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Action & Adventure movie directed by Sam Raimi

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Great action scenes...but also feels bloated and lazy at times.

  • May 6, 2007
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Spiderman 3 adheres pretty tightly to the "More is More" theory. More villains, more subplots, more running time, more special effects, etc. It is a big, loud "Summer" movie...apparently among the most expensive ever made...and the money shows on screen.

It is also an occasionally boring or silly movie. I realize this is a comic-book movie, but Spiderman 2 gave us enough believable humanity that we now kind of expect this series to present believable humans enduring unbelievable things and reacting in a way that resembles the human race as we know it.

Spiderman 3 veers back into incredulity. For example...(this could be spoiler if you haven't seen any previews), Peter becomes infected with some black goop that not only turns his red suit to black...but unleashes his id. He pulls his hair down over his forehead, resembling the lead singer of The Cure or Fall Out Boy. That's amusing. Then he begins to strut around the neighborhood, checking out the girls and buying "stylish" clothes in a scene that looks like it would be a spoof of Saturday Night Fever in a movie like Date Movie. It's a sketch comedy bit in a bloated Action movie. It was painfully out of place.

There are other moments. Mary Jane Watson, Peter's beloved, never manages to tell Peter she's lost her Broadway gig. Granted, their relationship is struggling...but she would have told him at some point.

Also, I'm finding it harder to buy all the coincidences. First, the black goop falls from a meteor that happens to land right where Peter has his moped parked. Then Flint Marko, the "bad guy" just happens to stumble into a scientific experiment at just the perfect moment to be turned into Sandman. And then when Peter sheds the black stuff, he manages to drop it right onto his nemesis Brock. It just stretches my willingness to suspend disbelief.

Also, while we're on the "bad" stuff: James Franco as Peter's friend/enemy Harry is terrible. When his character gets amnesia, he also becomes a complete goofball. And when he gets his memory back and is "torn" between helping or hurting Peter...his torment is just laughable. I know Franco garnered a lot of acclaim in his earlier career...but he pretty much wasted any goodwill I might have had for him. And frankly, Tobey Maguire looked mostly bored in his role. I know he's always felt some ambivalence towards his role...but they paid you enough to lose that ambivalence, Tobey. Get over being filthy rich, successful and a star! I know it's tough, but suck it up!

On the good side, we have nice performances from Topher Grace, who is alternately amusing and despicable. Here's an actor who has some spark. He could be in a league with Ryan Gosling if given the chance. Think of his work in TRAFFIC. Thomas Hayden Church does well by Marko/Sandman. (And our sympathy for him is helped by EXCELLENT special effects for his various transformations.) Bruce Campbell has a brief but VERY funny cameo as an unctuous French maitre d. Thanks, Sam Raimi, for continuing to use him!

The most important parts of any Spiderman movie are the action sequences, of course, and there are some good ones, alright! The scene in which Spiderman saves the girl (Bryce Dallas Howard) from the malfunctioning high-rise crane is a blast. There's real suspense there. The final scene is over-the-top and exciting...especially as cars, cinderblocks and other debris plunge dangerously close to the imperiled Mary Jane.

So I found the movie to be somewhat of a letdown from the psychological and acting standpoint. The screenplay was just TOO packed...trying to be too many things to too many people. But you won't complain about the action set-pieces...they are state-of-the-art. So if you lower your expectations a little...you'll still have fun. 3.5 stars.

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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 …
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Ranked #146
I've got my own site, www.afilmcritic.com, on which I'm posting my reviews. I am 46 years old, married 25 years, two kids (23 & 18) and currently work in accounting/finance. I spent 15 years … more
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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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