My problems with Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy.

My thoughts of how I think the Raimi trilogy failed.

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By Lindsey35 - 12/30/2012
This is my take on how I believe the Sam Raimi trilogy failed.

This article is honest opinions, do not take them offensive and if you decide to comment, please be respectful.

The continous argument-- no wait, the never-ending argument. Many feel that Sam Raimi's Spider-Trilogy was the better between Marc Webb's latest installment of our favorite Wall-Crawling-Hero. I have been known to defend The Amazing Spider-Man movie and voice my opinion over the Raimi trilogy, sometimes in a brutal way, and even though I believe The Amazing Spider-Man is the better of all four movies, I still love the Raimi trilogy.

Now, with two major points, I will specify moments where I feel the Raimi trilogy failed, points which really make me feel differently than others about this trilogy.

1. The acting.

I go back and watch Sam Raimi's first Spider-Flick and have this dull feeling when I try to find chemistry between the actors. There was only a few moments where I felt Tobey and Kirsten did decent. One of my favorite moments was when Peter caught MJ when she slipped on a puddle of soda. I wanted more of that, only greater intimacy and stronger acting.

Rosemary Harris' Ant May was probably one of the best actors in the entire trilogy. She had the look and that sweet, loving Ant May feel about her. Rosemary Harris was spot on, now if the rest of the cast would have done as good, maybe I would have different feelings for this trilogy.

Rosemary Harris' Ant May and James Franco's Harry Osborn, to me, was the best actors of Raimi's Spidey-Flicks. Sadly, until the third movie, we didn't get much of Harry. And then, Harry dies at the hands of his own glider and a tiny Venom. That is a big mistake in my world. I enjoyed Harry's dark side and plotting, and I honestly think he really shouldn't have been cut out. I felt that he gave Peter things to think about, especially with the death of Norman. James Franco was the strongest, to me, male actor of the trilogy-- whereas, Tobey ***should*** have came in first.

William Dafoe's performance was good (good as in "okay," however, his performance was much MUCH better than Tobey's and Kirsten's), I admit, but sadly, just like Harry, I felt like there wasn't enough of him in the movie. And as Goblin, we got a Power-Ranger suit...

Cliff Robertson delivered nicely as Uncle Ben, but AGAIN, we hardly saw him. And I will say this, I enjoyed Martin Sheen's performance in The Amazing Spider-Man much, much more, even if we didn't get the "responsibility" line.

Moving on now...


2. The stories.

Huge complaint here: Peter out of high school too soon.

This complaint speaks for itself. We all know Peter spent most of his time in high school in the comics, and in this trilogy, he is out of school not even half way through the first movie. Big mistake here.

Moving on to my next complaint.

One of the things that really annoy me about Raimi's trilogy is that there is never really an on-going plot. In each movie, there is just a story. The Harry and MJ plots are the only ones that continue after Raimi's first Spider-Movie. Harry's anger toward Spider-Man for the death of Norman, and Peter's fight to win the girl of his dreams. Some will probably disagree with this, but I'm just saying, it really annoys me as a Spider-Fan.

In Spider-Man 2, I would have liked to seen Spider-Man an out-law for the death of Norman, since Harry blames his father's decease on him. To me, if really would have gave it that "part two" feeling. But Harry is the only one who believes Spider-Man is Norman's murderer. Did NYPD even investigate? And in Spider-Man 3, everyone loves Spider-Man. To me, this is a big plot hole.

And now...probably my biggest complaint of all.

Peter loses his powers.

A lot feel that this was a big emotional point in the movie, but to me I see it as unneeded. First of all it makes me think its a "substitute " for us fans because we didn't get web-shooters in the first flick. To me its like they want drama during fights, like if they would have given Peter web-shooters, but they didn't, and now they're stuck with... let me put it this way, its like when they were writing the script they said "Hey, we need some drama in these fight scenes. Oh I know! Spidey loses webbing! But how can we do that when there isn't any web-shooters like in the comics? Oh here we go! Why don't we just make him suddenly lose all his powers! Yeah let's go with that!" Do I make a point here? I can't help but feel this way. Peter has always been a stressed-out guy, which makes him relatable, but how can self-esteem cause him to lose his powers? It doesn't make sense, and trying to make sense of it gets on my nerves.

