Saturday, 26 April 2014

The Amazing Spider-Films

It seems the whole world's gone webheaded this month as the latest film starring The Amazing Arachnid is released across the globe. For the last decade and a bit, as one of Marvel comic's biggest successes, Spider-Man has been hot property at the box office with Sam Raimi's original trilogy being so popular that a rebooted series swung into view a mere five years after the last lot finished. With some enduring characters, its hard to single out just why they do so well but with Spider-Man its clear that he remains ever-loved due to his being the only everyman super-hero. While numerous comic book creations fight costumed villains (and live in New York), few feel as fleshed out and believable than Spidey, with the best stories of the character featuring real heart. The films starring that web-shooting, wall-crawling, wise-cracking hero thankfully carry this to the big screen. Look out, it's...

Spider-Man (2002)

One of the first big comic book films of the 21st century, Spider-Man was a phenomenal hit at the time and still stands up today, even in our superhero-saturated world. Tobey Macguire makes for a likeable lead as, you all know how it goes, geeky high school kid turned Spider-Man and he's well supported  by Kirsten Dunst, who does the most with her damsel-in-distress role, the brilliant J.K Simmons as Parker's boss J. Jonah Jameson and Willem Dafoe, staying on the right side of ham as nemesis the Green Goblin. Its skilfully-directed by Raimi with grand, sweeping visuals of the urban vistas and is made by its mix of humour and emotion. This is how to do a superhero origin film.

 Spider-Man 2 (2004)

The first Spider-Man film could have been hard to live up to but thankfully things only improved for Spider-Man 2 with many claiming it to be one of the best films in the superhero genre. It sees Peter struggling to balance his crimefighting with his everyday alter-ego, while still trying to gain the affection of Mary Jane. Its even tighter than the first film in delivering an engaging story with some great set pieces plus Alfred Molina shines as the surprisingly tragic Doctor Octopus. Every Spider-film (and every superhero film, come to that) has had a lot to live up to ever since.

Spider-Man 3 (2007)

Poor, misunderstood Spider-Man 3. Few superhero films have been so looked forward to only to be met with a truly venomous reaction. This blogger seems to be in the minority in that he finds it an entertaining adventure. It certainly is not as well held together as the previous entries in the series, and there are more elements to the story than can the director can manage, but it retains the core of the first two films while also suitably tying up the franchise's ongoing character threads. It is definitely not as bad as it often thought - I'll even defend the 'dancing in the street' scene as a deliberately cringe-inducing moment rather than a failure. There I said it.

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

With the first Spider-Man trilogy so recent in the memory, it is understandable that this reboot does not wholly step out of the original film's shadow. While it tries hard to spin a different take on Spidey's beginnings - e.g. the mystery of Peter's parents - the story is essentially the same as but without the directorial and storytelling flourish of before. However, the film is saved by Andrew Garfield, pitch perfect as awkward genius teen Peter, and Emma Stone as Gwen Stacey who's chemistry, outshining MacGuire's and Dunst's, makes any scene they're in - thankfully, most of the film - a joy to watch. Let's hope the sequel can provide a more memorable story as well as more from Garfield and Stone. If so, then - just like for Spidey himself - the sky's the limit.

If you fancy reading more of my thoughts of the amazing Spider-films, use those web-shooters of yours to swing on over to Whatculture to find out my '15 Greatest Spider-Man Movie Moments.' 

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...