Reviews: Spider-Man

Spider-Man 3: A good idea gone bad

I enjoyed this movie when I saw it theaters, but when I got home and thought about every aspect of the movie, I saw how stupid it all was. Strike One: The effects of the Symbiote. It turns Peter into some kind of goofy emo. It's nowhere near as deep as it should've been, and I don't know who thought Peter's disco strut around the town was a good idea. Strike Two: The villains. Harry was presented well enough, but Sandman and Venom were stupid. Sandman's origin doesn't do the original justice, he has so few lines we never really feel any sympathy towards him, and Eddie Brock just kinda seemed shoe-horned in. He should've been introduced in two in order to build up steam for their rivalry, and when he becomes Venom, he's only on screen for, like, 10 minutes, and when he talks he peels back his Venom face, which should've been scarier. Also, why did Harry's Butler wait so long to tell Harry the truth about his father died? He tried to kill Peter, made MJ break up with Peter, and basically acted like a dick the whole movie, and his butler doesn't even consider telling Harry. Gwen Stacy felt like she was there just so the movie could say 'Hey, we have Gwen Stacy in this movie! She's going to be SO important to the plot!', even though this movie would've functioned just fine if she hadn't been in it. All in all, this movie isn't fucking terrible, but it's not the best thing to happen to Spider-Man.

Spider Man Three

The best way I can describe this movie is wasted potential.

It's not bad by any means. It's still got the spark from the previous two Sam Raimi movies. And it's hard to argue with the sheer coolness of the action scenes. There's some real interesting creative choices here. The "Peter Parker goes evil" montage is way up there for being weird and yet still surprisingly entertaining in a mainstream way.

The big problem is that for every interesting choice there's a bunch more that are, well, stupid is pretty much the nicest way to put it. The first two movies had, as villains, two very smart guys who went a little crazy from messing with super-science. The third has three villains so poorly fleshed out they can't equal Doc Ock even when they're all put together. We have one guy with a sick daughter, a stupid Ret Con, and powers gained apparently by randomly wandering into a scientific experiment. Another makes a Heel Face Turn based on information he really should have been given at the beginning of the movie. The last one shows up in one big scene at the end of the movie for twenty minutes.

None of these characters are impossible to redeem, plotwise- they're just a little flat. I can see what the writing was going for. The huge fight scene at the end of the movie is quite excellent. The problem is that the rest of the movie seems to have been written with that fight scene as an explicit goal. In going for this fight scene, many a Plot Hole was created and many shortcuts were taken in the script. Conflict is created artificially via the Idiot Ball- most of the issues could have been solved simply by the characters doing a better job of communicating with each other.

In short, the script needed a few more rewrites, and a lot more cut scenes. Adequately expressing all the issues and characters would have required two movies. And cutting the scope of this one down to focus on fewer characters simply would not have pleased the fanbase. Having been whetted with the promise of an epic final fight between Spidey, the Goblin, Sandman, and Venom, how could the movie not give them that? Or worse, ask them to wait until Spider Man 4?

For the fanbase, of course, this movie is great. The plot inconsistencies are par for comic books, after all. But those expecting more should look elsewhere.