There's a warmth here that I miss in the blockbusters of today. Each cast member has impeccable chemistry with one another. Raimi's manic sense of humor, his colorful cross dissolves and transitions feel perfectly suited for the content. The juxtaposition of Osborne's military-corporate oligarchy with Parker's struggles to land on his feet after H.S. feel especially poignant today.
I can forgive Sam Raimi his goofy streaks - Green Goblin's costume, an appearance from Macy Gray - because, deep down, Raimi gets it. The man has comic books in his blood. We knew from "Darkman" that he had what it takes to direct a superhero movie but here, with a (slightly) less tormented protagonist, Raimi is able to paint the screen with lush primary colors and dollops of teen angst.
Sam Raimi's quirky visual style and his madcap sense of humor makes him a good fit to bring SPIDER-MAN to life, but he feels oddly restrained with the first one, although a lot of his trademarks can be seen here. The movie hiccups with some bad scenes and goofy dialogue, but overall it's a good start. Raimi wouldn't really come into his own and go nuts with the property until the second film.
This was a decent representation of this beloved comic book character and as much as I hate Tobey Maguire, I don't hate him in this. I still say Sam Raimi did the best two Spider-Man films and I'm very curious to see where they take the character in the new Marvel Cinematic Universe.
I really enjoyed it despite its flaw. Spider-man swinging through the city gave me the same feeling I had when I watched Donner's Superman for the first time. You'll believe a man can swin-... wait forget I said that.
Rewatched this before the new SM comes out (it's hard to believe this is ten years old already). It still holds up, esp. the first hour which plays like gangbusters with lots of giddy/campy fun and creative direction. The second half isn't as good, but it's still enjoyable if you ignore Green Goblin's craptacular costume.