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EDITIONS
Tuesday, 7 May, 2002, 08:26 GMT 09:26 UK
Spider-Man: Your views
Tobey Maguire as the webbed wonder
Spider-Man could be the first blockbuster of the summer
After years of legal wrangling, Spider-Man the movie finally reached US cinemas earlier this year. UK audiences are now getting their chance to see the comic book hero in action, too.

Tobey Maguire stars as the web-spinning super star, along with Willem Dafoe as his arch enemy, the Green Goblin, and love interest, Kirsten Dunst.

The film has been criticised in the UK by film censors, who say that it could be the most violent film ever aimed at young children. Spider-Man is an imagination-free, weary trudge through some of cinema's most familiar cliches," wrote BBC News Online's Darren Waters.

"What is worse is that we will be expected to do this all again when the sequel is released, " he added. But what do you think?

This debate is now closed. You can read a selection of your comments below.

As a parent of two, I think it's outrageous that the BBFC has given Spider-Man a 12-rating. We have family in America, and there parents have the choice to take their children. I think a similar system here would be vastly superior to what is in place now.

I don't want some total strangers deciding what films I can and can't take my family to. My children are 12 and nine, so because of the 12-rating, we must either go without my nine-year-old son, involving the added expense of a child minder, or all of us must miss out on the film until it's on video. Parents should have the ability to decide for themselves what they want their children watching.
Joseph Brenan, UK

It seems a bit inconsistent to make Spider-Man a 12-rating, when Lord of the Rings, which I thought contained more violence, was a PG with a special warning for under eights.
Hannah, UK


I saw the movie twice in the same week, it had a great story line, great shots of NYC and Toby Maguire was awesome!

David, USA
I saw Spider-Man tonight. There were times in it when both my husband and I were shielding our eyes because the violence made us so uncomfortable. I think a child under 12 could easily get screaming nightmares from this movie - or worse. Unlike Harry Potter, the violence in this movie is too close to everyday life and too graphic for children.
Alayne, Canada

I saw the movie twice in the same week, it had a great story line, great shots of NYC and Toby Maguire was awesome! The violence in the movie was no worse then what children are already exposed to, in shows such as the Power Rangers or even in Star Wars. It's a great movie to sit back, relax and enjoy!
David, USA

I don't know what film Darren Waters could've went and seen, but it couldn't have been Spider-Man, because this film is superb. I've seen it four times now already - three times in preview screenings and once on release day. It was more than worth the wait. Doubtless to say I'll probably see it another four times before its run in the cinema is done too. The casting and acting was superb, and Raimi yet again does himself, and the subject matter, great justice.

Fantastic film, and well worth the wait.
Dave James, UK


I just seen Spider-Man and it is one of the best superhero flicks since Blade

Neil Shaw, UK
Yes, I think it is too violent. I took my boys (13 and eight) to see it, and was disturbed at the effect it would have on them, especially the younger one. A younger boy - probably four was sat behind us, and I heard him tell his mother "he didn't like it" two or three times; she just shushed him up.

Violence and violent images have become the norm, and we are becoming desensitised to it. Film-makers have to continually push the envelope to remain competitive, and until we, the paying public, make it known we have had enough, this trend will inevitably persist.
Andy Moss, USA

I just seen Spider-Man and it is one of the best superhero flicks since Blade. It is definitely on par with the original Batman for appeal. Thankfully it avoids the most common angle for superhero films is that they spend the whole film having the character discovering their powers and only being the superhero at the end. Disasters like the later Batman films are included in that role and to a lesser extent X-men. Can't wait for the sequel, hopefully they will hold off the "return of the Green Goblin" plot line and deal with favourites like Doctor Octopus and Venom.
Neil Shaw, UK

I have seen Spider-Man and it has very little violence in it. It's a super-hero film, what do people expect? Kids like to see an action-packed film, and as Peter Parker said at the end of the film, "With great power comes great responsibility". Now if that doesn't send a message out to kids...what does???!!
Simon Ware, Wales


Mr Raimi has not only delivered a very cool blockbuster/action movie full of his trademark camera actions but he has also managed to keep the heart and soul of the comics intact

Andy, UK
I think Spider-Man is a film well worth seeing and is a film for everyone. I loved the special effects, I think all the actors were spot-on choices and I hope that the sequel will have Dr Octopus as the villain. Can't wait to see it.
Naomi, England

From the moment I found out that Sam Raimi (one of my fave directors) was directing my favourite comic I had a good feeling about this movie and when I saw it last week in the previews, despite my HUGE anticipation I was not disappointed.

Mr Raimi has not only delivered a very cool blockbuster/action movie full of his trademark camera actions but he has also managed to keep the heart and soul of the comics intact, much of which has to do with the inspired casting of Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker.

It's excellently paced and even my non-comic liking fiancée thoroughly enjoyed it. True, the end is graphically violent especially when compared to the earlier comic-style fights but if you bear in mind the original comic, the Green Goblin broke Spidey's girlfriend's neck and threw her off the Brooklyn Bridge so it's not that bad.
Andy, UK

Children under 12 who see spider-Man will not become violent as a result. It's a classic tale of good versus evil and like so many films before it will fade from the public eye after a few months. Don't make a big deal out of the "violence", it does not warrant our concern. Spiderman has been awarded a 12 certificate. Any child under that age should not be allowed to see it. Simple.
Alan Ismail, England


Overall, felt more like a pilot to the impending sequel

Dave, UK
Spider-Man is very true to the comics, but I think it's been dumbed down, with a plot suitable for a 30 minute Sunday morning cartoon.

The action sequences are fairly impressive, the acting isn't bad, but is wasted on the script.

The ending was completely over the top and whilst true to the comic, just didn't work given the way that Peter's character was built up in the film.

Overall, felt more like a pilot to the impending sequel.
Dave, UK

UK film regulators need to get a life. We took our children, aged eight and eleven to see the movie and it was very entertaining. There was violence but there is violence in a lot of movies, as there is in life. The violence was not gratuitous, overly-bloody or overly-violent. The plot was lifted straight out of the comic books. What are you going to do, restrict the comic books?
Joe Baker, USA

I grew up with comic books and their retinue of "super heroes". The movie Spider-Man is an accurate representation of what those comic books were all about. Violence? But of course. The world is violent. The bottom-line is "good prevailing over evil".
Randy Burns, USA


The casting is inspired, the acting excellent, the direction spot-on and the plot/story close to the original stories as promised

Andrew Piercy, UK
Sadly Mr Waters has got it completely wrong and the comments here show what the people think.

