Webbed Defeat: Spider-Man 3 Reviewed

Topher Grace Reacts to the Gill Man’s Review

Is that my spider sense tingling, or just the feel of my tailbone going numb under the weight of itsrunning time? So yeah, Spider-Man 3 kinda sucked.

SPIDER-MAN 3 (2007)
I wouldn’t have expected even a bad Spider-Man to be quite this bad. And Lord knows I hadn’t braced myself for Kirsten Dunst singing…twice. Sam Raimi loses his grip on the warmth and heroism of his previous Spider-Man outings and delivers an over-long, erratic, poorly-paced mess. Not even the two-hour-and-change running time is enough to nail down all of the flailing plot-threads, villains and character “drama.” While SM2 was an improvement over SM‘s static CGI action, 3 is a return to digital overkill. Failing to grab us in the first action sequence, SM goes downhill fast, reintroducing the troubled relationship between Dunst’s MJ and Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker, reintroducing the antagonistic rubble of PP’s friendship with ex-buddy, Harry Osborne (James Franco) and trotting out the ol’ “he-killed-Uncle-Ben!” subplot (which feels like a very cheap cheat by the writers). Seen it, seen it aaaaand seen it. Do we really need to see a superhero’s romantic life conflict with his “man-of-the-people” status AGAIN? Not HERE anyway…because all of this was covered, to far better effect, in SM2. If you thought Raimi would do what the Batman franchise could not, by making a cohesive hero flick with multiple villains, you’ll be dissappointed. Neither Thomas Haden Church’s Sandman, Topher Grace’s Venom or Franco’s junior Goblin are given enough screen time to effectively establish them as real threats, let alone characters. Instead they’re cartoon stand-ins with dopey introductions and head-scratching weaknesses. We never get a very good feel of what the Sandman’s strengths and limitations are. Worse yet, his genesis makes Doc Ock’s look believable by comparison. Without a primary baddie to focus on SM3 is left without a real narrative backbone. Scenes are strung together, advancing the story in mostly insignificant ways with random bursts of action thrown in, it seems, for the sole purpose of jolting us awake. It only works part of the time. Blessed with it’s predessecor’s great cast, it takes SM3 to reveal just how important they are to the franchise. If not for being anchored by it’s likable primaries, there wouldn’t be much about SM3 to like. Maguire suffers a bit though, mostly because the script has him chasing his tail, emoting in scenes that feel cut from the previous movies. Even before he dons the black Spidey suit, Parker is already seeming like a bit of a prick, making his “dark side” performance a little hollow. And about that black suit…and the introduction of Venom…I’m not familiar enough with Spider-Man’s comic book mythos to know– but black alien goo? Really? It’s an obvious high-five to fanboys and it feels force-fed to a movie that should have made more of it or ditched the idea completely. Long stretches without action don’t help matters either. Topher Grace walks away with the best role in the movie, essaying the role of Parker’s new competition who is jockeying for the same photographer position at the Daily Bugle. His hatred and jealousy make him a convincing villain, but unfortunately, it’s a side story that Raimi spends little time on. Instead we’re forced to tread familiar ground on our way to one terribly unfulfilling resolution.
** – Recommended for fanboys only

Spider-Man 2 Archive Review

~ by Number5ive on May 4, 2007.

3 Responses to “Webbed Defeat: Spider-Man 3 Reviewed”

  1. Spider-man 3 EMO

    Una pena que la tercera parte del Hombre Araña no haya superado a las anteriores (sobre todo a la segunda parte). La gran mayoría de los comentaristas, de los críticos, de los cinéfilos, etc., están de acuerdo que no pocas cosas han fallado…

  2. Pienso que la parte 2 es mi favorito de la serie.

  3. While I agree with most of what you wrote I think it is paramount to understand this is a comic book movie and as such shouldn’t be taken in such a realistic approach.

    Anyway you can read my review at: foshi.wordpress.com

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