Spider-Man 3 Reviews
Peter Parker (Maguire) has finally leaned to walk the middle ground between being the superhero that his city needs and the man that Mary Jane (Dunst) loves.
After a near perfect superhero film in "Spider-Man 2", Sam Raimi followed up with a less than adequate sequel, one filled with too many villains, too much emo Peter, an unlikable MJ, and a poorly written story. I really felt like there was some stuff that could've been really cool here. I think Venom would've been a terrifying villain had he been the prime villain. The Sandman had the most character depth, but that ultimately led to nothing. Harry Osborn would've been the clear cut choice to focus on but again, his route was pretty messy. I think it's safe to say they dropped the ball here, wasting a lot of potential in what they had.
If anything came from this, it's that I disliked our main protagonists even more. Peter Parker was really unlikable and over the top in this film. I don't think that's necessarily Toby Maguire's fault, rather it was the writing. MJ was extremely unlikable, as her character was bouncing around from guy to guy throughout the films, and continues that here. It really makes it difficult to care when the rest of the movie is lackluster, and the main characters are unlikable.
One thing that remains impressive is the visuals. With a big budget, this film still looks great. I guess that's one real positive you can take away from all of this, as the CGI is still well done. Spider-Man and all of his villains still look really well, but that's the only thing I can say about this.
In the end, this movie isn't the best. I mean, it can still be entertaining, and I wouldn't mind watching it every once in a while. It's more like a lot of wasted potential with some cringe worthy moments.
Update: rewatched after a few years and I finally realized why everyone hated it. Tobey just showed me again why I don't believe him as Spider-Man and the villlians were horrible. 2.5/5
Only a few films have tried balancing more than one villain, Spider-Man 3 being the classic example of how not to do it. Apparently, the studio forced Venom on Sam Raimi and hence making Harry & Sandman's arc far less effective when the final act is bogged down by a silly attempt at bringing Venom to the big screen. None of the three villains are all that great, but there's at least some emotional undercurrent with both Sandman and Harry. Venom is, more or less, just a third act reveal that is meant to please fans. Only, it did the exact opposite.
Another thing that definitely didn't win over fans was the fact that this film made Peter Parker an absolute jerk. It's one thing to have the symbiote change Peter, but it's another thing to have him physically abuse Mary Jane, and nearly kill his best friend Harry multiple times. This was far from the Peter Parker we came to love in the first two films.
Another headache was the direction they took Harry Osborn. Having him get "hit in the head" and lose his memory for half the film was one of the stupidest and laziest decisions I can remember from a comic-book film. I don't mind having Harry go the villainous route, but the memory loss was all a bit of a headache.
There is good, however. Raimi, as he proved in the first two, is great at shooting high-scale action. The CGI is definitely dated when looking back on it after 10 years, but the action is as visceral as anything in any Spider-Man film to date. Yes, that includes 'Homecoming'. If only the dialogue surrounding the action could match the brutality. I also think Thomas Haden-Church's performance as Sandman is nothing to scoff at, reminding me of the character depth that made Doc Ock so memorable. At the end of the day, Raimi was trying to give us a Spider-Man film that dealt with bigger and more important personal issues, whether that worked for you or not is entirely up to the viewer.
I think if Raimi had the tools that filmmakers have now (improved CGI) and perhaps a little less studio interference, then Spider-Man 3 could be a much better end to the trilogy than it ended up being. There's plenty I can't forgive about this film, especially the infamous 'dancing in the street' sequence, but I don't think it's anywhere near as bad as people make it out to be.
+Deals with real issues
-But is sometimes careless in its execution
-3 villains proved to be way too much
-Memory loss for Harry
Also, that was not Venom. I refuse to believe it.
- Good Technical Aspects (VFX, Sound Design, Cinematography, etc.)
- Thomas Haden Church as The Sandman
- Mary Jane is a more three-dimensional character
- Too many plot holes and contrivances
- Peter in the black suit was not executed very well
- Topher Grace as Venom
- Too Many Unnecessary Storylines and Characters
- Underwhelming compared to the first 2 movies in terms of action
- Too Many Ridiculous/Stupid moments to count that they end up being distracting
- Terrible Pacing
- Annoying Love Triangles
Overall: D (2/10)