I saw it yesterday in a preview showing and was blown away. I nearly went straight back in for the next performance.

For all Spidey fans this is what we've been waiting for a long time. Only now can the CGI technology do justice to the wallcrawler.

The casting is inspired, the acting excellent, the direction spot-on and the plot/story close to the original stories as promised.

I'm really looking forward to my next fix and to the DVD.
Andrew Piercy, UK

I saw Spider-Man recently and I must admit I was disappointed. Why? Well, we all know the story, nerdy boy gets bit by genetically modified spider (out goes the radioactive spider for the new millennia) turns into a superhero, defeats the bad guy etc.

So where's the new spin? There isn't one. Spiderman suffers from the same problem that a lot of major Hollywood films do - if you are going to do a remake at least try to make it different, updated effects aren't everything. The effects in Spider-Man are OK. (But post-Attack of the Clones, OK just doesn't cut it any more).

So what can we expect from the sequel? More of the same I expect.
James Hanson, UK


Not once did this get my heart racing. If you have seen the trailer then you have seen every decent scene this movie contains

Michael Murphy, England
There is as much violence in our soap operas, if not more than, than there is in Spiderman.. EastEnders has wife beating, prostitution, drug gangs etc... surely they should look at what the children have access to on terrestrial TV before they make judgement calls!
Jane Reed, UK

Good to see that common sense has prevailed in some areas of the country and the film can be shown to younger children.

What the BBFC seem to forget is that it's only a movie, and should stop taking themselves so seriously.
Simon Taylor, UK

Whilst every cinema around the world seems to be showing "Spider-Man, the awesome action packed cut" the one I went to is showing "Spiderman - the really dull, action-less cut'. How else can it be explained that I seemed to have seen a different film to anyone else? This was one huge disappointment. Where were the thrills? Not once did this get my heart racing. If you have seen the trailer then you have seen every decent scene this movie contains. I advise you to watch that and then go and see something else instead.

As far as comic book movies go, Superman I and X-Men are the benchmark and this doesn't even come close!
Michael Murphy, England

I think that the BBFC is being stupid. Children have been brought up on Spider-Man comics all their lives but there is no record of children dangling themselves from buildings by a piece of string. If the BBFC is commenting on the scene towards the end, then there is more violence in Harry Potter!
Ellie Garnett, England


Action hero comics, which I have read since being a child, have always contained a degree of violence. This has not affected mine or other readers' conduct in our social behaviour

Peter Chana, UK
I saw this last week in Hull. If you like action, excitement and do not care if the plot is a little staged then this is the film to see this weekend. If you are a true fan of the comic book etc. then sorry but see it anyway. Some parts are really funny and worth it on their own.
Richard Crane, England

I knew this film would be great, I couldn't wait to see it, and although I saw it in a small cinema with only 20 or so people in total it was very enjoyable. The story was well thought, being a Spider-Man fan myself, I was impressed with its accuracy. The acting also was very good, Tobey was an A-grade Spider-Man, as well as the other characters. I thought Jo Jamerson was played perfectly. I do have one bad thing to say, the green goblin's mask looked silly - the gaping mouth with sharp teeth didn't really look scary to me. Apart from that I thought it was a superb film, better than Attack of the Clones, and can't wait to see the sequel!
Dauda Bappa, UK

A typical response by an out-of-date Board of Classification. Action hero comics, which I have read since being a child, have always contained a degree of violence. This has not affected mine or other readers' conduct in our social behaviour. Let's put it this way. Children are more likely to witness violence including war and death on the national news every morning, lunch and evening. For well over a year now my nephew has been looking forward to watching this film only to have the BBFC shatter his excitement. Are we not meant to be closely linked to the USA, who opted for a more family friendly certificate? It's about time the BBFC to a page from our monarchy's book and became more modern.
Mr Peter Chana, England

I don't know what is more shocking, the badness of this film, or the favourable reviews given by so many who watched it. The script is awful, lacking any depth, spewing a multitude of simple homespun "moral" one-liners. The cringe moments are too numerous to account for in detail. But I must mention the last one, just at the much waited for end of this film, which showed the USA flag flying high. The White House should be proud, good versus evil, great power brings great responsibility. I wonder where we heard that before.
Vita, USA


It is far superior to the usual run of summer action films and light years more entertaining than the dreary Attack of the Clones

Ken, UK
I must admit, I was scared to see this movie. I have been a fan of Spider-Man since I first read one of the comics at age 10. Anyone who has seen the made-for-TV movies of Spider-Man will remember how awful they were! Was it possible to stay true to the comics yet still hold the attention of people unfamiliar with this character? How surprised was I after I saw this movie?!

Yes, some of the CGI effects are a bit ropey, yes, some of the details of the origin of Spider-Man have been changed but I didn't care because the film was so much fun. You really believed in Peter Parker and understood how and why he came to be Spider-Man and not just some kid abusing his new found powers.

I hope that in the next movie he becomes more confident in being Spider-Man to the point where we get to hear the trademark "Spider banter"! I can't wait until the next instalment. Please don't let them ruin this like they did with Batman!
Kristel Morrison, Northampton, England

The comic is written for teenagers and adults anyway... it's not like Spider-Man is supposed to be a kids character.
Tom, UK

Saw Spider-Man a few weeks ago while in the US. It is far superior to the usual run of summer action films and light years more entertaining than the dreary Attack of the Clones. Surprisingly well acted and directed and quite the coolest special effects around.
Ken, UK

I think the agency has double standards. Lord of the Rings had much much more violence and still had a PG certificate.
Petia Petrova, UK


This is more akin to the first Superman film than the darker Batman efforts

Ed, UK
Much more time has been taken on character development in the script, written by David Koepp who also wrote Panic Room, so this is far from an action-packed blockbuster. But it helps ground the characters and therefore makes you feel more for Peter Parker's dilemma.

The action sequences are superb and make this the most fun superhero flick since the first Batman.

