"Whatever life holds in store for me, I will never forget these words: 'With great power comes great responsibility.' This is my gift, my curse. Who am I? I'm Spider-Man."
|Directed by:||Sam Raimi|
|Produced by:|| Laura Ziskin|
| Tobey Maguire|
| MPAA: PG-13|
| Arthur Coburn|
|May 3, 2002|
|The Amazing Spider-Man (different franchise)|
Spider-Man is a 2002 American superhero film directed by Sam Raimi and written by David Koepp.
Based on the fictional Marvel Comics character Spider-Man, the film stars Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker, a high-school student who turns to crimefighting after developing spider like powers. Spider-Man also stars Willem Dafoe as Norman Osborn (a.k.a. the Green Goblin), Kirsten Dunst as Peter's love interest Mary-Jane Watson, and James Franco as his best friend Harry Osborn.
The film tells the story of Spider-Man's origins, beginning with Peter Parker's life before he became Spider-Man (his life as a geeky science nerd who desperately seeks attention from Mary Jane Watson, who he has had a crush on since he was six years old), all the way up to his web-slinging days as Spider-Man. The main antagonist is Norman Osborn, the co-owner of Oscorp Industries, who goes insane after experimenting with unsafe performance enhancers. He then becomes the "Green Goblin", terrorizing New York with his frightening array of high-tech weapons and armor. It was filmed from January to June 2001, and was released on May 3, 2002. The film proved successful both critically and financially. It grossed over $821 million worldwide, and became the first film to reach $100 million in its opening weekend. The film won six awards, including the Saturn Award for Best Music (Danny Elfman), the MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss (Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst) and Best Female Performance (Kirsten Dunst). The film's success led to its sequel, Spider-Man 2.
WARNING: This article contains spoilers.
Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire), Harry Osborn (James Franco), and Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) visit a genetics laboratory with their high school class. While taking photos in the laboratory, Peter is bitten on the hand by a genetically engineered "super spider", and arrives home and passes out with the bite wound considerably swollen. Meanwhile, Norman Osborn (Williem Dafoe), Harry's father, attempts to preserve his company's military contract from a rival firm, personally experimenting with his company's new but unstable performance-enhancing chemical vapor to increase his speed, strength, and stamina. Afterward, he goes into an uncontrollable rage and kills his assistant. The next morning, Peter finds that his previously impaired vision has improved to 20/20 and that his body has metamorphosed into a more muscular physique. When Peter goes to school, he finds himself producing webbing and having the quick reflexes to avoid being injured in a fight with Flash Thompson. Peter escapes from the school and realizes that he has acquired spider-like abilities from the spider bite. Peter quickly learns to scale walls, long jump across building rooftops and swing using webs from his wrists.
Lying to his Aunt May (Rosemary Harris) and Uncle Ben (Cliff Robertson) about where he is going, Peter decides to enter a wrestling tournament to get money to buy a car and impress Mary Jane. During an argument, Uncle Ben advises Peter, "With great power comes great responsibility." Peter lashes out at his uncle and leaves for the tournament. Peter wins, but is cheated out of the contest money; in retaliation he allows a thief to escape with the promoter's gate money. Afterward, Peter finds his uncle has been carjacked and killed. Peter tracks down the carjacker only to find out it was the same thief he allowed to escape earlier. During the struggle, the carjacker falls out of a window and is killed. Upon graduating, Peter decides to use his abilities to fight injustice, and dons a new costume and the persona of Spider-Man. Peter is hired as a freelance photographer when he arrives in newspaper editor J. Jonah Jameson's office with the only clear images of Spider-Man.
Norman, upon finding out that Oscorp's board members plan to sell the company, attacks them at the World Unity Fair. Jameson quickly dubs Norman as the Green Goblin. The Goblin offers Spider-Man a place at his side as he sees how the authorities mistrust him, but Spider-Man refuses, knowing that it is the right thing to do. The Goblin commits arson to engage him with a final offer, which Spider-Man refuses, and the Goblin becomes set on killing him. At the Osborn and Parkers' Thanksgiving dinner, Norman notices Peter's wound from the masked confrontation and leaves shortly thereafter. Feeling betrayed by Peter, and having found a personal annoyance with Aunt May, he attacks her. Whilst she recovers in the hospital, Mary Jane admits she has a crush on Spider-Man, who rescued her on numerous occasions, and asks Peter whether he ever asked about her. Peter reflects on his own feelings, during which Harry Osborn enters. Feeling betrayed by his girlfriend, Harry becomes fully loyal to his father, and tells him whom Peter loves the most.
The Goblin strikes, holding Mary Jane and a tram car full of children hostage on top the Queensboro Bridge. The Goblin tells Spider-Man to choose who he wants to save, and when Spider-Man refuses to choose, the Goblin drops his hostages. Spider-Man manages to save both Mary Jane and the tram car, whilst the Goblin is pelted at by civilians, showing loyalty to Spider-Man and proving him wrong by telling the Goblin that if "you mess with him, you mess with New York." The Goblin then grabs Spider-Man and throws him into an abandoned building and begins to beat him up. It appears the Goblin has won, as Spider-Man is weakened, and most of his mask is ripped off. However, the tables turn as the Goblin boasts of how he will later kill Mary Jane slowly, and an enraged Spider-Man clobbers him to the point of taking off his mask, revealing his true identity. Norman begs for forgiveness, but his Goblin persona attempts to remote-control his glider to impale Spider-Man. The superhero evades the attack, causing the glider to impale Norman instead, and he dies asking Peter not to reveal his secret to Harry. At Norman’s funeral, Harry swears vengeance toward Spider-Man, who he believes is responsible for killing his father, and asserts that Peter is all he has left. Mary Jane confesses to Peter that she’s in love with him. After exchanging a passionate kiss, Peter, feeling that he must protect her, hides his true feelings. As Peter leaves the funeral, he recalls Uncle Ben's words, "With great power, comes great responsibility."
Spider-Man received a PG-13 rating for stylized violence and action by the MPAA. The film is rated 12A by the BBFC for some scenes of strong fantasy violence.
- Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker/Spider-Man
- Willem Dafoe as Norman Osborn/Green Goblin
- Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane Watson
- James Franco as Harry Osborn
- Cliff Robertson as Ben Parker
- Rosemary Harris as Aunt May
- J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson
Video Game adaptionEdit
Reaction to the film was very positive among critics. The film currently holds an 89% rating, based on 216 reviews, on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. Metacritic gave the film an average score of 73 out of 100, which signifies "generally favorable reviews". Many critics also praised the casting of Tobey Maguire as the title character. Eric Harrison of the Houston Chronicle said of Maguire, "within seconds...it becomes hard to imagine anyone else in the role."
The film was, at the time of its release, the highest-grossing Superhero film of all-time. However, it was later outgrossed by Spider-Man 3, The Dark Knight, The Avengers, and The Dark Knight Rises. It is currently the second-highest grossing Spider-Man film ever made, and the fifth-highest grossing Superhero film of all-time.