Some of the wonderful things rattling around in this full brain 'o mine. UPDATED EVERY TUESDAY AND THURSDAY (or at least twice a week)

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Spider-Man 3 Review: Does everything a spider can…

You know, I meant to have this out days ago…at least keep with my Tue/Thu posting schedule…but as with all things, life (or work) sometimes gets in the way. So anyway, today’s post will be a review of Spider-Man 3, and next post (either tomorrow or Friday) will be about where I would go for Spidey-Man 4, 5, and 6, since those have already been announced… By the way, thanks for that link Kelly.

I always find it hard to review comic movies, or really movies involving any property that I’ve previously been involved in. Plus, with the virtual onslaught of information about all aspects of how this movie was made, and reading plenty of reviews from various movie sites like this one. That being said, even though I’ve been a huge comic fan, I’m often easier to please than most comic fans. I remember liking Batman Forever, and not hating it, accepting their Robin character, even though he’s one of my favorites. I liked the old TV Incredible Hulk movies. I even, to an extent, like X-Men: The Last Stand, even though there are loads of missed opportunities with that movie. I just like seeing characters I love up on the screen. I still love the original Spider-man, with the Green Goblin redesign and all, even though I may not have agreed with casting choices. I didn’t flip out about the organic web-shooters. I really didn’t flip out about the Goblin much either, because, truthfully, I viewed it like X-men, those costumes would look hilariously bad in real life. My top rated comic films still are Spider-Man, X2, and Spider-Man 2.

That being said, I liked Spider-Man 3. But, I didn’t love it. Non-spoiler review = 3 out of 5 stars. For those of you who don’t already know what it’s about, I’ll go with the truncated version (spoiler warning from here on out!):

Peter’s happy. He got the girl, he’s gained the adoration of the city, he’s on a high. He’s so high in the clouds, that it’s all he talks about is how great he is. He becomes a jerk. Uncle Ben’s real killer is revealed as the Sandman. Peter’s in competition with Eddie Brock for a job at the Bugle. He’s not being a good boyfriend to Mary Jane. He fights Harry a couple of times. Harry loses his memory, get’s it back, and forces MJ to break up with Peter. Peter merges with the black suit, and it makes him Emo-Spidey and Emo-Peter. Emo-Peter uses Gwen Stacy to get back at MJ. Emo-Spidey realizes he’s even MORE of a jerk with the Emo-suit. Peter rips off the Emo-suit and it attaches to Brock. Brock becomes Venom, teams up with Sandman, and Spidey and Harry (now good and not insane anymore from the Goblin formula) team up to fight the villains.

I look at this movie, similar to how I look at X-Men the Last Stand (even though this film is much better in that it doesn’t look like it was done for TV). This movie is a bunch of missed chances. Missed chances left and right. Missed chance to do some great characterization of the Sandman. Missed chance to do characterization of Peter and Gwen Stacy. Missed chance on the entire Venom character. Missed chance with Dr. Conners.

As a general movie perspective, I agree with what a lot of people have come out saying: that there’s just too much packed into this film. They talk about all the new characters jammed in there, but I only agree to a point.

This film would have been just perfect, if they just would have done less…if they just would have gotten to a plot point and stopped, instead of insisting on finishing the arc. I’ve read around that Sam Raimi was forced to include Gwen Stacy and the Venom characters. I can see that. They get almost no love from the script in general. Gwen’s just mostly eye candy. What would have probably been best for the franchise as a whole would have been introducing the black suit, Eddie Brock, and Gwen in this movie, and instead of forcing all those arcs to finish themselves in this movie, have them roll right into the next making Venom the sole villain in the next movie. In fact, the scene from the trailer with Peter ripping off the symbiote and it falling onto Eddie would have been a perfect ending. I think it’s the biggest missed chance of the franchise, because if Sam Raimi actually had the time to run with the Venom character, after learning more about him, I’m sure he’d make a great horror type movie, as Venom is a scary character. He’s stronger than Spidey, he knows all of Spidey’s secrets. But no, they had to have him in here. I also don’t generally agree with Spidey taking his mask completely off again, letting Sandman get away, and the killing of Harry and Eddie.

All that being said, I still like the movie. The designs of Venom are spot on. Sandman looks great, although I did laugh when he took that green shirt out of his dresser. I mean…who wears a shirt like that? I liked Mr. Ditkovich and his daughter. I liked that Peter went to Dr. Conners for help. I liked JJ Jameson, and everyone at the Bugle. Aunt May is even good in here.

The action is spot on. The action is probably the best I’ve seen in any comic movie (until we get a full on Wolverine/Sabertooth fight, or Superman Returns again fighting an actual supervillain). The movie makes me happy…but also a little sad when I think about what could have been…

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