Director Sam Raimi brings all of his Evil Dead credentials, which is basically Tim Burton with a degree of sanity. So even though there isn't an Attack of the Clones mind-blowing finale, there is a pretty enjoyably violent Raging Bull-esque brawl and the overall film wipes the floor with Episode 2's laughable script.
Peter Aitken, England

This film rocked. There were a few cheesy bits, Spidey didn't crack as many gags as he aught to have, the Green Goblin suit was a little disappointment but otherwise the themes and characters were true to the comics. It was the Amazing Spiderman! I'm in Thailand right now, so I got to see it early.
Steve Murphy, England

This is a very faithful adaptation of the comics. Not only will fans enjoy it but the film is assured mass-market appeal due to its easy-going nature. This is more akin to the first Superman film than the darker Batman efforts.
Ed, UK

Saw it in New York on the opening day last Friday, it was sold out everywhere. This is a highly watchable and fun film which doesn't take itself too seriously. A sequel is assured and the film knows it from the ending sequence. Will be huge here.
Steven Loftis, England


After all the disappointment I've felt after the messy Batman franchise and last year's flat X-men offering, here's a comic book movie treatment that actually works

Paul Hocker, Thailand
I am a Brit fortunate enough to be in Thailand where Spider-Man is playing on nearly every screen in the country. I have always been a fan of the comic character and have also much admired Tobey Maguire's acting style so my expectations were sky high.

Last week, on the opening day, I got my ticket, my commemorative Spider-Man popcorn bucket and settled into the comfy seats of the EGV cinema in Bangkok's Siam Square. And...well, to be honest, the film managed to deliver on every level. There were stunning aerial acrobatics, Maguire and Kirsten Dunst's wonderfully rich romantic subtext and images of a New York that hasn't look THIS good since Woody Allen's Manhattan.

I watched it twice in one day and as soon as I get back into a big city again I'll have a third helping - just to see the breathtaking Brooklyn bridge sequence and the scene in which Peter Parker gets to grips with his new powers. After all the disappointment I've felt after the messy Batman franchise and last year's flat X-men offering, here's a comic book movie treatment that actually works.

So Great Britain, believe me, it'll be worth the wait until mid-June when it opens and besides, I think George Lucas might have a little film to tide you over in the meantime!
Paul Hocker, Thailand


Great to see a film which lives up to the comic's reputation

Duncan Innes-Ker, Hong Kong
I went to see Spider-Man at the weekend and thought it was fantastic. The cinema was packed and everyone seemed enthralled by the action. Some members of the audience even showed an emotional response to the film which in Japan is rare. I thought all the characters were great and it really had that comic-book feel. I agree with the article which indicates that there is a growing demand for this kind of film. In particular, I am pleased to see some female action movies on the horizon - ie. Wonder Woman and Catwoman. I think Spider-Man is one of those great films that has something for everyone and I can't wait to go see it again next week.
Laura, Japan

As an ex-pat I get the opportunity to see films before their UK release. I managed to get tickets for Spiderman two days after its release. It was really really good. Had a great storyline and well, they have definitely left it open for a sequel. I can't say I am a Tobey Maguire fan but he did look a bit of a dish what with all the training he had obviously done. Willem Dafoe plays a good bad guy too and suffers a rather action-packed demise. It's a good action-come-romance flick.... definitely worth seeing.
Nic, Canada

Great to see a film which lives up to the comic's reputation and (at last!) provides a script that doesn't feel like padding for the action sequences.
Duncan Innes-Ker, Hong Kong

This movie is hilarious. I saw it the second day it was open...my friends and I were going to see it on IMAX but it was sold out. Saw it on a regular screen instead, buying our tickets in advance. Very good idea since it was sold out by the time we went to the 10:10pm showing. Really fun movie...lots of laughs... my boyfriend (who lives in Devon) is so jealous that I saw it before him...he's gonna love it though.
Natalia, USA


It didn't have the finesse and cohesion of the X-Men in my opinion

Linda Jarrett, USA
The first decent movie of the summer has arrived and very entertaining it is. While some of the acting is overdone, this movie is designed to entertain all ages and this is a mission accomplished. The director Sam Raimi, while most famous for his Evil Dead original does not inject too much darkness although Dafoe as the Green Goblin does go from successful scientist to bitter and vengeful goblin with his schizophrenic alter-personality.

Maguire is very believable as nerd to hero-nerd and the special effects are not over done as in a lot of past summer movies which have ruined themselves on this ingredient. Their sizzling kiss between your friendly neighbour Spider-Man and Kirsten Dunst has been noted in US papers as spectacular as Dunst who plays Mary-Jane peels Spidey's mask half way down his face with him still upside down to clench a "thank you" kiss.

Very enjoyable and with the sequel in 2004 this promises to be a much needed money earner for the studios. 7.5 out of 10.
Patrick, Vancouver, Canada

Not a bad movie but I didn't find it as riveting as I felt it could have been. It didn't have the finesse and cohesion of the X-Men in my opinion. MJ was not a very believable character. She seemed too sweet and goofy for someone raised in such an abusive household. Great for kids but missed out some real depth for the adults.
Linda Jarrett, USA


Kirsten Dunst is truly the star of the film stealing the spotlight from Spider-Man

Mark, USA
Let us see if in June, when Spiderman hits the big screen in the UK, if it will have the success it had on its opening weekend in the US. Setting all time records. With 144 million. This film is definitely the box office smash of the summer. Truly a good depiction of the comic.

Me and three buddies had the day off and watched at a new theatre with a screen 144 x 78, one of the largest in the country. Which enhanced our viewing pleasure. Speaking of pleasure, Kirsten Dunst is truly the star of the film stealing the spotlight from Spider-Man. She is hot in this movie.

I would recommend that you see this show, it is worth the time. Especially if you are a Spider-Man fan. After the show you will be an MJ fan. The show leaves you in anticipation of the next Spider-Man to come.


Mark, USA


On the whole, I left the theatre with a buzz, something I've not felt since Gladiator or the Matrix

Milo Casali, Canada
At last, a film delivers the Marvel Universe. I've been a fan of Spider-Man since I was a kid, so in a way I've been waiting for this flick for 20 years. I went expecting an awful lot, and hoping not to be disappointed by Hollywood's treatment of an established icon. This film delivers. It was colourful, exciting and just a pleasure to watch. This is the first film to properly show the extent of "super powers", giving us all the webslinging agility we've been desperate to see on film.