Now, let's head to the third installment, Sam Raimi's final Spider-Man movie.

My biggest complaint here is Sandman. Now before start thinking stuff, let me say this, I enjoyed Thomas Church's performance. However, the Sandman is not needed. I feel if Venom would have been the main villain, this mess of a movie would have been a lot better. But the biggest down-fall of the Sandman, he's Uncle Ben's murderer. This I...I shouldn't have to say any more *sigh*.

Moving on to another huge plot problem: The annoying, the unneeded, Peter's blonde love-- GWEN STACY! She's what...five minutes in the entire movie? I will agree that the scene where she's about to fall to her death and Spider-Man saves her is pretty cool (and we all know, when she dies she falls off a building in the comics, so why not kill her there? Okay, that was a joke...), but again GWEN STACY SHOULD NOT EXIST IN THIS TRILOGY. If you're not going to have her with Peter and MJ in high school, then she is not needed. This take on Gwen Stacy is utterly TERRIBLE. Gwen Stacy was always more important than just "a girl in his class."

Now I'm going to move on to...*gulp* Venom/Eddie Brock.

I think it would have been better to have gone with a different Eddie Brock story-line. Like one from the Ultimate comics, where Peter and Eddie are childhood friends. I think this route would have given the story more depth, which it clearly lacked. Venom (can someone tell me who is supposed to be labeled with "main" villain here?) was only in the last ten minutes of the movie. That's how you spell out failure, 'cause the whole story is about the symbiote, am I right?

That about wraps it up, other mentionable problems (in other words, "nit-picks") with the trilogy would be:

Dancing-Peter,

Bitchy Mary Jane *eye roll*...

The weird people Peter lives beside in his apartment building ("RENT!!!")

"Fix this damn door" line.

Peter suddenly taking interest in Betty Brant.

And cookie eating Peter.


I'll say this again: I am not trying to offend anyone, these are personal opinions that I have sat and thought about for a while. Thank you to whoever took their time to read this, means a lot! And please no Raimi/Webb arguments. And I'll say this once more: These are PERSONAL opinions. Don't forget it, PERSONAL opinions. Thanks for reading :)
Source: Lindsey35
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18 Comments
Lindsey35 - 12/30/2012, 9:17 AM
@BattlinMurdock


Thanks for reading, man :)
Tainted87 - 12/30/2012, 9:28 AM
The problems with the Raimi trilogy are tremendously overshadowed by its accomplishments. The same can't be said for The Amazing Spider-man.
Lindsey35 - 12/30/2012, 9:34 AM
@Tainted87

Thank you for reading. And like I said, these are "personal" opinions. Could you list a few accomplihsments of the Raimi trilogy? It wouldn't change my opinion, because I feel The Amazing Spider-Man film is much greater in its stories and, marvelous, acting. Again, sir, thank you very very much for taking your time to read :)
Spideyguy94 - 12/30/2012, 9:51 AM
I personally think spider-man 2 is still the best spider-man movie, with TASM 2nd. My feelings about the raimi spider-man trilogy are perfectly summer up in geekvolution's superhero rewind reviews. My biggest problem with the raimi trilogy is Mary Jane, she's written horribly and acted horribly.
Lindsey35 - 12/30/2012, 10:20 AM
@ Thanks to all that have read.

@ TheWallCrawlingMenace

These are exactly my thoughts.
Thank God someone agrees with me!

And yes, the acting is a mix bag. But the reason I had problems with the performances, everyone but Tobey and Kirsten did good, great even.

And thank you very much for reminding me of Simmions' J.J. He was classic! I don't know how I forgot him, I will have to go back and watch them :)

And thank you very much for reading.

