NUTSHELL RECAP: “Stick With Me, Baby.”

If you’re expecting to see a classic action comic book come to life, then you won’t be disappointed in Director Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man. I was doubtful when I heard Tobey Maguire was cast as the creepy crawler, but he is totally the part and is exactly as Peter Parker has been depicted for so many years in the comic books.

This is definitely the Batman Machine of the 2000’s. Easily set for Spidie 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, as long as Tobey can fit in his suit. Raimi pulls the film to the edge of today’s style of strong graphics, especially in the battle with the Green Goblin, yet he doesn’t lose touch with the older audiences’ memories of when Spider Man first appeared on the mag racks.

He balances the two and plays the shy, withdrawn, protective Peter – caught between his unrequited love interest M.J. (Kirsten Dunst) and his sense of responsibility – in a pleasing (although perhaps somewhat stretched) way. A sideline character – the newspaper publisher played by J.K. Simmons – was a hoot and if you watch carefully, you’ll see Lucy Lawless sneak in a cameo. Okay, I suppose I have to mention Special Effects – for once they didn’t overpower the storyline – hallelujah. Some were hokey, most of them terrific.

I had a fun time with this one and am glad to see the demise of Spidie’s green nemesis played convincingly by Willem Dafoe. He was a nasty piece of work.

Bottom Line – Hey, it’s a comic book! Have Fun!