The CG animation struggles in areas to demonstrate real world physics, human fluidity and weight, but on the whole you may not notice much wrong. The vast majority of the special effects act only to benefit our detachment from the real world, and succeed in taking the punter on a fantastic super-hero journey.

Casting was spot on. Tobey was the best choice for Peter Parker without a doubt. I only hope that for any sequels, Elton John could play Dr Octopus (he's a dead ringer for sure).

On the whole, I left the theatre with a buzz, something I've not felt since Gladiator or the Matrix. Well done Sam Riami, I should never have doubted you. My advice is go watch it, but don't expect great film making, just a damn good movie.
Milo Casali, Vancouver, Canada

I saw Spider-Man yesterday at a brand new theatre here in Kansas (just opened this past weekend) with one of the largest screens in the country and I believe that it definitely enhanced my viewing experience. As Ed said, this movie is very faithful to the comics, with a few noticeable differences, but they in no way detract from the movie.

The was a lot of special effects eye candy to go around, though my favourite piece of eye candy did not require any special effects. It was Mary Jane Parker (Kirsten Dunst). All in all this movie had a lot of crowd pleasing special effects, teeth shattering sound, a decent plot, likeable characters, and a scene that showed all the tenacity, guts, and heart New Yorkers had even before September 11.
Sam Fuller, USA


Spider-Man was absolutely fantastic. The flying sequences were just as I imagined they would be

R Norment, USA
It's well worth waiting for. It's very much in keeping with the comic with some minor changes - but the audience won't mind a bit as it's woven into the storyline so well that it's all plausible. The special effects are great - from John Dykstra. Who knew?! Spider-Man moves so convincingly, it's a joy to watch. It's a superb way to spend 2.25 hours. Can't wait for the sequels.
David Morrison, Canada

The Spidey action sequences really make the film, but there are two scenes where Peter Parker shares his feelings for MJ and the slushy stuff really slows down the pace....

However, it is a great movie to check out, and any shot with Spidey in it is pretty good (although a lot of the shots are computer generated and they kinda over use the CG)....Any aerial shots of Spidey in the air is CG, and it gets kinda repetitive...it would be better to see more "static" shots of Maguire in the suit!

Green Goblin is a decent enough villain, and there are a lot of comical moments, and all the web-shooting scenes are cool..

Actually, the best character is Parker's editor at the Bugle.

Willem Dafoe showcases his acting skills with a fantastic monologue with a mirror.

For two hours of entertainment, Spider-Man is fine, but I expect Episode II to be this summer's blockbuster!
David Tang, Hong Kong

Spider-Man was absolutely fantastic. The flying sequences were just as I imagined they would be. The Green Goblin should have physically changed from Osborne to Gobbie. Not put on a costume. Other than that, the film was well worth the wait!!!!
R. Norment, United States


The web-slinging scenes are all superb, the cinematography is at some points breathtaking and the choice of locations is great

Monty, USA
We saw Spider-Man on Sunday afternoon as a family. My husband, my 15-year-old son and his friend, my seven-year-old daughter and myself. There is something for everyone in this movie. For the boys there is Kirsten who is quite a looker and Peter who is a nerd done good. My daughter was a little put off my some of the violent scenes but she to could see that good can conquer evil. We all left the theatre with the feeling that we saw a good movie with romance, adventure and we know we will be back to see Spiderman II. My husband is from the UK and we read BBC News Online everyday.
Kim Mathews, USA

The screen action is splendid, but what really counts is that they captured the human qualities of Peter Parker - an ordinary guy who becomes a hero through sacrifice and maturity, not just by gaining the ability to climb walls.
Robert del Valle, USA

Spider-Man was a disappointment with respect to action scenes. Why do they always have to make a love story theme? I expected more action sequences. The quality of special effects was very average. Hopefully the sequel will be better.
JR, USA

I got dragged to this by my boyfriend last Friday and was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked the movie, Tobey Maguire was great, the fight scenes were incredible, and the New York scenes were heartening to a city devastated not six months ago.....oh, but by the way Peter in Thailand, it's the Queensboro bridge, not the Brooklyn Bridge that had everyone on the edge of their seats!
Anne, New York, USA

I saw Spider-Man last Friday night in a Manhattan cinema. The web-slinging scenes are all superb, the cinematography is at some points breathtaking and the choice of locations is great. As an Englishman I had to bite my lip at the American tendency to whoop and clap after each Spidey-move but that didn't detract too much from the film.

My enjoyment of the film was tempered though by how seriously it took the relationship between Peter and MJ - the final "tearjerker" scene was almost ludicrous in its use of over-the-top melodrama and grandiose concepts of "great responsibility". All things considered, a good Hollywood blockbuster and well worth the admission fee.
Monty, US

I think the film is too violent for 5-8 year olds. For 9-11 years olds, the fight scenes between the goblin and spidey are not too violent. Should it have been given a 12 certificate? Yes, but only for a couple of scenes.
John Trattles, UK

I am a young teenager and I have seen the film myself, but I don't think there's anything wrong with the film having a classification of 12. I think there is too much violence for a U rating or a PG. This is because the violence is in familiar, normal settings e.g school, the streets. And some children could wrongly interpret this in a way that encourages them to be the hero/baddie, and fight each other.

Also, some kids could think that they can stop or hurt dangerous individuals; for example a stranger that demands money or personal belongings from the child. So therefore I totally agree with the decision by the BBFC.
Emma Whitehead, England

As a renowned film buff, I have eagerly anticipated Spider-Man more and more as it has neared its release, I am 14 and am allowed to see it but some younger people, like my sister, may be able to stomach the violence and should be given the choice but at the warning that their parents should known it has been acknowledged as a 12 by the BBFC and does have rather grisly and disturbing stuff for younger children.
Seth Mason, England

Yes, this film contains scenes of gratuitous violence which I feel innapropriate for the kids. I would like also to ask if anyone has noticed or commented on the movie's subliminal political message: Spider-Man's uncle (as in uncle Sam) advice to him that "with great power comes great responsibility" is word for word those of "uncle" Bush during his appeal against international terrorism.

