Thursday, May 10, 2007

Movie Review: Spider-Man 3

Movie Title: Spider-Man 3
Starring: Toby Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Thomas Hayden Church, Topher Grace, Bryce Dallas Howard.
Directed by: Sam Raimi
Genre: Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Thriller/Superhero
My Rating: 7.5/10

Where do I begin? I didn't bother with the sneak preview, didn't watch on the opening weekend, and didn't wait to watch it on IMAX either. Moreover, I loved Spider-Man 2; it was a great improvement over it's prequel. I just can't say the same about Spider-Man 3. The "spidey" franchise is one where the hype finally got to it, just like it did to George Lucas which resulted in debacles such as Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace and Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones. Forgive me for comparing these franchises, but just like in the movies, too much fame can sometimes hurt, and hurt really bad.

I wouldn't want to say that 3 is a disappointment, but it definitely isn't an improvement over 2, and barely more entertaining than 1! Without filtering the less-than-satisfactory feedback that I received from other sources about this movie, I'll start by saying it was a good movie. Just a bit dull in comparison, that's all.

The story starts where the last movie ended: Peter Parker (Maguire) and Mary-Jane (Dunst) are a happily dating couple, with the former making straight-A's in college, and the latter making it to Broadway musicals. Peter even thinks he's ready to ask MJ to marry him, but then the following happens:

  • Villain #1

  • Villain #2
    ..... oh wait..and,

  • Villain #3

Actually one of them is just half a villain, and another doesn't become a villain until much later. However, none of these villains are what we'd call "bad asses." They're not cool. They're not cold enough. Even if they tried. None of them could match Alfred Molina who played Doc Ock in 2.

The New Goblin is nothing new. Maybe just a bit more real without that lame mask worn in 1. Harry (Franco) is still pissed and wants to avenge his pissed off but deceased father's death by killing spidey. We already knew this was coming, if you've seen the ending of 2.

Sandman could have been a much more effective baddie had they scripted the character's demeanor a bit more emphatically. Flint Marko (Church) is an escaped convict who used to be a small-time crook trying to gather funds for his terminal daughter's medical treatment. It also turns out that Marko was the real killer of Peter's Uncle Ben, and not that skunk-head who stole from the wrestling organizers in 1. How convenient, couldn't the screenwriters let go of the past already?

Venom looks more like a character who escaped out of a comic-book and is puzzled about what real people look like. Eddie Brock (Grace) is Peter's rival freelance photographer at the Daily Bugle and tries to steal any opportunity from Peter that he can. This villain does look the creepiest. But in real, I couldn't see Topher (Eric from That 70's Show) hurt a chicken.

Brock happens to be dating Gwen Stacy, played by a graceful and miscasted Bryce Dallas Howard (Lady in the Water, The Village). Gwen is also Peter's lab Partner, a prospective model, and the daughter of the Police Captain who informs Peter and Aunt May about uncle Ben's real killer. Golly, am I really confused or did they just make New York City seem to be so small, where everyone knows (or is connected to) everyone?

Just like the franchise, fame gets Peter way over his head, he loses MJ, and decides to turn to the dark side with the black alien substance in his dark suit. This is when the producers decide to cater to the young audience - by making the lead character EMO! Click on that word if you really don't know what that is. And of course, he comes around. Everyone does. Well, not everyone, but definitely the hero does!

There are a few musical moments that try to light up the flow, a bit jazzy and Broadway-like, and I'd dare compare that to Bollywood.

Overall, Spider-Man 3 is a great summer entertainer. Being more violent than it's predecessors, it earned the PG-13 rating. The special effects are amazing for lack of better words. But that's the part that you expect and it lived up to. I still enjoyed this movie despite my possible harsh criticism in the paragraphs above. I do look forward to a possible part 4 or even beyond. It left a good ending to continue with.

7.5/10. Take a lot of popcorn, and a large soda. 2 hours and 20 minutes may just fly.


Chris said...

ok, enough of a tease that i might still see it at the theater... maybe.

jobrad said...

I hear they're already starting 4. Although I did like 3, lets hope 4 is better. :-)