Directed by Sam Raimi
Written by Alvin Sargent based on a screen story by Michael Gough, Miles Miller and Michael Chabon based on comics by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko (phew)
Marvel before they really knew what they were doing with movies. Eternally fresh faced Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker and a young James Franco as Harry, the character everyone wants to punch. Oh wait, that’s just me wanting to punch James Franco. Fred Mollina as Doc Ock, which is very interesting casting to me. He brings a very good gravitas to the movie which I think is needed up against Tobey’s earnestness.
The main story line deals with Peter trying to do too much and therefore failing at everything. Being hopelessly in love with Mary Jane, who seems to return his feelings despite dating someone else and never actually asks him about it, and of course, Doc Ock’s transformation from serious scientist to insane super villain.
Doc Ock is actually pretty terrifying in this. I watched it with Anna who had never seen these movies before and she found it highly disturbing, especially the scene where the arms kill all the surgeons trying to separate them from Otto. It’s very graphic.
On the up side, Jeff Winger has a cameo as the guy who refuses to loan money to Aunt May at the bank. So there’s that. Yay Community! #SixSeasonsandaMovie
Ah, anyway. The script is a bit simplistic for me, I remember loving this movie when it first came out but I guess there just wasn’t the same level of quality in superhero films at the time. Now it feels very plasticky and false, every point hammered home in about ten different ways to make sure you really got it. Lots of redundant lines to ensure the message is received by an audience who the script writer assumes can’t pick up any nuances?
Does it make me love the people? I guess so. The characters are kinda simplistic but they are loveable.
The best scene is when he catches a lift with a random guy and he over shares about his costume. It’s like he was nervously trying to pick up random guy but then shared too much about his jock itch and blew it.
Mary Jane is mostly a damsel in distress but she has a good moment at the end when she calls him on his bullshit and says she should be able to make up her own mind about whether they should be together. Then she says some creepy shit about how she’s always been standing in his doorway and Anna said ‘creepy’ and then we laughed over the rest of the touching scene, imagining stalker MJ.
I can’t love James Franco’s character. I just want to punch him in the face too much.
Bechdel test: Uhm, well, Aunt May asks Mary Jane to help her out in the kitchen and she responds, I think. Louise and Mary Jane speak in the play ‘Importance of Being Earnest’ and also talk to each other before the play although it’s sort of kind of about Peter. After the play there is an interchange ‘sure you don’t want to come tonight?’ ‘yeah, I’m sure’ although the dialogue is mastered down some, it is there. So I think it scrapes through, but it feels like it barely does.
J. Jonah Jameson: I WANT SPIDER-MAN!
(This movie just straight up needs more gay)
State of Mind: I liked this movie a lot more in 2004. Now it’s a good, shiny plastic to put on and do craft to while paying half attention.