The wrestler is bearded like a certain Osama is also no coincidence. And why the American flag at the end if not an appeal for nationalistic spirit?

I go to the movies to be entertained, not for being subliminally brainwashed by American ideals. I am not against America but I feel increasingly uncomfortable at the thought that Spider-Man was "entertainment" aimed at innocent kids.
Maurice Pernet, London, UK

I think all responsibility should be in parents' hands, after all, they are responsible for their child's behaviour anyway and if they want to bring their child along for the movie, they will do so anyhow. Also, when the movie gets in stores on video and DVD, none will pay any attention to the buyer's age. So if you can't stop children from watching it, then why bother trying? If parents think that the movie is too violent, they won't let their children see it, so you should just say that a movie contains a lot of violence and let parents decide for their own children.
Robbie Somers, The Netherlands

It is ridiculous that all the merchandise is aimed at children that are too young to see the film.
Gerry Mcgonigle, Scotland

I was seriously disappointed yesterday when i saw it. After months of hype i expected to see a film that was a thrill from start to finish. It had its good points but it is not deserving of all the hype. I think it was the special effects that spoiled it for me. Good performances by Maguire and Dunst.
Sarah Davies, UK

Spider-Man is true to the comics of yesteryear. The animation and movie technology made this film worth watching. It is a film for the entire family. I could see it again. If there is another film, I hope it is as good as this one.
Sherwood, USA

I think that the BBFc was right to rate the film a 12 although the film was pushing that rating to the limit, with so many explosions in New York during this time and the realism of the fights. Although this isn't the first time films have been aimed at younger children e.g. through merchandise. But parents shouldn't let their "young" children watch this film until video because of the graphical violence which parents can't stop their children from watching while in a cinema.
Sanjay Toora, United Kingdom

Spiderman is a fun and entertaining movie. I just wish that the plot were changed a little bit so a woman saves the day.
Marija, Canada

I thoroughly enjoyed the movie but I wasn't that keen on Kirsten Dunst (or maybe just her character). I got annoyed when two hours into the movie she was still calling him Peter Parker. I know it's an American thing (they do it in soaps too!) Still, I enjoyed the movie's pace and effects. Never would have thought of Tobey Maguire as an action hero player before this!
Leslie, Canada

Great film, plot perhaps needed some strengthening. After seeing the trailer with the World trade center in it is a shame that they could not be incorporated somehow.
Hex, UK

The Spider-Man I watched is very interesting though its more science than anything else. I think it is a must watch to all, even the kids. Parents, please prepare your kids before they watch it however so that they are aware of what to expect.
Betsy, Kenya

A perfect summer film and way better and intelligent than most of the drivel released at this time of year. The main charecters of Peter Parker and Mary Jane are very skillfully sketched out within the first five minutes of the film, and their relationship, while having it's fair share of cheesy moments, is not merely confined to the sidelines but is integral to the film.

And it's a damn sight better handled than the laughable "love theme" in Attack of the Clones. Great, exhilerating Spidey fights crime scenes and SFX with some very cool directorial touches (e.g. Pater Parker's spider sense).

It does have however a very violent last 20 minutes which alone more than justifies the 12 certificate awarded. And I say this as someone who often finds the BBFC's decisions erratic to say the least. On this occasion though, they've got it right.
Amit, London, UK

I saw Spider-Man last night and thought it was fantastic! The plot, acting, direction and effects were brilliant!

However, I am shocked that some local authorities have been issuing PG (or PG-12) certificates it, considering the level of violence within the film. I am extremely uncomfortable with Sony Pictures having aimed adverts so squarely at children far too young to see this.

For all that, though, go and see this wonderful film - you'll have "the ultimate spin"!
Edward Hyde, Bristol, England

Oh so very poor. Another movie made specifically to make the trailer look appealing. This movie is dull, slow-witted, deeply unoriginal and driven by unwarranted hype.
Reilly, England

I have to say that Spiderman is not the greatest film I've ever seen - at times the computer animation is painfully obvious and does not blend with the rest of the scene, and there are one or two scenes of incredibly overmelodramatic dialogue and acting - but that said, it is a very fast paced, fun flick. And when compared to Episode II, it is by far the superior movie in terms of plot and sheer entertainment value.
Caitlyn, Scotland

Violence in films is not new, so why the drama every time a new film is released? Also, this is a fictional character. Even the youngest of children can see that it is not real.
Jason Alexander, England

The thing I find most worrying is that parents would argue to get underage children into a film that experts have said is too violent for them. It seems totally irresponsible to me. No doubt the same parents would also complain when their children started having nightmares or acting up. Given that it is illegal wouldn't it have been more interesting to have one policeman posted at cinemas that have problems to explain to these idiots that it is not their call. Also if they would give in to their young kids on such a minor thing what hope is there when they are 17? Personally I didn't notice that much child orientated marketing, maybe because I'm not a child.
Olivia Moore, UK

Overall lots of fun. I've let my children see it and they loved it! The film censors seem to have a very short memory, as they gave Attack of the Clones a PG and it has much more violence in it! I don't recall anyone gets decapitated by his own son in Spider-Man.
Dr. Xavier, London, UK

Great film, great villian in Green Goblin, good acting, but as usual there were a couple of very soppy bits which although I guess they have to be there, we really don't want to see them do we? Well worth watching though.
Lee, UK

I am getting very tired of the "intellectual ripping apart" of films these days. Don't analyse, just enjoy! Spider-Man really entertains and will make you feel like a kid again. I loved it!
Scott, UK

I found this movie hugely disappointing. Over-emphasis on the love interest. Dunst's character was very badly written. Could be seen to be true to the comics, but only if you have very low expectations. Overall quite dull.
Clem, Scotland

I thought the romance scenes were painfully bad.

In particular that huge awful line about gazing into MJ's eyes. Eeeeagh.

Ignoring the romantic bits, I thought the film was ... adequate.
Adam Atkinson, UK

The frame around which the movie was delivered and the visual effects where really good, given in the "just the right" dose. But as a movie's climax didn't live up to the rest of the movie standards.
Anvar Aliyazhikath, India

I've watched a lot of rubbish, but this tops them all. Watching this movie is one of the worst investments in my life. Perhaps Water World was the only investment in watching a high profile movie that was worse than this one. I am a Spider-Man fan. Grew up on reading the comics and watching the cartoons and the movies. I know that I watched this movie because of that, and I assume this is the main reason why most watched it, with all the publicity it had.

