence in the end; it goes back and forth with both men taking huge amounts of punishment. (I still can’t believe that guy was doing what the married do with Madonna in Body of Evidence.) Kirsten Dunst’s Mary Jane (MJ) Watson is decent. I can’t really say that I loved her or hated her as she was simply there. Dunst’s chemistry with McGuire was tepid at best, but her chemistry with Spiderman was tons better. Maybe that’s why she dug him more. Their best scene was an actual kissing scene in which Spiderman was hanging upside down and MJ had to pull his mask down a little to give him a kiss. I told Randy that I wish I could hang from the ceiling. It’s funny to me that they called her MJ in the movie, and maybe that’s because I refer to Michael Jordan as MJ. You know me and Mike are tight like that. And Dunst really needs to go see the dentist as she either drinks a lot of coffee, or had a few pieces of chocolate cake before scenes in which she had to smile. She still has that young, baby face look and I don’t buy her in adult roles. I would’ve rather seen someone more fun, campy, and more attractive such as Jennifer Love Hewitt, but I don’t know how they’d make her a red head. Ok, no more dissin’ Ms. Dunst. I’ll talk about her good scenes later.

My favorite scene in the entire movie is one in which Parker dons his homemade Spidey costume for the first time and challenges Bonesaw McGraw in a wrestling match. If Spidey lasts 3 minutes, he walks home with some cash. But Bonesaw was nearly beheading his early competitors and Spidey had to deal with the crowd, which was entirely pro Bonesaw. And to make matters worse, they decided to make it a cage match thus trapping our webbed hero inside. And who played Bonesaw? None other than the Macho Man himself, Randy Savage. I really wonder how they decided to use Savage as the Bonesaw character. Like I said, I’m not familiar with the comic and I don’t know if Savage had a similar likeness to the wrestling character. But Randy didn’t do anything different than he usually does. He simply acted like the Macho Man except had a longer beard. They didn’t change his style as he did his patented finishing maneuver, the flying elbow drop from the top rope. I was waiting for him to say, Oh yeah, dig it! but I was soon dejected, as he didn’t repeat any of his classic phrases. I just sat there and cried in my slim jim. The scene was hilarious as Parker in his homemade garb outsmarted Bonesaw before taking a serious beating for much of the match. And finally, he had his big comeback and laid poor Bonesaw out. It was a very funny scene for my buddies and I as after the movie was over, we were talking about Bonesaw more than Spidey himself.

The story from what I hear followed identical to the comic book script, sans a few technicalities, but the praise is dear for them following the books. I could understand how easy it would’ve been for director Sam Raimi to change a few things to make his job easier but he didn’t, and I applaud him for that. Now back to Dunst. From that last time I saw her until now, she seems a little enhanced. Now it could be genetically enhanced, or maybe materially enhanced, but there is something that looks generously bigger on her than what I remember. It’s not her nose. I would call it the Britney Spears transformation where one day, you see her and then the next day, you really SEE her, if you know what I mean. Yes, those breasts are really huge now. There’s one scene in which Dunst is getting chased by baddies until Spidey saves her and this is all happening in the rain. Dunst is wearing a low cut blouse and as she turns to take a look at Spidey, her transformations stare at you right in the face. As a young male (married, yes but still a young male) I found this scene to be quite interesting and I found myself yearning for rain throughout the movie. I found myself in Raimi’s shoes while I was whispering to Randy that in a specific scene, I thought it would enhance the movie, if there were rain. Yes, Ms. Dunst was in that specific scene, but it could’ve been a coincidence. (Ya right.)

I think Maguire played the character very nerdy in the beginning, maybe too over the top, but as the movie progressed, I got used to him more so as Parker and Spidey. From what I hear, he’s going to star in the next two Spidey sequels so he got a good start. But there’s something about the ending in which I won’t reveal, but let’s just say if the Macho Man was playing Peter Parker, he would’ve sealed the deal with MJ if you know what I mean. Oh yeah! Just kidding. It’s just that the ending sets you up and kind of lets you down.

The movie is very enjoyable and will make a ton of money this weekend and the following weekends. I’d give it 3 stars no problem. Now if there were more rain, they could’ve received 4.