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“Spiderman 3” Review – Too Many Stories, Spoil the Film April 25, 2007

Posted by drowmage in Movie Reviews, Movies, Spiderman 3.
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I’m back from a preview of “Spiderman 3”; after going through a hassling traffic jam, and reached home only to find out my electricity had been switched off for some road works – with no advance notice. After arguing with the chaps for a bit, managed to rush out my preview for the new “Spiderman 3″…. albeit a few minutes late. Here’s the blog version, different from my published one apart from the synopsis (for professional reasons, of course):

Review : Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire), now having gone through what we’ve seen in “Spiderman” 1 & 2 movies respectively, is living the life of a dream. He has a beautiful girlfriend by his side. As Spiderman, he is revered by the city as a hero for fighting crime and saving people’s lives daily. Although he still stays in a dodgy little apartment, and still has that freelance photography job at the Daily Bugle, he’s a happy man.

However, problems soon arise, when Parker finds himself caught up in his fame as Spiderman, that he begins to revel in it at the cost of his love, Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst). One morning, he wakes up to find himself in a new black suit, and discovers that an alien-like symbiote has merged itself into his suit, creating the new look; flashier, stronger – yet, darker, in a sense – Spiderman. Parker soon exhibits a darker personality, and begins to change; not just as his alter-ego, but as an individual – pushing Mary Jane to the brink.

In the midst of all this, Parker is dogged by more problems. Word is out that the real man responsible for the death of Parker’s uncle, Ben, is Flint Marko (Thomas Haden Church), who has just escaped from prison and is now loose on the streets. Digging deep into his darker side, Parker goes after Flint for more than just revenge, but to exterminate him; only to find that the ex-convict has somehow become The Sandman.

More chaos occurs when Harry Osborn (James Franco) takes up the mantle of his father as the new Green Goblin. Out for revenge for his father’s death, which he believed was caused by Spiderman, Harry pursues Parker at every turn of the corner – creating havoc, and pushing Parker into finally embracing his darker side.

At the losing end, Parker must find a way to destroy his enemies, and sever his link to the alien symbiote – but ends up creating a new enemy when the symbiote lands on Eddie Brock (Topher Grace), the new guy at the Daily Bugle who is out to replace Parker as Spiderman’s photographer; thus creating Venom – and who’s hatred for Spiderman runs deep.

The beginning credits of the film showed freeze frame snippets from “”Spiderman” 1 & 2, creating a little background history for the viewers before delving into the third movie.

Stan Lee makes a cameo, as he’s done in the past two Spidey movies, and has a good line this time. Topher Grace acts like his character, Eric Foreman, in the “70s show”. Rather wooden. And as much as I would like to believe that he has embraced the Venom character, he sounds odd when talking, like his mouth is full of teeth. Oh wait. They are.

Thomas Hayden Church was good here, showing the anguish the character needed, to convince me why he turned to crime, and how he became the Sandman later on. However, James Franco didn’t do much to convince me that he’s angry enough to want to kill Spiderman, but came off sounding like just another spoiled, rich brat who’s throwing temper tantrums.

Tobey Maguire’s looking a bit puffy here, probably having put on some weight recently from fatherhood. He gets to flex some acting chops, by not being a goody-two shoes all the time in “Spiderman 3”, but also as the bad-ass version of Peter Parker. The scenes after his transformation into the bad side, or , in homage to “Star Wars”; the ‘dark’ side – are funny, especially when you see the normally well-mannered, staid Peter Parker suddenly filled with the groove, checking out the ladies, and smoothly standing up to the dreaded J. Jonah Jameson.

Regrettably, Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane looks haggard, drained, and quite aneroxic here; and although you know better – you’d find yourself rooting for the character of Gwen Stacy who seems to be more alive than the red-headed skeleton pining after Parker. However, the Gwen Stacy character is more of a tool to be used by Parker in the movie, rather than the cause of internal conflicts and the object of desire as it was in the comics.

There were too many stories squashed into this film. The final result : the main story was messed up, with some parts too short, and some parts too long and dragging you along. After a while, it gets a bit tiring to know that you can sort of predict what’s going to happen before every scene. Don’t get me wrong. The movie (some parts) were still exciting, sometimes gripping, yet, predictable.

One gripe : Spidey landing in front of the U.S. Flag, however – that was a big groan. Enough with the patriotism already – this is an international movie, with an international audience. We need a flag for Earth, and wave that around for every movie now.

In one of the final fight scenes, with heavy irony, the news reporter says “Could this be the end of Spiderman?” which almost seems prophetic. Three’s a lucky number at this stage, and I don’t see how much more excited one can get with the fourth instalment of “Spiderman”. Maybe it’s time to make a choice, just like the theme of this movie. There’s no such thing as having no choice – you can choose to do what’s right, or what’s wrong – but there’s always a choice. To end it, while the feeling is high.