The actor who did Spider-Man was good. The girl in the movie was one of the worst characters and poorest performances I ever saw. The evil man was not so evil, and though everyone hated him even before he became a super criminal, there is not a real reason given for that (other than that the audience was shown once he wanted to sell an unsafe drug, but that is a reason for us, not the other movie characters).

The production of the movie was well done, but it was a "well done" poor movie. I say this movie was a huge disappointment, and my life would have been more glamorous had I not seen it.
Samara, Canada

I downloaded this off the Internet more than a month ago and watched it with a friend at home. At 21 I feel like I'm too old for this kind of movie, it's clearly aimed at American children and teenagers. I did not really care about the characters and the CGI was not particularly impressive, some scenes being clearly recognisable as computer generated. The film's record takings owe more to marketing than to particularly good or innovative filmmaking, in my opinion.
Gregor, UK

Great movie, thrilling and true to the real thing. The love scenes were a wee bit too much but I loved the movie. Great entertainment. Hope the sequel has more action scenes though!
Rajpal, Australia

While Spider-Man is a rather violent film, it doesn't potray violence as being a good thing. Every time any sort of violence is used, it's either a bad guy hurting some one, or Spider-Man defending the innocent from that bad person. In order to slam this film like it has been, you would have to downplay millitary movies, martial art movies, and every American-made movie ever produced.
Steven Owen, USA

Superb special effects, quite a subtle plot - similarities to Harry Potter (nerdy weakling gets super powers), best acting I've seen in a comic book conversion (except for Ghostworld, but that didn't have superheros), great fun, and of course complete nonsense - but if you were expecting the Godfather part four then you were a bit naive at best. All in all it does exactly what it says on the tin.
Rich, UK

I saw Spider-Man in Kochi in Japan. It was both disappointing and uninspiring. Amazing computer-generated effects, completely detached from the story tried to lift the lifeless script. The actors look like their acting, and the baddie looks like a Power Ranger. All in all, a very disappointing movie: the glory days of the superhero movie, with Tim Burton directing Jack Nicholson as the Joker, are surely over.
Iain Russell, Japan

Saw it last week and it is a superb film, the violence angle is being way overstated.

I have managed through persuasion and bribery (I'll go fishing with her) to get my wife who doesn't like the cinema to go with me to see it! Woohoo!
Andrew Davidson, Australia

The film is violent - no question about it. The US certificate of PG-13 allows parents to accompany children under that age, and there were some kids of six or seven in the theatre with us. Judging from the wailing we heard at certain points in the film, it was probably not the wisest thing to have allowed them in. A PG rating means parents don't need to get a baby-sitter, which may cloud their judgment regarding suitability of the content for younger eyes.

As to the film, yes it was entertaining, but the script was almost painful in some places. Comparisons with the magnificence of Gladiator and originality of The Matrix only serve to diminish what is meant to be a blockbuster and nothing more.
Andy, UK living in US

I wouldn't say this film was any more violent than Tom & Jerry... considerably less, in fact!
Steve Scott, UK

I saw Spider-Man when it came out four weeks ago in the Philippines, for another Marvel film I thought that it was good and different from any other Marvel comic film, I did not believe that it was a violent film, to me it was the same as all the other comic films but this time much more exciting where you could not wait to see what happened next.
Paul Oliver, United Kingdom

Great film, entertainment for all ages. The special effects are not over done and Spider-Man'ss the hero everyone can cheer for.
David (Brit) in USA

Tiresome in the extreme. This over-hyped film is like a second rate Batman movie. I didn't even finish watching the film. Thunderbirds has more story, if you want a good film, try Momento.
Gary, uk

Thoroughly enjoyable. Spider-Man is surely one of the best transitions of comic to film in many a long time.The transition between nerdy kid to the confident superhero run at neat pace from the start to the end of the film. Maguire is excellent as Parker/Spidey, Dunst played the part well but the movie was about Spider-Man.

Defoe as The Goblin is brilliant, he gets it right, as Osborne he's career driven and as The Goblin he's insanely evil. The effects are just right, they are not Star Wars AOTC but they don't need to be, do they?

The script is good, no real bits where I sat in my seat and squirmed. Violence, which this film has been dogged by in the UK lately was not that bad. In fact I always judge any movie which comes in for flack for its rating against Jurassic Park I which I think got a 12, and it was far more scary, tense and gory.

Sam Raimi has brought a very good version to the screens, given that Spider-Man was created so long ago its hardly surprising that Raimi has dabbled slightly with Spider-Man, though nothing major.

Indeed friends that have seen it and who are Spidey anoraks were more than happy with this outing. We all know a sequel is planned for 2004, however the film was a nice episode and didn't leave me agonising as when the X-Men seemed to end just as it was getting going. Spider-Man is not the best first outing for a hero, that honour still belongs to the man from Kryton, Superman, but Spidey could be crawling to a close second.
David Ogilvie, Glasgow, Scotland

A classic tale of good versus evil never reflectsour real world. But children tend to believe it and to show children violence is really bad.
Masumi, Japan

I watched Spider-Man and thought that the film was very good but not excellent, although it certainly raised itself above previous Super Hero movies such as Batman etc.

Perfect casting and superb direction, well done Sam Raimi (director of The Evil Dead).....worth a visit to the cinema without a doubt.
JezPx, South Wales, UK

I thought it was enjoyable enough, but far from brilliant. It had a nice comic book feel to it and was very well cast, but ultimately it was all rather forgettable. The effects were also a bit dodgy in places. I think Attack of the Clones is much better overall. I'll certainly want to see the inevitable Spider-Man sequels though! I also didn't think it was any more/less violent than any other Cert 12 or even PG film I've seen.
Gaz, UK

Excellent film. My girls aged 13 and 15 loved it too.
Miranda, UK

It was well worth the wait and did Spiderman justice.
Alanzo Straker-Payne, Canada

Spider-Man has just been re-rated a PG12 in our local cinema. Excellent news for my sons of 10 and eight who have been hanging to see it since they saw the preview around a year ago. I wonder though, did the new rating come through the sudden realisation that the "number one box office hit in the US" will not be such a hit here when the audience it is aimed at cannot get to see it!
Malandra, UK

Spider-Man was pretty good. It was so hyped up here (overhyped if you ask me), but it was still a wicked movie to see. Watch it, you should definitely check it out.

