Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) is a loser who's barely recognized, is always being bullied, lives with his poor Aunt and Uncle, and has a love interest named Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst). One day, Peter gets bitten by a radioactive spider and gets Spider powers. After when his uncle gets killed by a criminal, Peter Parker plans to stop crime as his alter ego Spider-Man. However, the father of Peter's best friend becomes The Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe) and plans to kill off the people for shutting his business down and have Spider-Man help him rule New York City.
Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man in my opinion is Spider-Man and Peter Parker. When you see him as Peter, you feel his pain and his struggles as this misfit. When he's Spider-Man, he's very heroic, always fun, and how he saves people is awesome. What I also love is how his origin is done here. I think it works really well, and really develops this hero. Some comic book fans aren't too happy that he can naturally shoot webs, while in the comics he uses a device called a Web-Shooter, but personally (And being a casual fan of the comics) I think it's very creative and works well here. Oh, and the scenes when he's Web-Slinging is really cool, and how they show his Spider-Sense in this film is also pretty neat as well.
Next we have our Villain The Green Goblin. Aside from the incredibly lame and NOT scary design, the weird ass Pumpkin bombs, and campy approach, I still find him to be enjoyable! First off, I think Willem Dafoe was made to play this character. Yeah, he gives a campy performance as the villain and wears a stupid Power Rangers suit, but he can still be fun, threatening, and at times can be intimidating in that lame costume. I even love that they give him a Jekyll & Hyde personality as he's show fighting with himself. I also enjoy the many evil things he does with his cool Glider, and gadgets that he carries, while laughing at the mayhem he causes. The scenes when Spider-Man and The Goblin are fighting is cool and how they confront each other always keeps my interest. There is another villain in the movie who is obviously the guy who killed Peter's Uncle, but we hardly spend any time with him, so there's nothing to say except the fight between him and Spider-Man is a cool while at the same time emotionally grabbing scene.
Then there's Kirsten Dunst as the love interest Mary Jane which seems that a lot of people love to hate on. Now to be fair, Kirsten Dunst not only looks the role, but plays her character as if she is the character and does everything she can to make it work. I also do feel a bit of a connection between the two. It's mostly forced and is a tease, but I don't know, I do feel that the actors are trying to make it work. With that said, she's still the typical damsel in distress. All she does is look hot, goes on an on and off relationship with every male character with her very little personality (That the actress again tries very hard to work with it), and is not saved once or twice, but four freakin times, and one of them is her slipping in the cafeteria. Yeah, that's pretty bad. Most fans also prefer that the film should have Gwen Stacy because in the comics she gets killed by the Goblin which makes matters worse for Peter. I'm not saying I hate this character because she is likable while also having an interesting back story. But with that said, she's just the heroes soon to be trophy who constantly needs saving.
"What a great parade until my creation attacks!"-Stan Lee
The film itself while having brilliant cinematography, a cool score by Danny Elfman, a beautiful looking color scheme, and some great special effects, it does have its flaws. For example the special effects, while looking good for a good half of the film. Half of the time from looking at the CGI, you know these are not stunt performers or actors, nor do they look realistic either. They looks like the graphics that you'd for the Spider-Man video game for the PS2. Still, I will admit that the action scenes, as obviously CG-ed they are, are still awesome scenes, even if some of those the scenes are at times campy. However, while the film has a lot campy moments, the film in the very least does a great job balancing out the campiness, the drama, and the action.
The film has a great cast of actors that are made to play the characters that their given. The story for the film is solid. Most of the Special Effects still look cool. And the action are both fun, while at the same time intense. At times it does feel like a mixed bag regarding Dafoe's Gobiln design, the obvious CGI effects, and a few pointless and downplayed characters, but as a whole, it was still a good enough film (If not great) to introduce Spider-Man to a film going audience!