No review can do justice to the film, even though the film ain’t that great. There’s just TOO MUCH to talk about, and I feel like I’ve skipped a whole saga with 2 reviews. Go watch it, but, with an open mind, and no major expectations.

Drowmage Rates this Movie as : 3 Stars

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Comments»

1. Lug - May 2, 2007

“Spidey landing in front of the U.S. Flag, however – that was a big groan. Enough with the patriotism already – this is an international movie, with an international audience. We need a flag for Earth, and wave that around for every movie now.”

Spiderman is an American. It’s appropriate. Essentially it’s a shout out to our soldiers. Why such disdain for the American flag or showing patriotism?

-Lug

2. JUGS - May 3, 2007

I completely agree with your review!
I am a big spidey fan, and i got turned off by the fact that venom’s subplot lacked some build-up.

They should’ve just concentrated on the spiderman vs venom story, instead of putting other subplots… making the movie quite…. boring.

3. zeitgeist - May 5, 2007

I completely agree with your review and would like to add a few more observations. I thought the editing was very poor, there were several scenes that did not add anything to the overall story line and in fact should have been deleted to cut down on what seemed to be an eternally long movie. I was also disappointed with the choice of camera shots used to film this movie, in paticular extreme closeups of almost all the charcters in any scene with dialog, it was shot as if in preparation for downloads into ipods. Last but not least was Toby’s attempt at being dark or evil, the scenes of Peter walking down the street and the dance sequence were horrible and in my opinion were more appropriate for a movie like the mask. it was either bad directing or a bad performance and was neither serious enough to illustrate the evil that the black goo was transforming Peter into nor funny enough to think it was intentionally performed that way. Finally, come-onnnn enough with the flag already, did they really have to make him land in front of it, I too love this country but would have enjoyed the movie more without their 2 second attempt at being patriotic, I’m just saying…..

4. haruka - May 6, 2007

The movie never matches the comics. In Japan we have the Japanese manga version of Spiderman where our Peter Parker (Komori Yu) is a much darker and more repressed character. The movie opened in Tokyo first but I would have liked to have seen a movie based on the Japanese manga version
http://japansugoi.com/wordpress/cool-japanese-manga-version-of-spiderman/

5. John Hans - May 10, 2007

“Spidey landing in front of the U.S. Flag, however – that was a big groan. Enough with the patriotism already – this is an international movie, with an international audience. We need a flag for Earth, and wave that around for every movie now.” –> Reviewer quote

“Spiderman is an American. It’s appropriate. Essentially it’s a shout out to our soldiers. Why such disdain for the American flag or showing patriotism?” –>Lug

—————————————————————————

I have to disagree with Lug. If it is some movie that is based or inspired by a true story that involves an American victory or sacrifice, having the American flag may seem alright but Spiderman is a fictional, unrealistic character.

I don’t see the relevance of patriotism here unless Spiderman or someone with similar powers in real life truly exists. Seems to me that ‘Lug’ is someone who is living in his own fantasy world.

6. Ziggy - May 12, 2007

it does not matter what flag Spiderman lands on to be honest, at least we have our own Cicakman

7. Alvin - May 14, 2007

yet to watch this movie…will watch soon, but from the reviews i got fr frens…not that good. maybe the phrase “great expectation comes great disappointment” is true after all.

8. Sam - January 9, 2009

I must say, it’s nice to see a review of this film that doesn’t just tell us how exciting the film is. Though I saw it quite some time ago, and I did walk out of the cinema feeling quite impressed, one thing that irritated me above all other things with this film was Venom’s storyline. Firstly, though I think Topher Grace is THE MAN (That 70’s Show is a particularly favourite of mine, call me mainstream, I know) he just wasn’t suited for the character of Eddie Brock. Brock is supposed to be a meat-headed, muscle-bound fool, but Grace just seems to charismatic to pull off the role. Also, Venom is supposed to be HUGE as a reflection of Brock’s physique, but again, Grace is too skinny. Whatever happened to the tongue as well? I think we see Venom’s tongue once or twice throughout the entire film, surely, that’s not right? I think the main qualm I have with the whole Venom area is the way that his story developed – or didn’t. In the comics he’s supposed to become like a flip of Spiderman’s personality, occasionally turning up and acting as the anti-hero in certain situations, but never really having a huge epic duel with Spiderman – this certainly wasn’t the case with the film – the symbiote floated down from the sky, took over Eddie Brock, he turned into Venom, and then Spiderman defeated him in the space of about half an hour. WHAT? One of the greates supervillains in comic book history, and Sam Raimi killed him off in ONE FILM? I was annoyed. In fact, I’m getting quite worked up by the thought. I couldn’t agree more with your review! 🙂


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