Oh yeah, I love England!!
Gagan, Canada

After seeing this film I realised that it was a great comic to silver screen project. There are no comedy parts added taking away from what the film is really about. This film kept in the true story of Spider-Man and didn't have any stupid Hollywood makeovers, to its advantage.

Spider-Man leaves you thinking that it is a cool film.
Andrew, UK

I just saw Spidey today and I can say that is was a great film. Tobey Maguire is excellent as Peter Parker and the rest of the cast fill their roles well.

The plot was excellent and the effects great (with the exception of a few earlier shots). I do agree with the rating given by the BBFC - this film is a 12. I'm not really talking about the violence in the film because I hope most children are mature enough to understand it isn't real.

It deserves a 12 because of the swearing by J Jonah Jameson (whilst he looks at Peters pictures), the word used is not a suitable word for under 12s.

Also, there were some more adult themes - such as Kirsten Dunst and her wet T-shirt. I really don't think such appeals are suitable for very small boys (let's not get started on a Kilroy-style debate).

Other than that moan the film is excellent and anyone over 12 should see it - twice, thrice and more.
Jason, England

Having seen the movie it is apparent that it is aimed at teenagers upwards. Younger children would be bored with the underlying romantic theme between Parker and MJ that runs throughout the film, so the UK certification is fine. However the way that the film's products are being marketed at young children is wrong as this is not a kids movie in the sense that Harry Potter is a kids movie.
Elle, UK

The special effects in Spider-Man are perhaps the only saving grace of a movie that has little else to recommend it. The movie really did not live up to all the hype that heralded its release. The storyline and the dialogues were mind-numbingly cliched; and both Toby Maguire and Kirsten Dunst were surprisingly unexciting.
Lavanya Rajamani, UK

Special effects were excellent, but it is lightyears away from the quality in story and acting that we witnessed in X-Men. As an old Marvel fan, I was very disappointed by the Maguire choice and performance. Peter Parker was a nice boy, not a nerd and he was a lot more humane and responsible (especially towards his aunt May) than the movie figure shows. End result: Disappointed!!!
Alexander, USA

I enjoyed the Spider-Man film. I thought it was much better than any of the Batman movies. The superhero/supervillain fight scenes were predictably boring, but seeing the boy learn his spider-skills, and interacting as a superhuman with mere mortals was fun - basically the film has a good story line with engaging characters.
Jonathan Heathcote, USA

This film is no more or less violent than the Star Wars episodes, or Indiana Jones. I would let my young children watch it if they wanted to.
Michael Thomas, UK

Too much a love movie, not enough action. Green mask on William Dafoe needed much improving.
Justin, Anchorage, Alaska, USA

Pretty poor film. The power rangers villian, the mawky melodrama and the slow pace made this a pretty boring film. for kids only.
Tom, Ireland

The film had the biggest hype of the year, yet it was also the biggest let down ever. There was nothing unique about the film and I am willing to make bets that the sequel will not have a grand an opening as the first.
Ranjith Prasad, England

I enjoyed seeing the film, but I must admit I wouldn't rate it among my favourites. The special effects are amazing and I did have the impression that kids of all ages would truly enjoy it. So I am mystified at the 12 rating it has been given, after all every kid in town will soon be able to watch it on DVD anyway. I think the UK film censors are needlessly harming the industry, and are showing double standards after recently approving pornographic films.
Baz, UK

OK, calm down everyone, I'm afraid the film is not as good as it's been rated by some. It is absolutely amazing that it has managed to beat box office records in America, and in all truthfulness does not earn this title. Mary Jane role is not well placed, Ms Dunce doesn't pull off the real redhead look, and Peter Parker is too soft, yes he's not meant to be the most popular kid, but this film portrays him as a complete nerd (even when he's Spider-Man).

The trailers give away every special effect in the movie and to be honest the fake green goblin suit really does look fake and well it annoys you as he's supposed to be a real evil guy. Well just trying to give the truth.
Mark, Brazil

I've got to say that Spider-Man is one of the films I've enjoyed least over the past few months. Whilst I liked the attempts to show the darker side of Spider-Man/Peter Parker's character, the rest of the movie was somewhat lacking in plot, the special effects weren't that special, looking much too fake, and the film is full of great big inconsistencies. Kirsten Dunst looks very nice though.
Tom Heinink, England

If it's rated as 12 then that should not be interfered with. As it happens it's a fair rating.
Shufty, UK

I watched the movie. It really held my attention through the first half; but after that I think it got a little too repetitious and boring. Also quite predictable. The graphics and effects were decent - they don't match that of Matrix, or anything like that, though. In a way, I was a bit disappointed.
George Jegadesh, USA

In Portugal Natural Born Killers was rated a 12, it was rated 18 in England and banned in many other countries. Does Portugal now have huge violence problems? No. The BBFC should relax, it should be up to parents and not a bunch of out-of-touch, snobby and easily offended people.
James Hilsdon, England

Excellent casting, excellent acting, excellent effects, enough new twists (genetically modified spider, web from the wrists), but somehow I still felt a little empty leaving the theatre. Upon reflection I think the Goblin was not evil enough. There was no diabolical scheme to take over the world (as is required for a superhero story); he just wanted his company back. Maybe that's the original story (I don't know), but it left me wanting more. All I got was a "becomming a superhero" story, and Unbreakable already covered that.

So, I'm waiting for the sequel. Without the burden of developing the hero it should be much better.

One more thing. I thought Spider-Man's head was a little big (probably due to the form under the costume to give the right oval shape) - sort of made him look like a Power Ranger.
Phil, USA

I saw this movie some time ago, and of course, I loved it. It would be really sad if the film censors put the rating to 15, I mean this might be violent but I've seen more violent movies with a PG-12 rating. I mean nowadays there is more violence on the news then in films.

