The Marvel Cinematic Universe is pretty well-known at this time, as they release multiple successful superhero projects per year. However, it’s hard to imagine the MCU would’ve ever come to be without the success of previous movies like Spider-Man. Along with X-Men, these two properties completely redefined what superhero films were able to achieve. A deep story combined with great action and amazing visual effects made for one incredible experience that still holds up to this date.
Tobey Maguire’s portrayal of Peter Parker felt as if it was pulled straight out of the comics. While many people had a hard time believing Andrew Garfield was a bullied teenager that had bad luck with girls, that wasn’t the case for Tobey at all. Not only he owned the character, but the script gave him a faithful adaptation of the hero’s origin story. Instead of toying with the idea that Peter Parker was always destined to be Spider-Man (like in The Amazing Spider-Man saga), the movie showed how anyone could be a hero, even by accident. Perhaps the biggest departure made from the comic books is that Spider-Man had organic web shooters instead of mechanical ones, but that’s about it.
Willem Dafoe’s interpretation of The Green Goblin was incredible as well. While portraying Spider-Man’s greatest archnemesis would be a tall order for anyone, that wasn’t the case for Willem. He was absolutely terrifying and diabolical whenever he was on-screen. Not only that, but he had one of the most iconic supervillain laughs of all time, perhaps only behind that of Heath Ledger’s Joker. He made such an impact as the Green Goblin, it comes as no surprise the MCU used the same incarnation of his character for Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Overall Spider-Man was a fantastic movie. Sure, you could argue the wall-crawler wasn’t as witty as his comic-book counterpart. But a perfect interpretation of Peter Parker, along with a strong plot made for an iconic first appearance of the character. Even after so many years have passed since its original release, it still holds up to this very day.