The age of the super heroes hitting the big screen is well and truly upon us with many of Marvel comics characters launching their own movie franchises over the last 24 months. It was no surprise that Spider-man would be amongst those vying for box office cash and sure enough the film was a massive hit all over the world. The film does it's best to remain true to the comic book beginnings of the character with only a few tweaks being made to bring it up to date.
Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) is an outcast at his high school; he is a science geek and also works for the school paper. He is madly in love with his neighbour and school friend Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst). While his class are on a science field trip to a spider lab, Peter asks if he can take some photos for the school paper (as well as some of his secret sweetheart). As he clicks away taking the photos a genetic new species of spider descends from above and bites Peter on the hand. The next day (after running a fever the night before), Peter discovers that this spider has given him some superhuman powers (and helped with his 6 pack). Misguided at the start with his powers it is only after the murder of his Uncle that Peter makes the conscious decision to do good as a crime fighting hero. Of course no superhero would be complete without a superhuman bad guy, intent on the destruction of New York, so enter The Green Goblin (Willem Defoe) to spice things up. Will Spiderman win the day and the girl?
What impressed me most about this movie is the direction from Sam Raimi and the acting talent on show. Maguire proves he can act with the best of them and his depiction of the troubled Parker is spot on. The mood of the film is dark and moody with the fight sequences taking on real aggression and power; you are left with no doubt that Spiderman could be defeated. There are many things which make this picture work for those with only a passing interest in the genre and it is accessible for all, you don't have to be a comic book fan to enjoy the story. Comic book adaptations are a real hit and miss affair, but I feel Spiderman has started its own franchise on a promising high.