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IFDB Review: Spider-Man: Hero Within:


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I’ve always liked Sam Raimi’s Spiderman Trilogy. Refreshingly light hearted, well directed and generally very entertaining, they serve as a reminder to film makers making superhero movies today, that not everything needs to be as dark as Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy. Spidey 2 is undoubtedly the most impressive in my eyes, but the other two (yes, even the messy third chapter) have their moments too. So, the idea of an edit combining the beginnings of the Spiderman legend from the first movie, with the excellent Spiderman 2 was an exciting one.Generally, it’s an edit which works very successfully. It breezes along, never outstaying its welcome and at just over 2 hours is a perfect length for this kind of combo edit. The key here for me is how natural the “hand-over” part of the edit feels; by that I simply mean the section when Spiderman 1 ends and Spiderman 2 takes over. I’m pleased to say, that g1orkatos executes it about as well as one could hope for. By having the Spidey 2 footage start after a montage of Parker using his new-found skills for the first time, it appears natural that some time has passed and that some of the characters look slightly different – it’s particularly noticeable for example that MJ has had a change in shade of red hair colour. Also, the use of the thrilling crane-disaster scene from Spidey 3 works wonderfully well. It took me a moment to realise it didn’t actually come from Spidey 2, so seamlessly was it included into the edit. Excellent work there. Indeed, from a narrative point of view, Hero Within comes off as a huge success. Particularly impressive is the heartfelt material with Peter’s Uncle Ben, which because of the nature of Doc Octopus being a more intimidating and interesting villain that the Green Goblin, has more impact with acting as inspiration and courage for Peter to continue his plight as the webbed crusader. Okay, the romance between him and MJ still comes off a little too “school playground” for my liking, but overall the choices made in the edit to show the blossoming feelings between the two are nicely judged.Technically g1orkatos also pulls out all the stops. The dual layered DVD version I saw looked great, with some nice subtle colour correction to match Spiderman 1 with the palette from the second film. However, the small amount of footage from Spiderman 3 did stand out a little bit, but I think that’s more to do with Spidey’s suit seeming a little darker. Nothing too distracting however. Audio too is very solid throughout.So, a perfect edit then? Well, unfortunately not quite. A couple of audio transitions are not as smooth as they could be, which go hand in hand with some visual crossfades which bring a little bit too much attention to themselves. Of particular note is the abrupt fade/cut just as Peter is discovering his powers for the first time on the rooftop. Also worthy of note, is the final shot which hints at the forthcoming sequel. As others have said, it’s too short a scene to serve as the last shot of the actual movie… it would have worked much better as a “Marvel teaser ” at the end of the credits.Overall however, this is an excellent edit and in truth is a perfect way to see Spiderman 2 as if it had been the first in the series. Bring on the sequel!

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