The Dose: A look back on the original ‘Spider-Man’ trilogy

The Dose: A look back on the original ‘Spider-Man’ trilogy

The Dose: A look back on the original ‘Spider-Man’ trilogy
July 06
17:42 2017

With the upcoming release of the second reboot of your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, it should be time for a quick look back at the monumental films that started it all. Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” trilogy has some of the more memorable depictions of Marvel’s beloved characters, while putting heart and comic book soul into the lore.

2002’s “Spider-Man” was one of the first films I saw in theaters. If “X-Men” was the film that set the standard for modern superhero movies, “Spider-Man” made the genre stick.

The film is the usual origin story of how meek high school student Peter Parker becomes the heroic web-head.

Tobey Maguire nailed the roles of both Parker and Spider-Man really well, understanding the full weight of the responsibility he has to carry since he decided to walk the path of a hero. Kirsten Dunst was passable as love interest Mary Jane Watson, and baby-faced James Franco did a serviceable job as Parker’s best friend, Harry Osborn. The other stand-out actor who ate up the scenery as much as Maguire did was the always phenomenal Willem Dafoe as Norman Osborn/The Green Goblin.

Danny Elfman’s score is wonderfully epic and sweeping, suitably so for a superhero who’s also coming of age. It’s quiet when it needs to be, and loud and bombastic at other moments. It’s really one of Elfman’s best and one I’ve listened to over and over again throughout the years.

The 2004 sequel continues the story of Parker trying to balance out college life, making a living, spending time with Mary Jane and saving New York City from whatever dangers come their way. “Spider-Man 2” is still one of the greatest comic book sequels of all time. It added to the characterization for Parker, Osborn and Watson, while developed a villain who we not only get to know, but even sympathize with at moments.

The 2007 film, on the other hand, wasn’t perfect. But it had its moments. One of the main issues of the third movie was there were just too many villains to focus on one. While Sandman was the most effective of the three, Osborn’s New Goblin fit the story the most. I wasn’t a fan of Topher Grace as Eddie Brock/Venom. It’s a little hard to see Eric Forman as a beefed up, violent alien monster. There were effective moments, such as the alien suit latching itself onto Parker and Sandman’s creation in the scientific machine. Other scenes, such as “emo” Parker prancing around New York City and dancing at the Jazz Club to make Mary Jane jealous, were unnecessary and horribly filmed.

Overall, like most moviegoers my age, the first two films will always have a special place in my heart. From the memories climbing up walls, driving my mom crazy doing so and rewatching the movies repeatedly as a kid, the movies have held up over time. They created a lasting impact that got filmmakers to take superhero films more seriously.

While the subsequent “Spider-Man” movies have given the franchise a bad reputation, it will be interesting to see how the webslinger evolves in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and beyond.

Featured Image: Tobey Maguire portrayed his signature role, Peter Parker, in the “Spider-Man” franchise from 2002 to 2007. Sony Pictures.

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Michael Vu

Michael Vu

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