Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Spider-Man 3

Year: 2007
Dir: Sam Raimi
Writing: Sam Raimi, Ivan Raimi, Alvin Sargent
Comic Book: Stan Lee, Steve Ditko

Stars: TOBEY MAGUIRE, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Thomas Haden Church, Topher Grace, Rosemary Harris, J.K. Simmons, Elizabeth Banks, Bryce Dallas Howard

Spider-Man 3 hit our screens running… only to trip over itself ten minutes in. What should have been the comic book movie of the decade, bringing this superhero trilogy full-circle, ends up a tangled web of over indulgence.

Widely anticipated, especially after the hype of the black suit and the publicity for the Chinese opening, one of Marvel Comic’s favourite superheroes struggles to live up to his name.

Spider-Man 3 is jammed packed with great CGI villains, but there are too many mistakes to forgive in this third installment. We end up with just about everything, except what makes Spider-Man such an icon in the first place.

Instead of those bad guys doing what they're suppose to i.e. bad things, while Spidey saves the day, battling his personal demons, we get Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) and Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst) trying to sort out their careers and personal lives, the screenplay resembling a musical parody at times!

As the ridiculous plot lines converge, the altering motivations of the characters lose fluidity. The one exception is Harry Osborn as the new Goblin, an excellent performance by James Franco. Too many questions emerge, and the story just doesn't ring true anymore.

Once Peter Parker would strut his stuff along a Manhattan avenue and you’d be thinking to yourself…yeah…he’s the man…but now you just want to reach for the empty popcorn bucket!

There’s a difference between laughing with and laughing at something. You kind of get the feeling that director Sam Raimi knows he’s playing us for fools, as he satirizes his own work at our expense. What a shame for the most successful comic book franchise to be reduced to this.

Spider-Man 3 just manages to redeem itself – the script being not all bad. There are some good lines, as a mean Peter Parker spouts, "If you want forgiveness, get religion!" He becomes quite animated in the process… it will leave you stunned.
The CGI is superb, with awesome visuals of new adversary Sandman, played by an excellent if under used, Thomas Haden Church. Followed by the introduction of another foe Eddie Brock/Venom, portrayed by Topher Grace, in one of the few well thought out casting choices. They are a treat to watch.

It’s strange for Marvel’s celebrated comic book hero to complete this pivotal journey on a real downer. Ultimately, and without making a song and dance about it, Spider-Man 3 is one big disappointment, and not worth going half-way to China for either!

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