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Action & Adventure movie directed by Sam Raimi

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The Web Gets Crowded

  • May 29, 2007
To start off this review, I'd like to give a brief plot synopsis: Peter Parker's got the girl, got the old friend back, got the fame (as Spidey), and got no problems. Then, petty criminal Flint Marko (who's got no money but does have a really sick daughter) gets some sandy powers and uses them to his advantage. Then, Peter gets some galactic goo on his Spidey suit and gets more power (think HGH for superheroes). It all goes to Peter's head and then he loses the girl, loses the old friend (but gains back an enemy), loses the fame, and takes on a ton of problems which include (but aren't limited to) competing photographer Eddie Brock. It all sounds sort of like a very long and jumbled country song, doesn't it? Well, in all honesty, that's sort of what this film is.

The film starts with Peter on top and then he is taken down hard, very hard, by co-screenplay writer/director Sam Raimi and screenplay writers Ivan Raimi and Alvin Sargent. Sam Raimi does an excellent job with this film considering the massive amount of subplots that this story deals with seemingly all at once. He develops the new villains of Sandman (Thomas Haden Church) and Venom (Topher Grace) as best as he can. He also tries to bring to a close the love triangle of Parker, Mary Jane, and Harry Osborne. He also throws in a bit of jealousy between Peter and MJ via the introduction of Gwen Stacey. We also get to catch up with Aunt May and Jonah Jameson.

The story is held together rather well so long as it's just Spidey either fighting with Sandman or the new Goblin. Heck, even Peter Parker's lovelife makes a little bit of sense so long as it's just him, MJ, and Harry. Things don't get messy until Gwen Stacey and her boyfriend/photographer Eddie Brock enter the fray. That's where the train leaves the tracks. It's the same old song and dance as what happened to the "Batman" franchise once the Catwoman and Penguin were coupled together to cause problems for Batman. The movie becomes rushed, characters are dealt with too quickly in order to make room for other characters, and plotlines are tied up too neatly or just left by the wayside. That's the major problem of this film.

Had Venom/Eddie Brock (played by Topher Grace) been left out of this film, it would have been perfect. Instead, we get a second-rate, rushed treatment of the Venom character and Eric from "That 70's Show" with an attitude and muscle to back it up. Every time Brock popped up on the screen (with or without his symbiote companion), all I could think of was Eric getting razzed by Kelso or beat up by Donna. Grace was miscast for this part. He's not a bad actor. It's just that Eddie Brock is played out too closely to Grace's Eric Foreman character from "That 70's Show." Gwen Stacey is easy on the eyes and does a decent job of stirring things up between Peter and MJ, but the character doesn't belong in this film either. It would have been much better had she and Eddie Brock been removed from the film completely. In fact, Sam Raimi admitted that early on he didn't want Venom in this picture. It was only after a little nudging from producer Avi Arad that he came to like the character's addition to the story.

Otherwise, the film is outstanding. Spiderman's battles with the new Goblin and Sandman are excellent and rival the brutal confrontations that Spidey had with Doctor Octopus in the second "Spiderman" flick. They beat the heck out of each other. The special effects are very good and Sandman's action scenes channel "The Mummy" with all the dust flying around. I even enjoyed Peter Parker's "Saturday Night Fever" foray. I found it to be quite funny, although it did run just a tad bit too long.

The cast, excepting Topher Grace, was wonderful. Tobey Maguire has a solid hold on the character of Peter Parker and much like Christopher Reeve as Superman, he'll be the only person worthy of being the Webslinger. Dunst does an excellent job as MJ. James Franco, despite having to struggle for screentime with Sandman and Venom, does a good job as Harry Osborne/New Goblin. His character, in my opinion, developed the most in the second film and he carries that development over to this sequel well. With little character development Church still manages to pull at the heartstrings as Sandman. His character is given only a basic treatment so that we only understand why he's a criminal and why his fate in the film is what it is. Bryce Dallas Howard does a good job as the airheaded Gwen Stacey. The rest of the cast, including Sam Raimi stalwarts Bruce Campbell and Ted Raimi, do excellent jobs with their limited rolls.

So why four stars? For the simple fact that this really is an excellent film considering how much information is processed in its 140-minute runtime. Other than the unnecessary villain cluster that hampers the tale, "Spiderman 3" plays well as an action yarn and even as a moral story of personal responsibility over selfish acts. If a fourth film is made (and I seriously doubt that Maguire or Raimi will be returning), I hope that Spidey's villain count is lowered to one. If you enjoyed the other "Spiderman" films, you'll enjoy this one. It loses its way here and there but is, overall, a very good action film.

