Monday, 10 August 2020
Spiderman 3
Thursday, 10 May 2007 00:00
Oh what a tangled web we weave… Spiderman 3 is one of the most anticipated films of the year due to the phenomenal success of its predecessors. But does it spin too many threads and end up caught in its own messy web? I think so, and I think a lot of disappointed fans will feel the same.

The first Spiderman installment burst onto the scene in 2002 and was a huge hit making people realize that yes, comic book to film adaptations can be done right and done well. Not only did it combine healthy doses of story, action and character but it also set the benchmark for a great villainous performance with Willem Dafoe as the Green Goblin. The follow-up, Spiderman 2, faced high expectations and won out, proving to be even better than the first. The story got more complex, the action looked amazing and Alfred Molina became the next great to grace the series as Doc Ock.

Now in the third act we expect even more – and unfortunately we get it. More villains, more tangled storylines, more time and simply so much of everything that the film doesn’t know what to do with it all.

Life is pretty great for Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire). He’s at the top of his class, about to propose to the girl of his dreams, and his alter ego Spiderman is at the peak of popularity. But Peter is letting his superhero status go to his head and doesn’t even notice when Mary-Jane gets fired from her Broadway debut. By the time he realizes what is going on his life has spiraled out of control.

With all this personal upheaval Spidey isn’t exactly in top form to combat the slew of villains thrown into the script. Not enough time can be spent on any of them, causing a repeat of the same mistake made by the Batman franchise. Here’s a rundown:

Villain #1: Flint Marko (Thomas Haden Church). An escaped con with a heart of gold who just happens to stumble into a late-night science experiment that turns him into the Sandman. He’s also apparently responsible for Uncle Ben’s death in the first movie, but that’s a long and boring story.

Villain #2: Harry (James Franco), Peter’s former best friend and the son of the Green Goblin. He’s found Daddy’s secret stash and plans to use it in his personal vendetta against Spiderman.

Villain #3: Icky goo from space that attaches itself to Peter and gives him an extra dose of testosterone. His bangs grow long and he tosses them around a lot while strutting down the street John Travolta style. This leads to some of the strangest and most ridiculous scenes in the movie, including a weird musical number in a jazz club. Don’t ask.

Villain #4: Eddie Brock (Topher Grace) A complete ass who tries to steel Peter’s job by using his mad Photoshop skills to doctor some pictures. He becomes Venon when some of the icky goo lands on him.

As you can see, there’s way too much going on here. So much so that the filmmakers are forced to inject flashbacks and really cheesy fake CNN news footage to clarify the story. The storylines finally merge toward the end, but we end up with an unsatisfying battle sequence injected with a lot of sappy speeches.

I’d like to give you some redeeming factor, but there really isn’t any. The only good thing I can say is “At least it was better than Fantastic 4”, but anything is better than Fantastic 4!

Spiderman 3 falls way short of my expectations. I wasn’t bored, but I certainly wasn’t blown-away. Let’s hope this isn’t a curse of three’s, since Pirates of the Caribbean 3 is waiting in the wings!

I give Spiderman 3 5 out of 10 stars.