Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire)dons the
mask once again. This time he is up against Harry Osborn (James
Franco), Sandman (Thomas Hayden Church) and Venom (Topher Grace). At
the same time, he gets a nifty new suit that amplifies his aggression
along with his powers. AND, he is having girl trouble, not only with
Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst), but with newcomer Gwen Stacy (Bryce Dallas
Howard). Spidey sure has his plate full this time around.
If this review seems a little jumbled,
it's because I am such a fan of the Spider-Man movies and comic book
movies in general, that it is hard to write an unbiased opinion. So
consider this a disclaimer. The views and opinions contained in the
following review are the sole opinions of a big Spider-Man fan and an
almost rabid fan of any and all comic book movies.
Have you noticed that it seems that the
first and third instalment of a trilogy almost always gets a bum
rap? Unless it's Lord of the Rings, which doesn't count as they were
all shot at the same time. Anyways, Star Wars – Who doesn't agree
that Empire is the best of the lot? X-Men – X2 whooped X1's butt
but The Last stand fizzled to put it nicely. Superman – Kneel
before Zod! Get the picture? So with a grain of salt, here we go.
Spider-Man 3's shortcomings fall mostly
in the minor issues category. It's biggest problem is that there is
just way too much going on for even a two and a half hour movie.
While Mr. Raimi does an admirable job, I think that it should have
been split up into a third and fourth movie. Where the film succeeds
is everywhere else. The story has at least one twist that I sure
didn't see coming and the way Venom was handled exceeded my
expectations after hearing all the hoopla and rumors on the internet.
I am a Venom fan from way back and was actually scared upon hearing
about the casting of Topher Grace. But my worries were unfounded,
Venom was handled as well as can be expected with the short screen
time. Raimi could have just used him as shock value but instead even
Brock has a story that can cause you to sympathize with him, even if
it is only a little. Sandman also gets what is supposed to be a
heartbreaking story but it is hard to feel sorry for him when again,
there isn't much screen time.
Do we really need to go into detail
about returning cast members? Ok, but quickly. Maguire rocks, with
everything that is happening to him you can truly see why the black
suit is so enticing. If it wasn't for the teachings of Uncle Ben and
Aunt May, we wouldn't have needed Eddie Brock Jr. Peter would have
turned to the dark side on his own. Kirsten Dunst, while I admire
her, there is something about her that doesn't seem right for Mary
Jane. But, after three films I guess I am getting used to her. All
the faves return, J.Jonah Jameson, Robbie, Betty, Ursula, Hoffman,
like I said everybody. James Franco gets to show that he is more than
just a background character, bringing Harry Osborn to a new level..
Rounding out the cast is newcomers to the saga, Thomas Hayden Church
and Topher Grace. Both of which are slightly underused due to the
overstuffed plot, but work well with the amount of screen time given.
Sam Raimi has done an excellent job
balancing all of the elements that make up Spider-Man 3 while still
providing room for each characters inner turmoil to come through.
Just remember Sam, with a great budget,
comes great responsibility.