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Saturday, May 19, 2007

"Spider-Man 3"

Spider-Man 3
As comic book movies go, the third parts always seem to suck. "Superman 3", where Superman fought a two-bit wisecracking crook and a gang of goons. "Batman Forever", which started the descent of the original franchise. And "X-Men 3: The Last Stand" was just idiotic.

Unfortunately, "Spider-Man 3" didn't seem to buck the trend. In spite of all of the negative comments that I had heard about it, I had high hopes. After all, millions of people who shelled out good money to push this movie to the top of the charts couldn't be wrong, right?

Alas, it had too much of a good thing. Three villains. Two girlfriends. A flashback that got tiring quickly. Underdeveloped characters. A flawed hero who was more humorous than menacing. And the villain who goes bad only because he wants to save his dying kid (how many times has that plotline been used?).

The worst part was that this didn't feel like a Sam Raimi movie, which means it didn't feel very Spider-Man-like. I was watching "Spider-Man 2" the other day and took notice of all of the little Raimi moments. Especially the B-grade horror/slasher homages, like the sudden zoom-ins and terrifying tentacle weapons slashing everything and everywhere. All of that was missing in this outing. The little touches that made the earlier Spider-Man movies one-of-a-kind were missing in this third part.

Even the funny moments seemed like they were forced into the script. Like the part when J. Jonah Jameson bargained with a little girl for her camera. I felt that the scene distracted the audience from the climactic final battle. The only joke that worked was when JJJ's desk kept getting buzzed, and I think it's only because J.K. Simmons could make the mean man look humbled and frazzled.

But this wasn't a JJJ movie, it was about Spider-Man and his villains. So Peter Parker had a brush with his dark side. For a movie that touted that the hero would be tainted, the dark part lasted for too short a time. Everything was building up to it, but that's just it: it was all build-up and the resolution (when he succumbed to the evil symbiote) came and went.

So he was Spider-Man the rest of the time, though he wasn't in his suit as often anyway. And he had one too many foes to deal with. I kept wondering how Spider-Man would defeat Sandman. Turns out he didn't, and the ending was a cop-out. And Eddie Brock was such a spoilt little brat that I didn't care for him at all. In fact, I wanted him out of the movie as soon as he came in.

The thing about villains is that they should have some characteristic that makes the audience think, "Oh yeah, he should live because..." Harry "Green Goblin" Osborn was driven by revenge when his company was pulled out from under his feet. Otto "Doctor Octopus" Octavius went mad with grief when he accidentally killed his wife. Flint "Sandman" Marko just wanted to give his daughter a better life.

But Eddie "Venom" Brock? He was already screwed up, but went crazier because Peter Parker made him lose his job and no one would hire him. Oh, go cry somewhere else, you mama-boy!

If there was one redeeming grace, it was Harry Osborn. Sure, he spent most of the time walking around with amnesia, but when he was in his New Goblin persona, he was wicked! I was definitely shocked at the ending. And it made me feel the way I felt at the ending of "X-Men 3".

The threesome of Peter Parker, Mary Jane Watson and Harry Osborn was broken. To me, that felt like the death knell for the franchise. Sure, Harry could come back like a spirit or flashback. But I don't think it'll be the same without him interacting in the "real world" with his two best friends.

Oh, and I missed the final scene of Spider-Man swinging through the streets of New York. Yup, this definitely seems like the end of the franchise.



Nick said...

I was really let down by the Venom in Spiderman 3. After seeing him on comics, and in games, I expected a huge, vicious, muscle-bound demon eating people and causing having. He was too easy and too wimpy in the last movie.

Good review. Check out my short review at Spiderman 3 Review at


Yuhui said...

Thanks for reading, Nick!

Planet Markus said...

i'm kinda dissapointed with spider-man 3, too, and i agree with nick about the venom part.

let's hope the film makers get to read your comments before making spider-man 4. hahahah!..

hope it would be a better one than 3.

Yuhui said...

Hi Planet Markus, thanks for the kind comments!

Frankly, I'm a bit hesitant about watching a Spider-Man 4. To me, it feels like the franchise has come to an end, albeit a weak one.

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