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Lunch » Tags » Movies » Reviews » Spider-Man 3 » User review

DVD front

Action & Adventure movie directed by Sam Raimi

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A darker and more mature Spider-Man has arrived.

  • May 4, 2007
  • by
Rating:
+3
Pros: Good Cast and setup.

Cons: Bad guys are not as dangerous as they should be.

The Bottom Line: While not as good as the first two, Spider-Man 3 will keep most fans happy.

Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie''s plot.

The most anticipated film of the summer, “Spider-Man 3” has arrived to the delight of moviegoers the world over. It has been roughly a little more than a year since Spider-Man (Tobey Maguire), defeated Dr. Octopus and saved the city from certain doom.

During this time, Spider-man has become New York City’s celebrated hero, and his day to day alter ego, Peter Parker, delights in his fame, while dating the love of his life, Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst).

As the film opens, Peter has decided to ask Mary Jane to be his wife, and plans to surprise her with a ring during dinner at a fancy restaurant. Mary Jane is starring in a Broadway play, and despite harsh reviews, she is living her dream and madly in love with Peter.

Things take an unexpected twist for Peter when he is attacked one night by his best friend Harry (James Franco), who blames him for the death of his father at the conclusion of the first film. Enhanced by his father’s Goblin serum, Harry is a deadly adversary for Peter who is able to fend off the attack eventually, and put into motion a series of events that will forever change his life.

When a career criminal named Flint Marko (Thomas Hayden Church), is accidentally caught in an experiment while fleeing the authorities, he becomes a living mass of sand, which enables him to start a string of robberies as “The Sandman”, and provides Spider-man with his most unusual opponent yet.

As if this was not enough, Peter must contend with a new hotshot photographer named Eddie Brock (Topher Grace), who is after a staff position at the Daily Bugle. The fact that Peter has more seniority at the paper is of little interest to Eddie, and he will stop at nothing to get the better of Peter.

At this point one would think that Peter has more than enough on his plate, but fate is about to drop an unexpected player into his life, a space based symbiote that bonds with Peter’s costume and creates a dark black look for Spider-Man as well as an increase in his powers.
Peter becomes obsessed with his new powers, and there is a dramatic change in his persona, which does not sit well with Mary Jane. When new information is given to Peter about the death of his Uncle Ben, Peter is more than willing to use his new found abilities to exact the revenge that he craves.

Peter also has another area of interest as Gwen Stacy (Bryce Dallas Howard), the daughter of the local Chief of Police has caught his eye, much to the chagrin of both Mary Jane and Gwen’s current boyfriend Eddie Brock.
This tangled web of characters soon forces Peter to take stock of his life and the choices he makes, in order to determine what truly matters to him, the love and respect of his friends, or giving into his darker side and pursing power and unending praise and adulation.

The film starts out well, and the early conflict between Peter and Harry is a brilliantly staged spectacle of sight, sound, and motion. There are also some great moments between the lead characters and Church, Howard and Grace do well with their characters, yet something about “Spider-Man 3” did not click for me the way the previous two films in the series have.

Having the luxury of time from the press screener to the opening, I was able to look back at the film the past week and a half to try to determine what did not work for me, and I kept coming back to the same conclusions.

First, the film wants very much to be much darker and edgier than the other films, yet just when you think you are going to see Peter fully cross the line, the film pulls back into campy mode, and we are given scenes of Peter hamming it up as a ladies’ man, and I kid you not, doing an impromptu dance number.

While this works for comedic effect, I am supposed to believe that the darker side of Peter’s soul is being exposed, and I had a hard time thinking that his inner demons include “Saturday Night Fever” style strut down the sidewalk, and a floor show.

The second thing that bothered me was the villains, as aside from Harry as the New Goblin, both the Sandman and Venom were sadly lacking. Neither The Sandman nor Venom had over the top plots to rule the world, kill or enslave the masses, or endanger huge parts of the city as was the case with the original Green Goblin and Dr Octopus.

Rather we have one who is content to steal to fund a noble cause, and wishes only to complete this cause and have Spider-Man out of his way. The second simply wants revenge for being slighted, and does not elude the menace nor danger that the character warrants.

FX wise the film is solid and there are some great moments in the film, but to many times I thought I had seen the same sand effects years early in the “Mummy” series which lead to many cases of “been there, seen that” for me. With a budget that many claim to be the most expensive film ever made when based on current dollar values, I had expected more from the film, especially given the talented and dynamic cast, and the ample backing of the studio.

Director and series Guru Sam Raimi seems to be coasting here as one has to wonder if he used up many of his great ideas in the last two films, and was trying so hard not to repeat himself, that he lost that magic spark that made the last two films such classics.

As it stands, “Spider-Man 3” is a good film, but you can’t help but feel it could have been a better one.
4 Stars out of 5.
Gareth Von Kallenbach




Recommended:
Yes

Viewing Format: DVD
Video Occasion: None of the Above
Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 13 and Older

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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
Caption
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
Gareth Von Kallenbach ()
Ranked #109
I am a syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. My work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site "Skewed … 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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