- Reviews Written:
Posted on 9/15/07 10:56 AM
I have gotten a LOT of slack for stating my opinion on multiple forums but I stand by my opinion as do most of my friends.
This contains a LOT of spoilers so if you haven't seen the movie, don't read this.
If you want to, then you've been warned.
These are the reasons why I hated the movie so much:
- The crying/angst. Everyone cries. Everyone. At the drop of a hat. Mary Jane, Peter, Aunt May, Gwen...jeez, even HARRY and SANDMAN CRY!!! I don't mind once...but to do it repeatedly just to try and create emotion? No, it just doesn't work. I mean, the theater just started laughing when Peter's lip would quiver and he started to sob. Nobody bought that he was sad.
- Peter (as Spider-Man) goes for a kiss with Gwen during a city ceremony celebrating his popularity...when he KNOWS his girlfriend, MJ, is in the audience??? Come on. That's just really stupid.
- The talk that MJ has with Peter about her singing career and Peter tries to settle her down by telling her that he knows how she feels and then relates to her problem with criticism. Instead of hearing Peter out and listening in return, she claims that he's making it about HIM? No. Come on. That's just weak writing to push a wedge between them as characters. When I have talked to the women in my life and have had similar experiences they complain about, I don't consider trying to give them advice by relating to their problems as "selfishness". That's utterly ridiculous.
- By the way, MJ cannot sing. AT ALL. It's like Raimi just kept pushing her to do it. I could have SWORN MJ wanted to be an actor and not a singer and by the way, didn't anybody rehearse to find out she can't sing? Did MJ have sex with the theater director to land the part in the musical she was in?
- They transform Flint Marko AKA The Sandman from multi-layered society reject into some sensitive down-on-his-luck bum who just can't seem to get a break...oh, I forgot to mention: he comes complete with REALLY CLICHÉ "sick daughter" and standard "bitchy ex-wife". On top of that, he never had ANYTHING to do with Peter Parker OR the death of his Uncle Ben.
- Harry's convenient Soap Opera-esque "selective memory loss" (obtained after his first fight with Spider-Man) wherein he somehow cannot remember anything before the death of his father...but somehow remembers that Peter and MJ are dating...which took place AFTER the death of Norman. HUH?!?
- The symbiote just HAPPENS to fall INSIDE A METEORITE, five feet from Peter, into the EXACT place where Peter Parker and MJ are making out...without a sound, leaving no smoldering presence and no smell. On top of this, the symbiote gets on the bike...and stays there, waits for Peter to have tea with Aunt May, then SOMEHOW gets into Peter's place (if it clung to him, WHY didn't it stay on him and take him over the first time?)...and then disappears. We don't seem him for two days in the movie. Then, it just waits around the apartment for the perfect time to take over? I mean, it's like the writer just said, "OH YEAH! The symbiote thing! I forgot..." The COMIC dealt with it better! In ULTIMATE, the lab-created symbiote is a MUCH better buy and runs along the lines of science-turning-on-creator theme that Spider-Man uses so much, but no, we're going for alien in a rock. Couldn't have just run around the city and THEN find Parker?
- Eddie Brock's character. Wow. ANOTHER complex character they turned into an upstart, quick-talking jackass. GONE is his backstory about his abusive dad, GONE is his wife (he's single and conveniently dating Gwen Stacy, imitating the ULTIMATE version of events in the comic), and GONE is the nice guy trying to overcome his dark side. In the comic, in the church, he BEGS for forgiveness...in the movie, he actually BEGS for God to kill Peter Parker, which is just really crass and stupid.
- Gwen Stacy is a two-bit shell of a character. She's just there to look pretty, say a few lines, date Peter Parker, then VANISH after Parker hits MJ in the face (more on that in a second). I might add that her transition from Brock to Parker is SO unexplained, it's not even funny. Gwen just conveniently says, "you wanna date me too? Oh goodie!"??? I guess so. GONE is her death at the hands of either of the two Goblin characters, but oh well.
