Who am I? You sure you want to know? The story of my life is not for the faint of heart. If somebody said it was a happy little tale... if somebody told you I was just your average ordinary guy, not a care in the world... somebody lied.
— Peter Parker/Spider-Man
A trilogy of Super Hero
films starring Tobey Maguire
as the Marvel Comics
running from 2002 to 2007. They include Spider-Man
, Spider-Man 2
, and Spider-Man 3
. All were directed by Sam Raimi
of Evil Dead
fame. Also stars Kirsten Dunst
as Mary Jane Watson, James Franco as Harry Osborn, J. K. Simmons
as J. Jonah Jameson, and Bruce Campbell
in various cameos.
- Spider-Man (2002): Peter Parker is bitten by a spider and finds himself with unique spider-like powers. He learns that with his newfound strength he has a responsibility to help people in trouble as Spider-Man after his Uncle Ben is killed by a mugger he could have stopped. Meanwhile, billionaire businessman Norman Osborn tests a Super Serum formula on himself to keep the project alive, turning him into the insane Green Goblin, who sets his sights on Spider-Man.
- Spider-Man 2 (2004): Peter struggles with the responsibility of being Spider-Man as the people of New York don't trust him, leading him to consider resigning out of exhaustion and stress making his powers act inconsistently. At the same time, scientist Otto Octavius is gravely injured in an experiment that grafts mechanic arms to his spine, with the media calling him Doctor Octopus.
- Spider-Man 3 (2007): With his personal and super hero life worked out, Peter is enjoying a high point. Things change as he has to deal with the fallout of the Green Goblin story and his own desire for revenge when a man connected to Uncle Ben's murder, Flint Marko, escapes prison, and is mutated into the powerful Sandman. Adding to this is a rival chasing his heels named Eddie Brock, and a mysterious black goo that attaches itself to Peter, heightening his aggression.
Highly successful in both the critical and box-office record departments, along with the X-Men
trilogy these movies paved the way for the Superhero movie boom leading to the Marvel Cinematic Universe
and The Dark Knight Saga
After some critical backlash on the third movie and Development Hell
on a possible fourth
, the franchise received a Continuity Reboot
with an all-new creative team with The Amazing Spider-Man Series
Has a Characters page
Tropes used throughout the series include:
- Lost in Imitation: A LOT of things from the movies were taken from the 90's cartoon series and not the comic books. Green Goblin being a split personality of Norman's developed from the Goblin formula and Norman talking to him was from the cartoon. The plot point of the Green Goblin going after people who wronged Norman Osborn was from the cartoon, Mary Jane being a replacement for Gwen on the iconic bridge scene was from the cartoon,Otto Octavius being someone Peter personally knew was from the cartoon, the symbiote augmenting Peter's powers and creating a dark side was from the cartoon, Eddie Brock working at the Daily Bugle as a rival photographer and not as a journalist somewhere else and his prior relationship to Peter was from the cartoon
- Made of Iron: Spidey is a given; his powers allow him to shrug off huge amounts of punishment. But especially notable is Ock in the second film. He's an out-of-shape scientist who shouldn't be standing after one of the super-strong Spider-Man's punches. Even if Spidey pulls his punches, Ock takes a web-slung bag of coins to the face at one point without a mark to show for it, and also keeps fighting after being slammed through the floor when Spidey catapults himself from the roof.
- Marquee Alter Ego: Spider-Man's mask being destroyed, Venom removing his.
- Megane: Peter himself before he got his powers and turning back to normal. Doesn't wear glasses in the third movie.
- Ms Fan Service: Mary◊ Jane◊ Watson◊. The "kiss in the rain" scene is very iconic due to Dunst's attire and... reaction with the water.
- Mythology Gag: The old TV series theme pops up being played by street performers in multiple movies.
- Never My Fault: Harry and Eddie Brock. It's always Spider-Man's fault that everything bad happened to them, even (or rather especially) when it should be their own fault.
- Nice Guy / Nice Girl: Ben and May Parker. Never have they been any nicer.
- Nightmare Fetishist: Mary Jane, oddly enough. In an early scene in the first movie, she expresses that she loves creepy, disgusting spiders.
- Ominous Latin Chanting: The trailer songs.
- Once an Episode: Cameos by Stan Lee and Bruce Campbell, an in-movie performance of the 1960s TV show's theme.
- Parental Substitute: Uncle Ben is this to Peter Parker.
- Patriotic Fervor: Seeing how the first film came out less than a year after 9/11, note the films have scenes of Spidey standing in front of giant American Flags and New Yorkers saying things like "You can't mess with us, this is America!". By 3, many critics ad audiences noted that the patriotism became a little excessive.