I don't hate the trilogy, I just think it could have been done a ship-load better.
Lindsey35 - 12/30/2012, 10:22 AM
I think cbm is glitching up lol
EdgyOutsider - 12/30/2012, 11:06 AM
I grew up with the Raimi trilogy and I still love the trilogy (as a whole) to this day. My biggest gripe is that there wasn't much chemistry among the actors. Namely Maguire and Dunst. The acting wasn't bad by any means but the chemistry isn't there. I prefer, The Amazing Spider-Man and found it to be superior in almost every catagory.
Lindsey35 - 12/30/2012, 11:53 AM
@ Lizard1 Thank you kindly for reading :)

@ SotoJuiceMan

Thank you for taking the time to read my opinions. Yes of course Raimi got Spider-Man moving into Hollywood and the movie industry (logical, obviously, since he did direct the very first Spider-Man movie)...but did he do a good job at it?

Like I said, I do NOT hate the trilogy, I just think they could have done A LOT better.

And I thought we were talking about the Raimi trilogy? I don't recall making this article to bash TASM, since it gets enough hate anyway....

Again, sir, thanks a million for reading :)
AC1 - 12/30/2012, 12:11 PM
I love the Raimi trilogy (well, the first 2) for childhood sentimentality reasons, but I don't necessarily think they're good films. Even Spider-Man 2, which everyone seems to heap buckets of praise on and worship religiously as God's gift to CBMs is actually very overrated in my opinion. The 'Spider-Man No More' plot is dull and unnecessary, and functions pretty much as filler for the weak plot. While it was interesting to see a tragic villain in a CBM at the time, Doc Ock was the wrong choice - Spider-Man's tragic villain is, and always has been, The Lizard. In Spider-Man 2, we're given some silly excuse that Doc Ock's arms are brainwashing him into crime... it's a silly cop-out so that he can redeem himself quickly at the end, and is again completely unnecessary. Then we get more filler in the form of John Jameson and his engagement to MJ, even though everyone with half a brain-cell knows that by the end MJ will ditch him for Peter. It's all incredibly predictable, and in places, hokey. The only good parts, to me, were the scenes between Peter and Aunt May (admitting his part in Uncle Ben's death/helping Aunt May box up her things), and the train sequence (although that includes yet another 'cheesy New York rallying behind Spidey' scene). Also, there are quite a few utterly pointless and stupid scenes, like the 'Raindrops keep falling on my head' sequence, the scene where Doc Ock kidnaps Aunt May and that demon lady shits herself from fear of him climbing up her building (see the below Nostalgia Critic video), Harry getting drunk ("...my father and defend him with my bread and butter"... what? Drunk people don't talk like that!), and more.

Spider-Man 1 may be my favourite of the trilogy, although again it's for pure sentimental reasons, and again I recognise and admit that it's not a particularly good film. Dafoe is great as Norman, but laughable as Green Goblin, and many plot devices seem way too convenient (Osborn becomes Green Goblin the same night Peter becomes Spider-Man, for example). I think the one honestly good scene in the movie is the Thanksgiving scene, where Norman figures out that Peter is Spider-Man. That, and maybe Uncle Ben's death, because of Cliff Robertson's performance and the aftermath - when Peter leaves his Uncle to find the murderer (especially that shot of him running and pulling on his mask), you can feel his anger and the tension of the scene, and it's the one occasion where Peter isn't acting like a dork or crying in the entire trilogy.

Spider-Man 3 sucked on a multitude of levels. Not even worth listing them. Actually, there's only one problem with it to list. It exists.



In terms of acting, no one was particularly good, except Rosemary Harris and Cliff Robertson, and James Franco did very well despite the poor writing of his character (perhaps the one thing to improve in Spider-Man 3?). And of course, the only aspect of the trilogy I'll actually miss in this reboot series; JK Simmonds as J.Jonah Jameson. He was perfect, no matter what else happened in the movies.

