Dir: Sam Raimi
Starring: Tobey Maguire, Willem Dafoe, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco

Sam Raimi would seem to have been prepping for this one, ever since swinging Liam Neeson through the streets on the end of a rope in Darkman. I speak as someone with no knowledge of the comics at all, yet it still spins a good yarn (hey, I'm compensating for the film's lack of "web site" jokes). Maguire makes a good hero, and the balance between normal life (largely spent panting forlornly after next-door neighbour Dunst) and his crimefighting pastimes is well-handled. If there's a weak point, it's main villain Green Goblin; when Dafoe puts his mask on, he starts to look and act as if badly dubbed. This is weird, given his genuinely creepy masked performance in Shadow of the Vampire, and does damage the film, as does the over-obvious sequel pointing towards the end. Yet there's still plenty to enjoy: a movie-stealing performance from J.K.Simmons as proprietor of The Daily Bugle, Randy 'Macho-Man' Savage as a murderous wrestler, and half the cast of Xena in minor roles (Autolycus, Joxer and the gal herself, almost unrecognisable). The action is fast and furious, coming on at a pace breathless enough to leave you going, "Hang on - that doesn't make se...Cool!". Even the romance angle is less grating than you might expect, despite a resolution that rings false. I hereby declare the 2002 popcorn flick season well and truly open - and nice to see that working with Kevin Costner hasn't drained Raimi of his will to make movies.


Just surfin' the Web
See also... [Index] [Next] [Previous] [TC Home Page]