Spider-Man review

We review Spider-Man - the 2001 version directed by the Evil Dead's Sam Raimi

Spider-Man poster


Certificate: 12A

Starring: Tobey Maguire, Willem Dafoe

Release date: 2002

4 out of 5


Who would have thought that Sam Raimi, the director of cult horror movie The Evil Dead, would be the right man to turn Marvel comic hero Spider-Man into a blockbuster movie? He certainly was, however, and his choice of leading man – Tobey Maguire, better known at the time for serious dramas like The Ice Storm – was spot on, too.

While younger viewers may find the early scenes a little slow, the rest of us can enjoy the Spider-Man myth unfold as Raimi reveals just how student Peter Parker (Maguire) goes from nerdy teenager to muscly superhero after a bite from a genetically modified spider. We’re also introduced to potential love interest Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst), Aunt Mae (Rosemary Harris) and Uncle Ben (Cliff Robertson), who Peter lives with, and Peter’s friend Harry (James Franco) and Harry’s multi-millionaire dad, Norman Osborn (Dafoe), who, after an experiment goes wrong, turns into Spidey’s nemesis, the Green Goblin.

Packed with impressive CGI effects, this is a fun adventure that shouldn’t scare smaller viewers (Dafoe’s goblin looks a bit nasty but seems more mad than bad), although it really is aimed at older comic book fans (and has a ‘12’ certificate).

Is Spider-Man suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...

Dafoe as the Green Goblin is scary.

SPOILER! The scene in which Peter’s uncle is killed by a street robber will upset younger viewers.

Also, the scene in which Norman uses the green gas that turns him into the goblin is quite scary.

If you like this, why not try: Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3, Superman Returns, Batman, Batman Begins,