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Posted on 8/19/08 01:31 AM
One of the most anticipated movies of summer 2007 Spider-Man 3 ended as possibly the biggest letdown. The spirit that had driven the first two films seems to fizzle in a film that just doesn?t have a story to work with its substantial budget.
The original Spider-Man was a great popcorn film, providing a good live-action adaptation of the character?s development while Spider-Man 2 was one of the best superhero features ever put on film. So why does a sequel involving the same cast and director fail? I personally believe it was art. Director Sam Raimi seems so caught up in dazzling the audience with visual spectacles that he loses the heart of the previous films. The special effects drive this film which is never a good thing. Human elements are lost, and thus the film fails. Sorry to say Tobey Maguire?s portrayal of Peter Parker and Spider-Man is amusing, but it isn?t in the same league as Johnny Depp?s Jack Sparrow who?ll pull in the crowds. The acting in these films has been good, but no character has ever stood out to the point of wanting to see the movie for the character alone. J. Jonah Jameson is probably the most enjoyable character of all three films, but of course no one wants to see a movie based on him.
Part of the no plot problem is the villain overdose this film suffers from. How they went from Green Goblin in the first one, Doctor Octopus in the second (my favorite of the web-slinger?s villains) to the third with New Goblin, Sandman and Venom. That?s THREE villains, Sandman and Venom not getting enough character development for the villain to care about them as characters, and you only know New Goblin because, you guessed it, Harry Osborn?s been in the last two films, prepping for his turn to crime?which also comes across as very forced in this movie. Not to try and spoil the film, but to save viewer groans he has a period where he hits his head and forgets Peter?s Spider-Man, but of course remembers later on. The fact that they used that cliché is something I can?t understand.
Moving on to Venom and Sandman, we get a mixed issue. Neither of these characters gets the screen time required to have the viewer care for them, especially Sandman. Another problem I have is after they went through all the trouble of bringing realism to Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus, Sandman still looks and dresses exactly as he does in the 60s comic books, but not to discredit him entirely some of the Sandman effects in the film provide great entertainment. Then we have Venom, who I actually liked the design of, but even if Eddie was fleshed out he must only be Venom for the last fifteen minutes of this movie, and knowing how many fans the character has this will come as a major disappointment to say the least.
Going back to visuals and specials effects; this film suffers from some of the same problems the original Spider-Man film did, and that?s at times the special effects seem to deny reality in many ways. Characters seem to fly through the air as if they are weightless, and some things just defy physics and logic, no matter how cool it looks on screen. Spider-Man 2 didn?t suffer from this, Doctor Octopus and Spidey seemed to have weight to them when they fought on building tops and fought across The Big Apple. Sandman turning into a sandstorm and flying around (probably against the wind too) doesn?t seem to cut it as real.
Overall Spider-Man 3 is a great display of visuals, but not that great of a movie. Lots of it looks like they had a concept artist sketch some cool images out which Raimi just randomly slapped in their (such as Spider-Man crouching in front of an American flag). Could?ve worked as a poster collection, or comic book, just not as one of the most highly anticipated movies of the year.
Spider-Man 3, I give it a solid 3/5 Stars