Spider-Man 3

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Spider-Man 3 --- The web-slinger takes on new villains in an emotion-packed thriller

May 4, 2007 (Updated May 4, 2007)
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Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:exciting action, interesting new villains, all the makings of a blockbuster

Cons:a little chaotic, strayed some from original story

The Bottom Line: Spider-Man 3 is an action packed film well worth seeing, but it doesn't hold a candle to the second one.


Continuing the immensely successful series of films, Spider-Man 3 presents a more emotional, and sometimes more chaotic look at the themes of the infamous web-slinger. Three years after the wildly popular second film broke all kind of theatrical records, Part 3 opens with the characters still suffering a typical "teen-angst" that embodies a lot of comic book stories. For those that remember the end of the second film, Peter Parker (Spiderman) has his identity discovered by Mary-Jane Watson whom had shared his love for some time now. Unfortunately, fearing the enemies of Spiderman would put her in constant danger, he has denied facing that love, and instead decided to protect her with emotional distance. Though painful to both of them, they see the logic in this decision that leads to an unhappiness for both of them beneath the surface. Familiar issues will face them again though, as former-friend Harry Osborn re-news his quest for vengeance on the man he believes killed his father.

The new embodiment of a past enemy is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to issues that Parker/Spiderman must deal with as two other villains make themselves noticed. An escaped convict gains the ability to shift between a static state and one of sand, while having a secret that will make him the bane of Spiderman's existence. To make matters worse, something has caused Peter's suit to turn black, and suddenly he finds himself faced with new emotions, and urges that he had never had to deal with before. Now his morality and tact is called into question as Spiderman starts to succumb to temptations a super-hero should be above. This dark new persona is something nobody wants to cross, and could have hidden meaning that everyone involved needs to discover before it is too late. Amidst all of the fighting and action sequences are the further developments of characters Parker, Watson, Osborn, and several supporting roles used to garner further interest.

Director Sam Raimi returns for the third time as director of the franchise, and does a great job of not only carrying forward many different (and simultaneous) storylines, but in introducing several new aspects to the timeline. All of the main actors return as well; including Tobey Maguire as Parker/Spiderman, Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane Watson, and James Franco as Harry Osborn. Joining the cast are Thomas Haden Church as Sandman and Topher grace as Eddie Brock. There are even smaller parts like Gwen Stacy played by Bryce Dallas Howard who stared in Lady in The Water. Church has come a long way from his role inept mechanic Lowell on the television show Wings, and Grace has also made a great cross to drama after That 70's Show. Together this is a formidable cast that brings a lot of excitement and reality to the story, and helps to carry both the action and the dialogue in an interesting methodology and tone for the duration of the film.

The second film of the series really set a new standard for sequels as well as comic book films, and this third installment really had a lot to live up to. The problem is that I think Director Raimi tried to do almost too much with this story. He tried to wrap up many different elements of the story, and a lot of the emotional overtones of the franchise are brought to a resolving head. With everything happening at the same time, a lot of unintentional chaos takes place within the story/script, and there are times when too much is going on for the audience to focus like they should on the subplots and under-stories. This also leads to some uneven interludes as the film tries to move from scene to scene.

While the story at the heart of the film does a great job of involving the characters in the story, there is often times the feeling that too much was packed into this film. Along those lines some things within the original Spiderman story were altered for this film, including the backgrounds of several characters that could be frustrating to die-hard fans. This film is a comic-book film in ever sense of the word, and whereas the last one succeeded in being more than just that, Part 3 is more along the lines of what you would expect from the genre. It is a film worth seeing in theaters in my humble opinion, with plenty of action and a good story to carry it. What it lacks though, is the element of surprise, and the lack of risks that were taken in this story. By playing it safe, Raimi took away something from the story, but he had some tough material with which to work. I do recommend Spiderman 3 as a great popcorn film that I will watch again, but don't walk into this one expecting greatness.



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