I much prefer The Amazing Spider-Man, as it was a much more mature (and I don't mean only for older audiences, just that the story makes more sense and doesn't contain as much unnecessary filler or cheesy jokes), with a better story and far better acting.
Lindsey35 - 12/30/2012, 2:51 PM
Exactly my problems, @ ACira! I can't stand the weird cheesy moments in Spider-Man 2! I can almost get through 3 better than 2! I'm going to be honest, I watched Spider-Man 3 recently, and laughed all the way through it. Spider-Man 3 is a joke, not what I want from a Spider-Man movie. And people bow down to Spider-Man 2 and, in the same voice, trash The Amazing Spider-Man; this is what really makes me mad.

And another thing,

Spider-Man's only motivation in crime fighting was MJ in danger. SERIOUSLY! That's how all three movies ended! Then, a villain would die. If they had made a forth movie, we'd all know how it'd end!

ACira, thanks a bunch for taking time to read my opinions :)
Lindsey35 - 12/30/2012, 3:22 PM
@ Marvelgeek219

You mean to say that MJ getting kidnapped at the end of ALL 3 movies didn't get on your nerves at least once?

Also remember, this is an article of "opinions."

Thanks for reading and taking your time to share your opinions on this article.
Parker2017 - 12/30/2012, 4:52 PM
Honestly, the acting wasn't that bad, Robertson is one of the best Uncle Ben's out there and I really think it comes to preference, you got the relationship and love they had for each other. Robertson showed it well and I liekd the elss is more approach, I also love Alfred Molina as Doc Ock, to me, thats one of the best incarnations of Ock we have seen on the screen and his death and self sacrifice really is what a lot of people's take on spider-man really is. if he could talk to his villains (even thought spider-man did killed a few people, like in batman returns. batman killed a few people, and fans don;t seem to mind that.)

Spider-man 3, well its okay, its not the best, its the worst out of the trilogy, but it's oaky. Yeah rami screwed up with his idea of wanting to retcon sandman, and instead of dropping storyline like flies [like TASM does to build up a sequel.]

MJ is bitchy throughout the whole series, again its more in line with comic book Gwen at times, and this MJ to me is MJ in name only. she was growing up somewhat in spider-man 2 but 3 messed that up, thank you sony for screwing so many things around.
DrHorrible - 12/30/2012, 6:38 PM
@SotoJuiceMan I disagree. I'm 25 and I liked TASM, moreso than any of Raimi's movies. It all comes down to personal opinion. I know people younger and older than me that didn't like it, just like I know people that are younger and older than me that loved it.

Good article, Lindsey35. I agree with all of your points. :)
Parker2017 - 12/30/2012, 7:55 PM
@Lindsey35 No you brought some really good points yourself, I may disagree with your opinion, but the rami films have HUGE FLAWS in them like TASM does, and I will freely admit them. [like what is the goblins MAIN Motivation? why does Spidey say one wisecrack in all of Spider-man and maybe 2-3 top's? in the whole Rami trilogy? why is MJ wrong?) P.S. Lindsey I LOVE The Spectacular Spider-man Animated series since THATS how you do spider-man.
Parker2017 - 12/30/2012, 7:58 PM
@DrHorrible and i'm 22 and i think TASM is a crappy movie and agree a little more with Soto (agin that is weird) but you are right when it coems to personal taste, in still think Spectacular Spider-man did it right, and josh keaton still ebats out Andy & Toby.
Tainted87 - 12/31/2012, 8:28 AM
I took the time to watch the first Spider-man movie yesterday. Haven't seen it in ages (meaning, probably two years). I can understand where the "bad acting" might be completely justified... in the first half hour.

Joe Manganiello (aka Flash, aka Alcide) was a goon, but there was nothing that really set the new guy apart from Joe. Joe's a bigger guy too.

There's some awfully cliched dialogue in the beginning, between everyone really... Harry, the bullies, the teacher, Ben, May, Peter, not really MJ though. Raimi is known for this, I mean, have you SEEN any of the Evil Dead trilogy? It works to set the character up in a very GENERIC situation, where it's not some specific set of problems that only he faces, and it creates a setting.

As far as high school is concerned - it is regularly looked upon as the worst part of one's adolescence, and that it gets breezed by so quickly for Peter in the Raimi series is a VERY GOOD THING. In fact, Peter doesn't actually become Spider-man until after he graduates.