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More Spider-Man 3 reviews
review by . March 16, 2011
I know that Spiderman 3 is weaker than the first two and is the worst in the series. However, I think that it doesn't deserve to be hated as much as it is by people. There are a great deal of goofy moments, but there are goofy moments in all the other spiderman films too. They also squeezed three villains into one movie and that was a very bad idea, but we'll talk about that later. However, for all the bad stuff, there is some very good stuff that makes this an entertaining and worth-watching …
review by . August 14, 2009
Spider-Man... the films more or less made Comic Book movies more popular.  At least for the new era.  It sort of changed the way we look at hero films and what they can do.  Spider Man 2 was far better than the first by showing the struggles of Peter Parker being Spider Man.  While films like Batman Begins and The Dark Knight put Spider-Man to shame in the character development arena, it was still refreshing to see a Super Hero movie that went a little beyond some of the campiness …
Quick Tip by . September 07, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
This movie is such a step backward from the first sequel. Too many characters and too much forced devices make this movie an unfocused farce. Sam Raimi deserves to be fired after this melee, how can you allow the Hobgoblin look like a snowboarder....Gwen Stacy's intoduction was unnecessary and the Butler did it! (yeh, he decides to say something after Harry's face gets all messed up. This is such bad storytelling and Raimi at his worst. and Hollywood is already remaking this fallen …
Quick Tip by . August 30, 2010
A movie that gets so much bad press it's unbeliveable when it's NOT a bad movie. Yeah Venom could have been left out and NOT played by Topher Grace but aside from that, it's not bad.
Quick Tip by . July 17, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Daughter loved this movie she watches it over and over again and I always see something that is new to me!
Quick Tip by . August 05, 2010
A nice if a little cluttered finale to the Spiderman tilogy with Spiderman fighting off 3 villains while finally getting national acceptance. Not as bad as you've heard.
Quick Tip by . August 10, 2010
I tried to watch this movie again last weekend and I actually got angry and turned it off. How could they take something as cool as Spiderman and make it so lame? And even though it wasn't a critical plot point, why was J. Jonah Jameson's desk hooked up to some ridiculous over-exaggerated buzzer? There was too much cheeze I couldn't make it to the great action scenes.
review by . November 09, 2009
A failure for the series, but good fun none the less..
While Spider-Man  and Spider-man 2 set the bar higher for excellence in  comic book adaptions, Spider-Man 3 the latest installment in the hugely popular  series is a massive step down from those two. It has far too many plot lines and too many villains and that just makes it a crowed  mess. While it does  boast some  really dazzling action sequences and  some cool fights  in the film, it still can't be saved or salvaged from  the  over use of everything   …
review by . September 09, 2009
Being an enormous fan of Spiderman and greatly enjoying the first two films, I looked forward in anticipation to this film. I was greatly disappointed. There was just too much going on in this film. Where Doc Ock and the Green Goblin were fascinating villains with powerful performances in the other films, the Sandman was a very dry character and Venom was comical like Danny Devito's Penguin in the Batman movie. Additionally, Peter Parker's romance with Mary Jane was all over the place and never …
review by . May 15, 2009
The third and final installment (allegedly) of the Spiderman movies is all set to tie up all those little loose ends - Peter Parker is finally secure in his role of Spiderman and seeks Mary Jane Watson's hand in marriage ... but, happy endings are only for fairy tales, right? In this installment we are introduced to two newcomers: 1st we meet Flint Marko (Thomas Haden Church) who, after escaping from prison stumbles into a particle accelerator and is transformed in to the mighty Sandman. The 2nd …
About the reviewer
Kendall Fontenot ()
Ranked #16
Despite looking extremely cool, I have to admit that I'm a dork. I grew up on the outskirts of the small town of Oberlin, LA. I have since relocated to the Lake Charles, LA area.I love my home state … more
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About this movie


Spider-Man 3 is a 2007 superhero film written and directed by Sam Raimi, with a screenplay by Ivan Raimi and Alvin Sargent. It is the third film in the Spider-Man film franchise based on the fictional Marvel Comics character Spider-Man. The film stars Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Thomas Haden Church, Topher Grace, and Bryce Dallas Howard.

The film begins with Peter Parker basking in his success as Spider-Man, while Mary Jane Watson continues her Broadway career. Harry Osborn still seeks vengeance for his father's death, and an escaped convict, Flint Marko, falls into a particle accelerator and is transformed into a shape-shifting sand manipulator. An extraterrestrial symbiote crashes to Earth and bonds with Peter, influencing his behavior for the worse. When Parker abandons the symbiote, it finds refuge in Eddie Brock, Jr., a rival photographer, causing Peter to face his greatest challenge.

Spider-Man 3 was commercially released in multiple countries on May 1, 2007, and released in the United States in both conventional and IMAX theaters on May 4, 2007, by Columbia Pictures. Although the film received generally mixed reviews from critics, in contrast to the previous two films' highly positive reviews, it stands as the most successful film in the series worldwide, Marvel's most successful film, as well as the second highest-grossing superhero film behind 2008's The Dark Knight.

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