- Plucky Comic Relief: J. Jonah Jameson and his assistant Hoffman. Also Peter's landlord and his daughter.
- Pragmatic Adaptation: Various elements of the Spider-Man mythology are altered to make a more straightforward narrative. The power-giving spider was genetically altered rather than randomly irradiated, his web slinging was made into part of his mutation rather than being an advanced mechanical device created by a teenager. Spidey's habit of quipping during battle was simplified, usually one or two before and one or two after it's over, since it's difficult to use Talking Is a Free Action. For sheer longevity Mary Jane was the most well known love interest among casual fans, but incorporated the Girl Next Door qualities of Gwen Stacy to simplify their history (In the comics MJ showed Hidden Depths by grieving with Peter after Gwen's death, which is what brings them together).
- Redemption Equals Death: The second and movie have Octavius and Harry realize their mistakes and ultimately sacrifice themselves to repair it, Octavius drowns the proto-star and Harry dies protecting Peter from a fatal strike from Venom.
- Reflective Eyes: The posters themselves use this as a reflection of who the villain of the movie was going to be.
- Running Gag: Jameson keeps yelling for "HOFFMAN!" who keeps appearing faster and faster as the movies progress, much to Jonah's confusion, eventually culminating in Jameson screaming his name while turning around, only to be face to face with Hoffman before he finished saying his name.
- Say My Name: The entire trilogy could be summarized through one name: "MARY JAAAAAAAAANE!"
- Secret Identity: Peter's secret identity as Spider-Man.
- Peter opening his shirt like Superman; Doc Ock climbing NY buildings like King Kong; "Symbiote Night Fever".
- Shouting "Shazam!" and "Up, up and away, web!" in the first movie, which was an ad-lib by Maguire.
- In the novelization of the first movie, the wheelchaired and bald Oscorp Board Member, Maximillian Fargas, is compared to the "professor character in that mutant movie."
- Aunt May telling Peter that he's not "Superman."
- When Jonah and Hoffman are discussing what to call Octavius for the paper headline:
: What are we gonna call this guy? Hoffman
: "Doctor Octopus?" Jonah
: That's crap. Hoffman
: "Science Squid"? Jonah
: Crap. Hoffman
: "Doctor Strange
: That's pretty good... But it's taken
- One of the surgeons trying to operate on Octopus raises an arm holding a chainsaw a là Ash in Army of Darkness.
- In the same scene, we get a POV shot from one of the tentacles as it slithers through the air just like the unseen force in the Evil Dead movies.
- Soft Glass: Shards of glass rarely give more than a few minor scratches. Averted with the death of Rosie Octavius in the second movie.
- Something Person: Spider-Man and Sandman.
- Snark Knight: While not making as many jokes as other versions of the character, he does make a few in each movie at his opponents' expense. One of the common criticisms of the trilogy is the lack of combat banter.
- Spider-Sense: After the first movie it's just implied, but Spider-Man reacts far too quickly to not be in play.
- Spontaneous Crowd Formation: In the first film, they help Spidey by throwing insults and rocks at the Green Goblin. The second film plays on this, by having the crowd stand up to Doctor Octopus, only for him to easily brush them aside, snatch the defeated Spidey and carry him off.
- Starving Student: Peter Parker, particularly in the second movie which has him struggling through college without money and his superhero identity compounding his hardships.
- Theme Tune Cameo: The old TV series theme plays in the credits, and is played by street musicians in the first two films.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: Harry Osborn and Mary-Jane in the second movie. Peter in the third movie.
- Trailers Always Spoil: When you watch the trailer after watching the movie, it's impressive how much plot is given. The most egregious example has to be showing Harry pulling off Peter's mask in the second film.
- Tragic Villain: Each of the major villains:
- Norman Osborn, before the "Goblin" takes him over completely. He might have been rough and far from a saint but his reaction to finding out he killed people was to be horrified. The way he's been treated seems rather unfair too: A major funder switches their funding to a clearly inferior solution because they personally dislike him and the board of directors fires him from the company he built to get more money.
- Doc Ock, a patient teacher and loving husband who inadvertently caused the gruesome death of his wife when his experiment went horribly wrong. After crossing to the dark side for much of the movie, he chooses to sacrifice himself to save the city in the end.
- And Eddie Brock: despite being The Sociopath and a slimeball, his downward spiral into madness that ends up consuming him when he bonds with the Symbiote is just sad. Also Sandman and Harry, who are on the Anti-Villain side of things. Really, the only villains without any tragedy to them are Dennis Carradine and the alien symbiote.
"Who am I? I'm Spider-Man."