I rewatched Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man the other night with (current housemate) Tom and (future housemate) Tariq, and it holds up extraordinarily well for an eleven year-old superhero flick. Not in terms of CGI or science, of course – though it barely stood up in the plausibility stakes then either – but it still totally nails its emotional targets and toes that fine comic book line in suspension of disbelief.
I’m not saying there aren’t missteps – Spidey and the Green Goblin’s first confrontation still suffers hugely from hiding our hero’s eyes and both characters’ mouths, making the scene ripe for a comedic re-dub.
Hang on, that’s not a half-bad idea. Let me just jot that down…
That and, of course, Norman Osborn’s truly ridiculous tet-a-tete between himself and…a snarling green helmet sat on an armrest.
Seriously, they give it its own close up. THAT HELMET’S A CHARACTER.
And still the film works, because it’s embraced its comic roots in the melodrama of Peter Parker’s life, but we’re still grounded – thanks in no small part to Toby Maguire’s totally believable dork – just enough that, just maybe, we can believe that a webslinger could exist, just like all the folks we see at ground level who are just as astonished as we are.
Unlike The Amazing Spider-Man, which keeps its head in the clouds and Spidey on the rooftops, listening to soft rock and not bothering with the whole ‘hero’ thing.
And seriously, who buys Andrew Garfield as a kid who’s ever been unpopular a day of his life?