Monday, December 17

Spider-man 3 Review

Version played for review: Blu-Ray
Available on: DVD, Blu-Ray and online rental
The price I paid:
Other Notes: N/A

After Spider-man 2 blew audiences away the hype was up for its sequel. This is the final film to star any of this cast as Sony rebooted the series after this.

So let’s look at Spider-man 3 by starting with the best parts of it. As usual for this series, the music is great with Danny Elfman capturing the feeling of being a hero perfectly. The darker theme introduced to represent the black suit is just as fantastic. The visuals are impressive with certain moments that rely on CGI really stealing the show. A very popular example of this is the scene where Sandman brings himself back from nothing more than sand. It’s a beautiful moment all possible thanks to a very talented special effects department. The combination of awesome special effects and an iconic director made this possible. It’s not an over exaggeration when I say this scene may be one of the best from this series. But then we have the rest of the film which for the most part is a massive failure. Due to Spider-man 3’s horrible review scores and failure to bring in the same numbers as Spider-man 2, Sony cancelled all plans for the 4th adventure. This film is so bad it forced Sony to kill off the series.

The biggest problem with Spider-man 3 is how cluttered the story feels. Instead of the smooth pace from the first 2 films, we’re instead assaulted by multiple stories all fighting for the spotlight. One minute we’re dealing with Harry Osborne becoming the New Goblin then the next it’s all about Mary Jane’s career falling apart. So we start the film with Peter introducing us as usual for this series. Everything is going fantastic for him as he is keeping up with school work, photo work and social life. Almost as a mirror to how well Peter’s life is going, we see that Mary Jane is having difficulty with her career. She tries to talk to Peter about it but he doesn’t listen properly and runs off to deal with an emergency as Spider-man. Meanwhile, Harry has undergone the same experimental treatment that his Dad went through making him the New Green Goblin. He has done this in order to kill Spider-man as he believes Spidey is responsible for his Dad’s death. Then on top of this Flint Marko escapes from prison and ends up becoming the Sandman during his escape. As it turns out Flint was the person that killed Uncle Ben years ago. He was supposed to get a car while his partner robbed the wrestling venue Peter was at. As if all of these plots were not enough we also have the symbiote suit crashing to Earth on a meteoroid. This thing attaches itself to Peters bike and hides out in his flat for a while. It then bonds to Peter giving him even more power than he had before. This comes at the cost of his emotional balance as the suit feeds his anger making him more violent.

Okay so let’s step back for a second because this film has far too much going on. Anyone of these stories would have been enough to fill an entire film with. As it is Spider-man 3 is unable to flush out any single one of these ideas which leaves them feeling underused and rushed. At the centre of this mess is Peter himself. Seeing as he is a part in all of these stories his character comes off as simply a jerk. It’s long before he gets the black suit that he is ignoring MJ, kissing other women and boasting about his control over New York. Sure his actions become more dramatic after the black suit binds itself to him but he is acting plenty selfish and nasty without it. This is not the often misguided but ultimately kind-hearted Peter Parker from the comics. Instead, this version of Pete feels like a self-entitled ‘nice guy’ and this film is just the natural progression from that into an abusive man. None of it feels like the suit leads him astray as he already is a nasty person even from the first film. He was spying on, stalking and obsessing over MJ during the events of the first Spider-man. This includes him watching her from his window without her knowledge at one point. Then in the second outing, he leads her on while consistently letting her down as both a romantic partner and a friend. Yet he still expects her to dump her boyfriend and soon-to-be husband for him when he gives up being Spider-man. So when he turns around and hits her after she dumps him during this film it doesn’t feel like something the alien suit made him do. It just feels like something he would have done on his own.

It’s not just Peter that is a horrible person framed as good but a misguided soul. Flint Marko is made out to be a good guy forced to do bad things. Sure he robbed an armoured car endangering the drivers. In fact, seeing as he filled the cab with sand forcing the accelerator down he also endangers any other drivers or pedestrians on the road. But it’s okay because he was going to use the money for his sick daughter. Never mind any other children in the many cars that get smashed off the road. After the final confrontation is finished at the end of the film Peter lets him leave without going back to prison. Because Peter forgives him for killing Uncle Ben after learning it was an accident he is no longer guilty. This makes no sense because even if it’s not murder it’s manslaughter which is still a major crime. Or to put this another way, he still killed someone. The mortality of this series is ridiculous in general as I’ve pointed out with Peter’s behaviour but Spider-man 3 goes above even the last 2 films.

Overall Spider-man 3 is mess forcing too much story into a single film. This leads to the minor issues I had in the previous films becoming more obvious. I’ve not even talked about the stupid scene with Peter dancing around town. While I’m not a massive fan of the first 2 films this is the one I really dislike. Unlike the previous 2 Spider-man films this one is both a bad Spider-man film and a bad film on its own. This is at best a film to put on in the background so that you can talk over it just tuning in for the action and really awful scenes. Beyond that it’s worthless.

Recommendation Rating: 3 out of 10.


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