- Spider-Man's spider-sense has just gone missing completely. It doesn't appear AT ALL throughout the movie, hence the reason why he was able to get beat up by Harry so quick in the beginning and why he was destroyed by Venom and Sandman near the end. What happened? That's just careless...
- Mary Jane has been turned into a friggin' nag. Giving her the reason to be pissed for Spider-Man kissing Gwen, she's become an unforgiving, horrifyingly non-understanding shrew. She just whines and whines and whines...Kirsten Dunst just looks uninterested in playing the role and looks TERRIBLE in the movie, too. Tired and aged just a bit, she looks like she's had it with the franchise. I don't blame her.
- In perhaps the WORST cinema I've ever experienced, when Peter Parker's dark side comes out to play, it is soooo bad. The theater was laughing and not in a good way. The first thing he does after he goes all "black spider" is look at himself in the mirror...and then he puts his hair down over his eyes like he's a total bad-ass emo/goth kid. Also, there are now rings around his eyes that make him look even more "evil". He's not evil. In fact, Peter Parker just looks like a bigger dork than he already is. He looks less like some bad-ass evildoer...and more like he should be a roadie for Green Day. PUH-THETIC. This was a HUGE letdown. Instead of Parker using the suit to nearly KILL The Sandman (which Peter somehow thinks he does by drowning him in water the first time; even I wouldn't THINK he was dead after watching that) or some other common criminal, the evil suit makes him dance like an idiot down the street, pinch a woman's ass, do 70's disco pointers and roll his arms around and around like Travolta. All this after buying a black Armani suit (he can't afford an engagement ring OR rent and yet he has the cash to buy an expensive suit...ok) and then taking Gwen out to a club.
- Oh, the club scene...my stomach turns just thinking about it. Okay, so Parker takes Gwen out for a date and sees that MJ has a job as a "singing waitress" (yeah, that'll help her pay the rent of her BEAUTIFUL apartment in New York; and while I'm on the subject, why aren't she and Peter living together to save money in the city?) and proceeds to humiliate her by jumping up, playing the piano next to her, dancing around the bar like Jim Carrey in THE MASK and then kissing Gwen in front of her. All this before he backhands her in the face, causing him to go even more emo and ditch the black Spidey suit. All of it...because Raimi wanted to save face, dodge an "R-rating" by making Peter darker and more serious, and stick with a PG-13 rating to attract more kids, thus ensuring more cash flow at the box office.
- Speaking of which, you BARELY see Spider-Man in this movie. He has a screen-time of five minutes in this movie, it seems. The rest of the time, Peter fights WITHOUT the costume, or while wearing part of the black suit under his clothing without the mask on. And when he DOES finally put the mask on for the final battle, it's beaten off of him in two minutes after getting his ass handed to him by Sandman. Does Spider-Man's mask EVER stay on his body? I mean, in the comics, he goes through way worse than what I've seen and his costume is fully intact after that.
- In fact, Venom knows his identity as does Sandman. Considering Doc Ock, and both Goblins know it, too, as well as fifty other people in a train car in New York thanks to unmasking in front of everyone in the second movie, I would hate to be related to Parker in any way. It's amazing that Aunt May and MJ are still alive and not dead at the hands of some maniac who wants to make Parker's life a living hell.
- I am REALLY sick of the "damsel-in-distress" plotline used at the end of EVERY SINGLE MOVIE in this series. Mary Jane gets kidnapped by the Goblin, gets kidnapped by Doc Ock, gets kidnapped by Venom and Sandman and the ONLY reason she doesn't get kidnapped by Harry is because she does what Harry wants and dumps Peter to crush Peter's heart. Mary Jane is the most helpless woman on the planet which confuses me. In the comics, she's tough and able to defend herself against, even, the toughest of Spider-Man's foes. In this series, she's screamy and whiny and can't defend herself from the urge to eat a cookie.