I starting reading Spider-Man comics when I was 11 or 12 years, and so have many others, so they have to wait three more years to see this movie? Just because some guy who thinks that his 12-year-old kid might throw bombs doesn't mean he can base his opinion on the entire crowd. Spy Kids had a little violence in it...that was directed more towards kids than this movie.
Sandip, Boston, USA

I would have no problem letting my 10-year-old watch it. It is far less violent than Episode 2 which is a PG (which I also took my 10-year-old to see).
Rick, England

The film should be rated PG-13 or to Euro PG-12. The movie is true to the roots of the comic series and therefore just like the comic series it has a good deal of violence that is common in action-based comics. Children under the age of 12 should be taken only by an adult to explain the realities of the picture being viewed. Most 12-year-olds understand the fantasy form of the movie but not all children mature the same.
Gabriel Montoya, USA

Spider-Man is one of the worst movies I've ever seen. Besides the laudable special effects, it's a total slop. Even the "Oh Spider-Man, help me" or "There's Spider-Man" screams are pathetic, worst than those in Superman. At least Superman was original, this movie is nothing but a miserable effort to bring another super-hero to the big screen!
Anh Trinh, USA

I have seen numerous reports on today's news about the fact that Spider-Man has far too much violence to be aimed at children and therefore, the creators of the film, including director, Sam Raimy, have made a mistake as the film cannot be shown to the UK child audience it was intended for. However, it was not intended for a UK child audience but more of a US child audience, where censorship is far more lax and allows for civil liberties to be kept. P

arents can judge for themselves whether a film is suitable for their children and the American system allows for this as children must be accompanied by adults. And saying that the creators of the film have made a mistake because they have missed the UK under 12 viewers is ridiculous as it is our own fault, the country is so repressed, no-one can make their own mind up.
Theo Campion, England

As a regular film-goer who enjoys all genres, I found Spider-Man lightweight and two-dimensional. I enjoyed the effects and action sequences but I wasn't "transported" by the film, my main reason for visiting the cinema. They've pasted the comic straight onto the screen but you need to add a lot more than bang, whap, take that Mr Bad Person to make a good film.
Dave Hollick, UK

Fantastic film and fantastic effects. Although people often say how great effects in a film are, that isn't why a film should be good. Spider-Man is good because of its spectacular plot and excellent acting. Well worth my £3.50.
James Taylor, UK

The fears are totally unfounded. There have been a large number of equally, or even more, violent "childrens' " films in the past, but they have never been censured, e.g. the Star Wars series is no exception. Thus, this sudden adverse interest is obviously propitiated by a lobby who do not have their bearings right.
T.S.Mazumder, India

I think that it is quiute absurd for an action family adventure film to be put out of the reach of children under twelve. Surely a sufficiently strong caveat couold be put on the film as a warning, and let parents themselves decide on the suitability of the film. It really is very tiresome in the age of the home video and DVD to be dictated to by a film censor who is clearly out of touch with the modern world.
David Price, England

Spider-Man is an excellent movie for kids. Its message of accepting responsibility is one more kids need to be exposed to.
Steve Dasbach, United States

This film is a jack of all trades but master of none. The story was rather basic even though it was s probably true to the comics. It needed a couple more big and longer action scenes, so it fell rather short of being totally exhilerating.

Trying to satisfy both the critics AND popcorn thrill seekers in just two hours meant that both the story and the level of action were compromised. Also, how could Mary Jane Watson fall in love with Peter Parker without ever having had sex with him? The film is passable, but nothing special and certainly not amazing.
Del, UK

I was a great fan of the Spider-Man comics in my childhood, and the other day I went to see it with my two children, 11 and 14. They both liked it very much, and I found it quite truthful to the original neurotic Spider-Man I remembered, but as a parent, I was rather disappointed.

The film is great as far as action is concerned, but the characters are very weak. We could not even decide if MJ was dating Harry for love or for money. And Peter's final decision to lie to MJ about his love is lousy. It gives the message that swinging around banner posts is of more value than being in love, marrying, having children. It is a terribly immature view of life. I just hope people will not take it seriously.

But then, the comics superheroes were rarely very well adjusted personalities. They are certainly not models to be followed.
Alice Boainain-Schneider, Switzerland

I really really really tried to do enjoy it, but alas, I've seen the film at least a half a dozen times before, and every time it's been done, it's been either equal to this or much better. Want to see Spider-Man? May I point you towards Batman and Superman as superior films of this genre? It is a story that has been done too often in the media of film, it offered nothing new at all.

And the surprise twist? The lesson learned? The feeling of "wow", the amount of time I spent caring about this film? Nothing.
Mod, England

Your reviewer Darrens Waters sounds a rather jaded and cynical man, who presumably prefers his super-hero films to be camp 'n' kitsch ala "Batman and Robin". What's wrong with trying to make the subject as serious as possible? What's wrong with moving the action along swiftly? No doubt if the film had been laden with heavy dialogue the critics would have decried it all the more.

Unlike most other films, it is totally understandable that films such as Spider-Man and X-Men use the first film to set up sequels - after all, they have (in some cases) 40 years of history to deal with! I was fortunate to see a Spider-Man preview showing and it lived up to my expectation of being the best super-hero adaptation to date - it really is that good!
Peter Martin, UK

Absolutely stunning - what more needs to be said?!
Ian, UK

After seeing the Spider-Man trailer I was very excited about seeing the film - but what a disappointment. I agree with Darren Waters view on this film. And what about the never-ending stream of continuity errors!?
Laura , UK

Willem Dafoe was great. The effects were great. The script was average, the plot was average, Kirsten Dunst was average, the ending was terrible, and Tobey Maguire... he's just a little wooden man. If he lied, his nose would grow. Still, he is remarkable in one way: there's very few actors who convey more emotion with a mask on than with it off.
Rory, Sheffield

Having seen the film yesterday, I must admit to being very surprised that it has been given a 12 certificate. I personally think that a 15 would have been far more appropriate, given the constant stream of violence that ran through the final 45 minutes or so of the film.

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07 May 02 | Entertainment
31 Jul 00 | Entertainment
03 May 02 | Entertainment
30 Apr 02 | Entertainment
30 Apr 02 | Science/Nature
21 Sep 01 | Entertainment
07 Mar 01 | Entertainment
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