Spider-Man 3 (2007) mini review

based on a comic

The black suit. The introduction of Gwen Stacy. The introduction of Eddie Brock. The origin of Venom. The origin of Sandman. Lots of stuff going on in this film - and oddly, it still works pretty well. When you've got the right people working on a film, it can juggle all of the above. Of course, when you are churning out crap (cf., Batman and Robin), trying to throw a ton of extra heroes and villains just makes the crap that much crappier. Ok, enough of that word.

I had heard that there was too much going on in this film - and I disagree. Had this been a drama, it wouldn't have worked. But it's not - it's an action film - so it balances the different elements pretty well.

In the 3rd installment of the Spider-Man franchise, we see the return of the son of the Green Goblin, we meet Gwen and Eddie, we see the alien symbiote and how Spidey got his black suit, and we see the creation of Sandman and fan-favorite Venom. Sam Raimi does a pretty good job of putting this all together, not making it too complicated, and keeping the flow of a good action film.

Unfortunately, there are enough problems with this film to not make it reach quite the height of its predecessors. Dark Peter Parker isn't nearly as intriguing as Dark Superman in Superman 3; I think that scene was just extended a bit too long. Dropping in Harry Osborne's butler as a deus ex machina was a bit of a stretch (I won't spoil it here). And finally, the climactic battle was just...off, somehow. Plus, I didn't go see it on IMAX on the cool domed screen in Huntsville at the Space and Rocket Center 10 minutes from where I work. Such is life when you have small children. But I guess, in all fairness, that last one shouldn't affect my review.

Returning are all the old cast - and returning cameos Stan Lee (*sigh*), Ted Raimi (Darkman), and Bruce Campbell (Sky High, Darkman); but newly added are Thomas Haden Church (The Specials, Monkeybone) as Sandman, Topher Grace as Venom, Bryce Dallas Howard as Gwen Stacy, and James Cromwell as her father - Captain Stacy.

See it if you'll enjoy the continuation of this decent superhero franchise.

Don't see it if you're not a Spidey fan and the first two films didn't do much for you.


Bones said...

This movie has been hit with so much un-deserved negativity. We fanboys are such a critical bunch sometimes. Personally, I loved it. As you said, not quite as much as the first two, but still.

Johnathan said...

this movie was brilliant up until the last 30 min or so.... if only they had included Venom (the actual character from the comics and not a guy that just looked like him and had the same alter-ego) it would have been perfect

Jim said...

It was good, Bones; not nearly as bad as the reviews have been saying. Especially when you look at the $!

I agree, Johnathan - there was something about that last part of the film. I think there was something missing from the last battle. Maybe I was troubled by the way they had Harry figure into it; I don't know...