- The whole symbiote storyline just is NOT explored well nor is the difference between Peter and Eddie executed well. They also NEEDED to address how the symbiote works, why it clings to somebody, how it can amplify the dark side of a human being, etc. Bringing the symbiote to your college science professor instead of somebody who can actually STUDY the thing professionally (AKA a scientist) also baffles me.
- Oh, Peter gets the suit off via that really loud churchbell trick. Of course, this really isn't explained as much as it was in the comic. How do you NOT explain the weakness? And WHY can't Peter put two and two together to figure out that high-decibel sound causes it to go nuts? The worst insult is when he discovers it during the climactic battle and has this "hey-wait-a-minute" moment where he suddenly remembers the bell working. If the thing nearly jumped off his skin in the church, wouldn't Peter REMEMBER that? I mean, that's TERRIBLE writing.
- Before I get to Venom, Peter is such a wuss. The real Spider-Man just kicked ass and was a smart-ass to cover for the angst inside of him. This one is a giant passive dork. He tries to reason with Sandman, Eddie, and Harry all at different points in the movie which is just laughable. It's even MORE laughable when they laugh in his face and reject it.
- VENOM. Oh god...VENOM. Venom is TERRIBLE. Where do I begin here? Okay. First, they got the design wrong. Venom is HUGE in the comic book. He looks like a linebacker on 'roids. In this, he's the same size as Spider-Man. On top of that, Venom is supposed to sound like the gates of hell is going off inside his head...but, when he opens his mouth and sounds like Carlton the Doorman, oh man, the fright factor just vanishes. Ugh. And the worst CGI I have ever seen: WHY does the symbiote keep peeling itself back to reveal Eddie Brock again? I laughed at that SO hard. Eddie's teeth cracked me up. Suddenly, inside his mouth, he's sprouted pirahna teeth. I didn't know the suit was able to give the wearer new sharp, jagged numerous teeth! That's new to me! On top of ALL of this, he doesn't even ACT like Venom! He refers to himself as "I" when it should be "we" and just figures out Spider-Man is Peter Parker...
- Another thing. He gets the symbiote from the church. Fine. But he hears somebody SCREAMING...and then looks up about fifty feet to see the bell ringing and a figure just thrashing around. Without ANY clue, Brock just says, "PARKER!" HOW DOES BROCK KNOW THAT'S PETER PARKER?!? It could be ANYBODY! Does Eddie have Spider-Sense? Is THAT why Peter no longer has it?
- Mary Jane being kidnapped was mentioned already but GOOD GOD...you would think she would be done with both Harry and Peter at this point and move FAR away. Between being choked, harrassed and threatened by Harry and beat by Peter, any other woman would be GONE...but NOT MJ! She just stays there like the glutton for punishment she is.
- Speaking of which, she gets bullied by Harry into dumping Peter to save Peter's life. MJ then dumps Peter in Central Park...which causes Peter to think that MJ loves him even more and whip out the engagement ring. Ugh. Was there a reason MJ didn't whisper to Peter about Harry watching them and tell Peter to take her away someplace so she could have a talk? Once again, logic takes a smoke-break.
- Harry and Peter fight for the last time. It ends with Harry taking a pumpkin bomb to the face and Peter walking away with his friend, presumably dead in the background.
- But he's not! Didn't see THAT coming, did ya'? In fact, Harry's face is just scarred on one side and he's blind in one eye. I think. It's never said. Funny...a grenade blowing up just inches from somebody's face would most likely kill them. A non-fatal blow would be defying huge odds but Harry survives that? Okay. Why not?
- And this...THIS is the worst part of the movie: Harry shoves Peter away totally as Peter begs Harry to help him help Mary Jane. No, I'm not kidding. SO out of character for Harry. Harry wouldn't put himself before MJ. He loves her too much...but he does.
