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Spider fan review

PUBLISHED: 15:45 10 June 2002 | UPDATED: 12:04 03 March 2010

SO does Spider-Man live up to all the spin?

After seeing one of the previews this weekend, I'd say the answer has to be a resounding yes.

It has been a long wait for this summer's blockbuster, after behind-the-scenes legal wrangles, a change of director from James Cameron to Sam Raimi, and the unfortunate need to edit some Manhattan skyline sequences following September 11.

SO does Spider-Man live up to all the spin?

After seeing one of the previews this weekend, I'd say the answer has to be a resounding yes.

It has been a long wait for this summer's blockbuster, after behind-the-scenes legal wrangles, a change of director from James Cameron to Sam Raimi, and the unfortunate need to edit some Manhattan skyline sequences following September 11.

However, it was worth the wait.

With a massive 140-million dollar budget, this fantasy extravaganza was always going to be visually stunning, and it is. Much of that money has clearly been poured into amazing computer-generated special effects, ensuring that the action sequences are out of this world.

The landscape doesn't have the dark grandeur of Gotham City in Tim Burton's Batman, but instead features the brilliant colours and larger-than-life quality of the Marvel comic strip.

Tobey Maguire is superb as the nerdy Peter Parker, living with his elderly aunt and uncle (Rosemary Harris and Cliff Robertson) and hopelessly yearning after the beautiful girl-next-door, Mary-Jane (Kirsten Dunst).

Scientific whizz-kid Peter is pushed around and bullied by thugs at his high school, but all that changes when he is bitten by a mutant spider on an outing to a high tech lab.

He soon discovers that he no longer needs his glasses, has grown new muscles - and has also acquired amazing spider-senses.

At first Peter is tempted to use his new-found powers to get rich quick, by becoming a wrestler. But a tragic turn of events convinces him that he must turn high-flying vigilante, and dedicate his life to protecting the people of Manhattan from crime.

The Spider-Man costume looks great on the big screen, but I wasn't so sure about the Green Goblin outfit worn by his arch-enemy, Willem Dafoe, which looks faintly ridiculous.

It's also a shame that the masks covering both faces mean we can't see the two rivals reacting to one another in the fight scenes.

Many of the fantasy sequences are extremely violent, justifying the decision by the powers-that-be to make this a 12-certificate film.

It's a shame younger Spidey fans have to be disappointed, but it's hard to see how the film could possibly have been edited to justify a PG certificate.

Judy Rimmer.

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