Are You With Us? Spider-Man
By Ryan Mazie
July 2, 2012
Who would have guessed that the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man’s biggest nemesis was not going to be a mutated super villain or a high-tech geared goblin, but the public and their keyboards?
It was only a little more than two years ago when Sony announced that Spider-M4n (ok, that wasn’t the title, but you know I love when titles have fun with their numbers) was going to be a no-go, but the franchise would be rebooted instead. I was one of the many who took to Twitter (@RMazie – shameless plug), to unleash a verbal lashing for the dunderheaded decision, which was quite shocking.
Unlike Batman Begins, which was rebooted eight years after the last film, The Amazing Spider-Man was not coming off of a mega-flop. Spider-Man 3 broke the biggest opening weekend record of all time and wound up with a bountiful $336.5 million haul (while the lowest in the franchise, there was still plenty of life left in it). A critical and audience disappointment, though not nearly despised at a Batman & Robin level, most people felt as if Sony’s decision was solely a monetary one, wanting to continue the franchise at a cheaper cost (SP3 cost a reported $258 million). However, after an interesting directing (Marc Webb of solely the indie 500 Days of Summer) and casting choice, plus a killer debut trailer, The Amazing Spider-Man has seemed to win back audiences.
But before Andrew Garfield dons the Spidey-suit, I wanted to take a look back at the first origin film with Tobey Maguire in the lead, which was released (believe it or not) ten years ago.
Spider-Man is the first actual movie that I remember seeing in IMAX back when IMAX theaters were actually custom built and not just retrofitted screens. I was in awe of the visuals and Spider-Man quickly became one of my favorite superheroes, second to Batman (two more weeks until Dark Knight Rises guys! And I already have my IMAX ticket at the same IMAX theater where I saw Spider-Man - talk about full circle).
While I saw the film again on TV and DVD, it has been quite a while since I saw the movie and was surprised when watching it at how many plot points I forgot. So as a quick refresher for those like me, Spider-Man tells the tale of the dorky Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire), who gets bitten by a radioactive spider on a class fieldtrip. With newfound perfect vision, abs, and … oh, yeah, the ability to scale walls and shoot webs out of his wrists, after the death of his surrogate father Uncle Ben (Cliff Robertson), Peter dons a makeshift suit to fight NYC’s criminals.
Midway through the film, Peter faces his biggest challenge, another souped-up human, the techno-powered Norman Osborn-cum-Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe). James Franco plays Osborn’s son and Parker’s pal who is dating Peter’s childhood crush, Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst). It’s quite the web these characters are twisted in.