Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man is a goofy, heartfelt glimpse into the life of Peter Parker that I believe any person could find entertaining. The movie, directed by Sam Raimi, aims to provide a glimpse into the life of Peter Parker in the real world as compared to Stan Lee’s comics. Peter Parker, played by Tobey Maguire, a humble middle-class kid, up until high school, had just been a nerdy kid living in Queens, NY with his Aunt May and Uncle Ben as a result of his parents dying in a plane crash. Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man is a goofy, heartfelt glimpse into the life of Peter Parker that I believe any person could find entertaining.
The movie starts out by introducing the characters Peter and his aunt and uncle, but shortly after goes to a field trip Peter was on for science class at Columbia University. While studying the spiders, one of them crawled onto Peter and bit him, injecting spider-like abilities into him. He was not aware of this until the next morning though. He woke up with perfect eyesight, a ripped body, athleticness and agility he had never experienced before, an extraordinary ability to shoot web out of his wrists, and the ability to grip and stick to walls. Peter started to utilize his powers to his advantage by competing in a wrestling tournament and winning the prize, but soon realized that he needed to use his powers for the benefit of others. After his wrestling win that night, Peter was walking home when he saw his Uncle Ben get shot after being mugged in the city streets and died at the scene. This fueled his fire and he began to want to bring justice to any situation he could, so he made a name for himself (Spider-Man) by catching criminals and helping all the people of Queens that he could. In the midst of all this, Peter’s best friend, Harry Osborne, had a father that worked for the same company that his father did. Norman Osborne was very successful and gained access to a technological suit that the company had been working on, and created a name for himself, the Green Goblin. The remainder of the movie is conflict between Spider-Man and the Green Goblin. Peter initially did not know the Green Goblin was Harry’s father, but when he found out, he felt uneasy about defeating him as he had been so close to him growing up. He ultimately succeeded as he was able to fight in such a way that Mr. Osborne killed himself with his own suit on accident, but at the cost of Harry thinking Spider-Man killed him. Harry was not aware of his father being the Green Goblin until he was dead, but he gained hatred for Spider-Man. Peter was devastated as he couldn’t tell Harry that he was Spider-Man. The movie ends in a way that it was definite there would be a sequel: Peter has to continue fighting crime and helping the people of Queens.
Peter’s costume is a blue and red costume that conceals his identity for his benefit. While not seeming significant to the review of the movie, it means everything for the plot as no one ever knows he is Spider-man, showing how humble he is and that he doesn’t want recognition for his work.
The movie takes place in Queens, NY and this is so important to the plot of the movie as the city is full of crime. Also, he would have nearly no impact on helping people in a suburb as he needs the tall buildings and skyscrapers to move quickly throughout the city to respond to crimes. It also shows that he lives in a small house in a poor neighborhood and he does not have much to brag about.
Despite my love for this movie, there are critiques to be made for this movie. Tobey Maguire wasn’t successful in truly demonstrating the original Spider-Man from the comics. First, he was too old to fit the role for Peter as he was in his 20’s while Peter in the comics is 15 years old, and as a result, he was not able to be the trickster that was shown in the comics. In addition to not being the immature character in the comics, Maguire did not convey the intelligence of Peter either that was in the comics. Also, the fighting scenes were somewhat underwhelming at times as there were some obvious CGI (computer-generated imagery) moments that took away from the action. While these critiques might not be evident to the average person who is not familiar with the comics, it still takes away from the original creation of Spider-Man and its portrayal in the movie.
Ultimately, Spider-Man is a great work of cinematography and Tobey Maguire was a great actor to portray Peter Parker and Spider-Man, despite the criticism from hardcore fans. The film was full of action and fighting scenes but also portrayed a warm, heartfelt side to Peter and his personality.
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