Spider-Man (2002) Revisited: Marvel Movie Review

While 2000’s X-Men was arguably the movie that made Marvel characters finally come to life on the big screen (after taking a backseat to DC for years), it was 2002’s Spider-Man, directed by Sam Raimi, that proved just how good a movie like this could be…and how profitable. Hollywood had been trying to launch a Spider-Man film for years, with James Cameron coming close to doing a massive version with Leonardo DiCaprio. In the end, Sony made an unconventional choice – Sam Raimi.

At this point, he was best known for his horror movies, including The Evil Dead trilogy and Darkman, but he had started to branch out by this point. He made the Kevin Costner romance For the Love of the Game and a well-received thriller called A Simple Plan. And, given that he had shown such a flair for action with Darkman, he proved to be a great choice. An even more off-kilter pick was Tobey Maguire, then best known for playing sensitive teens in The Cider House Rules, Wonder Boys, and The Ice Storm, to play Peter Parker. Again, the less obvious choice was the right one.

While fans had some minor complaints (organic web-shooters?), overall, they loved this franchise launch, which also featured other iconic performances, such as Willem Dafoe as Green Goblin, Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane, and James Franco as Harry Osborn. Twenty Years later, Dafoe and Maguire have found their way back into the MCU, so let’s look back at the film that started it all!

About the Author

Chris Bumbray began his career with JoBlo as the resident film critic (and James Bond expert) way back in 2007, and he has stuck around ever since, being named editor-in-chief in 2021. A voting member of the CCA and a Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic, you can also catch Chris discussing pop culture regularly on CTV News Channel.