Let's go back to the acting. And I'm focusing on the first movie because I don't think it's fair to compare THREE movies to ONE, especially when they are the origin stories, and feature an unfamiliar cast who are trying to nail their parts right off the bat.

Willem Dafoe beat everything TASM had to offer. As Norman Osborn, the greatest complaint usually is that he didn't get enough characterization - but for me, it's that he COULDN'T get enough, or rather, I couldn't get enough of it.

From the beginning, he's a friendly face with an ego to feed, and Peter feeds it. The dynamic is then created, motivation as well for his insane and dominating alter-ego. Norman looks on Peter as the ideal son, in spite of Peter being his son's best friend. Harry sums it up: "Yeah, now that you're a genius, he wants to adopt you..."

Then his program at OSCORP goes pear-shaped, and he tries to prove something by testing on himself. Obviously it goes wrong, but this set up as a direct FOIL for Peter's origin, where a random spider bite gives him his super powers (neither planned nor wanted).

Again, as a foil, Peter goes to school the next day and accidentally picks a fight with Flash - and with one punch, sends him skidding across the hallway. He beat his rival with his new-found power, and while it was really self-defense, he wasn't exactly apologizing. The first we see of the Green Goblin is his bombing of the rival defense contractor's flight suit, laughing maniacally.

Dafoe gives THREE performances here. One as Norman - a pleasant and frail rich tycoon who's pushed into a corner; then as the Green Goblin - who emulates Jack Nicholson's Joker as well as Mark Hamill's in an attempt to create a cartoonish maniac who's an obvious villain; then as a DERANGED Norman who has full on conversations with himself, grins sleazy at MJ, eyes Peter like dinner, and makes full use of his crazy expressive face.

Then there's his voice.

I'd like to point out one thing lost on most people (or just not appreciated), which is the color coordination during the Thanksgiving scene.
Harry has a grey-blue blazer over a dark green shirt, with a dark red colored tie. He is worn down by his father's attention to Peter.
Norman has a black suit over a blue shirt and a lighter red tie. He is on the alert.
MJ is reflecting her first appearance in the comics with a black blouse, but the color here is meant to impress Norman who she is meeting for the first time, rather than her date.
Then comes Peter, who comes in wearing a light green shirt, and a blue and red striped tie. He is relaxed and oblivious. On top of that, he's bleeding (red) through his shirt.

Clever? I think so.

I haven't even reached Jameson yet.
AC1 - 12/31/2012, 11:18 AM
@Battlin see, I'm in an almost inverse situation to you. I'm 19 and loved TASM, and my Dad (who's in his mid 50s) said he thought it was a good movie but wasn't sure he liked it as much as the Raimi movies as he was more used to Raimi's version of Spider-Man (having only ever read a few Superman comics as a kid and therefore never reading Spider-Man, he was unaware of certain aspects like the web-shooters or even Gwen Stacy, so pretty much all he knew of Spidey was from watching Raimi's films, which he himself thinks is why he prefers them).
VIRILEMAN - 12/31/2012, 5:17 PM
I enjoyed all three Raimi films, but I think The Amazing Spider-Man was near perfect. They did the character of Spider-Man spot on in TASM. Garfield is a perfect Peter.

I do agree with most of what you have said though. I thought the movies had too much cheese, and the third one did a horrible job with my favorite villian (Venom). I never even thought about the fact Harry never went to the police, that's a good point and an astute observation. What I don't get is after saving MJ at the end of Spidey 1, and at the end of Spidey 2, how is it that people aren't saying "isn't that the chick Spider-Man saved last year? TWICE!" Instead the news achor was like "Mary Jane Watson. Recently seen on a brief stint on Broadway." Not to mention dancing Peter, his emo hair, and that Raimi made Sandman Uncle Ben's killer. And don't get me started on Raimi and his nepotism. He had BOTH his brothers, his daughter, son, two nephews, all in the third film. He also had his brother write the script.

All that aside I still enjoyed the three Raimi films. I really loved Spider-Man 2. Even though Spidey never really quiped. Thank goodness for TASM!

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