(read our other Spider-Man review!)
Trailers: Stuart Little 2, Scooby Doo, Mr. Deeds, The Hulk (tease), Star Wars
Episode 2: Attack of the Clones, Men in Black 2, XXX
Starring: Tobey Maguire, Willem Dafoe, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Rosemary
Harris, Cliff Robertson
Rated Rated PG-13 for stylized violence and action.
Yes, my friends, I, your beloved Inky, have seen Spider-Man. And it rocked my
world. It aboslutely kicked. Trust me. From the trailers to the tear-inducing end, I laughed, cried, jumped, screamed, clapped, and sometimes just shut my eyes. It's that good.
For starters, let's review the cast. They're all great. Even though Cliff Robertson isn't in it that much, he is touching and wonderful as Peter Parker's beloved Uncle Ben. You can tell Robertson threw himself into this role. The lead three, though, are Maguire, Dafoe, and Dunst, and I'll review them by paragraph.
Maguire is both believable and charismatic as Peter Parker/Spider-Man. I was skeptical when they first cast him (well, it was obviously going to be Ben Affleck, right? But don't worry, Affleck fans, he's in another anticipated superhero flick coming soon), but he pulls it off masterfully. He has emotional layers, and is both nervous and excited when he gets his newfound powers. He IS Peter Parker and once he started doing the whole uber-cool Spider-Man thing, I dug him.
And if you think Maguire is good, check out Willem Dafoe. That man can act the pants off anyone. Another odd casting choice by Sam Raimi clicked beautifully (I thought they were going to cast someone awful like Jim Carrey) and if I ever make a movie, you can bet Dafoe will be the movie. As the Green Goblin, he is menacing and terrifying. As Norman Osborne, he is menaced and terrified. He changes his facial expressions effortlessly and is amazing to watch.
Kirsten Dunst was the obvious choice for me...and she was great. I just love her. She's so hot and beautiful and so talented, I didn't realize Mary Jane had such a difficult home life, but she nailed the whole shabang. She was my favorite character - I've always liked the female roles (not cause of sexuality or anything - there is just a quality.) Another thing is that MJ feels vulnerable. She doesn't admit it, and she certainly doesn't act it, but she is. There is one heart-in-throat mpment when you relaize this - Peter calls her phone and gets her voice mail box, and is beginning to leave a warning message, when the Green Goblin picks up and does his maniacal laugh into the receiver. The whole audience freaked; we all know MJ is in trouble. Deep trouble.
Besides Uncle Ben, there are other supporting cast gems, most notable Aunt May (Rosemary Harris just made me cry when she says, in all her confusion and delirium, "Those eyes! Those horrible, yellow eyes!") and J.K. Thomas as news-paper editor J. Jonah Jameson, whose quick one-liners alone make the ticket price worth it.
This movie has art direction like no other. It is amazing to look at. The spectacular Spidey and Green Goblin costumers are a site to behold, and the CGI of Spider-Man swinging from skyscraper to skyscraper like a human Ping-Pong ball is totally convincing. The movie's effects are stunning, and they all lead up to an amazing climax that has to be seen to believed (just a warning: at first our beloved hero gets the living crap kicked out of him, but don't worry, he makes it.)
This movie is, in short, miraculous. It opens the door for an amazing summer of flicks (all those previews where great!), and if Star Wars and Minority Report don't disappoint (and I doubt SW will because buzz is good and it has a solid exposure now that Spider-Man has already smashed records), we will enjoy every minute. Have a good one, all!