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Tuesday, 18 June, 2002, 09:44 GMT 10:44 UK
Spider-Man: Press views
Spider-Man played by Tobey Maguire
Spider-Man receives a mixed reception from the press
Press reviews of Spider-Man


The Independent

However hard the stuntmen work, the acrobatics look strangely weightless and cartoonish, and the prospect of danger becomes no more urgent than that of a kid's video game. Will he rush into the burning building to rescue a stranded child? Or save a dangling cable car from plummeting to its doom? Go on, take a wild guess.


The Observer

in the special effects scenes, Raimi seems to have forgotten the extent to which audiences identify with Spider-Man. When he is computerised, you switch off, thinking: that could never happen. And then you catch yourself, realising how Raimi has made you believe in the rest: the digital scenes could never happen, but Spider-Man? He definitely could.


The Daily Telegraph

Prefaced by trailers for Ang Lee's Incredible Hulk (coming to a cinema near you in 2003), and stained by a shameless piece of cross-promotion for Macy Gray, the film degenerates into a marketing campaign for the Marvel brand. By the end, and contrary to its joyful first half, the film seems to be less about Spider-Man and more about the Spider-Man franchise. Is it naive to have expected anything different?


London Evening Standard

What makes this film stand out from all the other generic fantasies of the Marvel Comics cosmos that have colonised the screen are the humanity, heart and sheer emotional delicacy that Maguire and Dunst build into their crypto-romantic relationship. As an action adventure on the fantasy scale, Spider-Man spins an adequate tale; it's the unexpectedness of finding a genuine couple of young lovers caught in its web that turns spectacle into sympathy and restores life-size emotion to outside imagination.


The Times

Rather surprisingly for a summer blockbuster, in those scenes where action takes precedence over character, the special effects look extraordinarily clumsy and old-fashioned. It is almost as if Raimi and his cinematographer Don Burgess were worried that anything too special-looking, anything too modern and exciting, would undermine the "darkness", the "edge" of the original tale.


The Guardian

It is all carried off with such gusto it's impossible not to be swept along by the fun, and impossible not to appreciate the metaphorical qualities of the Spider-Man myth. Parker's prickling, seething, web-shooting body is both an allegory for the tumult of adolescence, and an escapist fantasy for teenage boys mortified by their own hormonal agony.

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