- Even worse: Okay, get this: after that, Harry's butler REVEALS THAT HARRY'S DAD WAS KILLED BY HIS OWN GLIDER!!! This completely changes Harry's mind about things and I'm sitting there thinking, "Gee! Thanks! So, you're telling me that Peter was telling the truth the whole time and I just wrecked everything because you forgot to mention that in the first place?!?" That is really the biggest lapse of logic in the entire movie and just inexcusable. As a friend of mine put it:
"Listen, Harry, though I was never seen, nor refrenced in either previous film, I've been a very close person in your life. For the lame viewing audience, that will likely confuse me with Alfred, I'll now part this wisdom on you, that, in addition to my janitorial duties, I am a well trained forensic criminalogist, and moreover, that your father died of his own wounds. As I care so much about you, I've needlessly kept this secret from you, for years, watching the misconstrued assumption you made regarding your fathers death consume you and ruin your life with throughts of betrayal and revenge, as it tears you apart from your only remaining friends. And, while I could have told you all of this yesterday, I now know that having narrowly escaped a battle with Spiderman, and disfigured as you are, you'll take this newfound knowledge and redeem yourself, and then likely die."
- Harry showing up to help Peter after that is totally predictable. I mean, you see it coming even BEFORE Peter leaves Harry to sulk in his mansion after the impassioned and clichéd, "this-is-bigger-than-us" speech.
- Sandman crying as he confesses his transgressions is the most unintentionally funny scene since Spider-Man tells Doc Ock not to "listen to his tentacles anymore". SO humiliating.
- Here is the last four scenes of the movie in 30 seconds: I'm not kidding here. The scenes go like this. Big battle. Venom dies (at the hands of a pumpkin bomb that couldn't wipe out Harry but disintegrates Eddie and the symbiote...whatever). Sandman rematerializes after kicking Peter's ass three ways from Sunday and then actually MANAGES TO GET PETER TO LISTEN TO HIM ABOUT HIS BAD LUCK. Sandman cries as he confesses that he didn't mean to kill Peter's uncle. He floats away after crying. Harry dies. Peter, Mary, and Harry all cry as he dies. Funeral. Peter and Mary Jane cry. Fade out. Fade in. Mary Jane is at her job, being a "singing waitress" at a jazz club and Peter interrupts. He goes to hold her and dance with her. They both cry. The end.
Deep breath. Ok.
I really thought that Spider-Man wasn't capable of being shitty. I was wrong. I thought Sam Raimi was incapable of fucking up the series. I was wrong. This has turned into Spider-Man by Dr. Phil and Joel Schumacher.
What's next??? Spider-Man Beach: The Real NYC?!?
This movie was worse than X3 and JUST as bad as Batman & Robin in that it was big, loud, stupid, careless, not logical, and plainly silly with villains taken straight from Akiva Goldsman's typewriter. Venom and Sandman was like watching Poison Ivy and Mr. Freeze and/or Bane. Aunt May is barely in the movie at all.
This movie blows.
I wanted to slap this movie and Sam Raimi SO hard. PLEASE don't make anymore Spider-Man movies.
This was Batman & Robin, incarnate. The WORST movie I've seen this year, behind "300" and one of the worst comic book movies I have ever seen.
I cannot WAIT for the new Batman movie. At least that sounds like it's good. At least DC has been taking their time as of late and not hurrying out movies like diarreah. Even the new F4 movie is shit.
I don't need to see 183 Marvel movies in one year. It's annoying. Avi Arad has become the world's biggest whore, a man interested in making a fast buck by prostituting Marvel's best creations.
If you don't believe me, look at the list:
F4: Rise of the Silver Surfer
And the "please, please, PLEASE don't" category:
They're just interested in quantity over quality. Isn't it telling that, since 2000, Marvel has released 16 movies? I mean, WHAT is the rush here??? Slow down! Take your time! You can make GREAT movies if you didn't hurry!
But, they won't listen to me. Just throw your crap on-screen. Viewers will just eat it all up, no questions asked.
I know one thing for certain: if there's another Spider-Man movie, I'm not seeing it. I don't care WHO is in it or why. Raimi has completely built the Spider-Man franchise and he's also brought it down. Way to go, Sam.
Way to go.