Comics Movie Reviews
Spider-Man 3 Second Movie Review
By Mitch Emerson
May 10, 2007 - 11:08

Studios: Columbia Pictures
Writer(s): Sam Raimi, Ivan Raimi, Alvin Sargent
Starring: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, Thomas Haden Church, Topher Grace, James Franco
Directed by: Sam Raimi
Produced by: Stan Lee, Joseph M. Caracciolo Jr, Kevin Feige
Running Time: 2 hour, 20 minutes
Release Date: May 4th, 2007
Rating: PG13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
Distributors: Sony Pictures Releasing

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.
Keep reading,
Mitch E

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