Monday, May 14, 2007

Spider-Man 3

Warning: Spoilers abound.

Sheryl and I got to go out and see the first big summer movie this year, Spider-Man 3. I've always been a big fan of Spidey. Even with my irrational fear of creature with more than 4 legs and especially spiders, Spider-Man has always been my favorite superhero. Normal (and nerdy) kid just happens to get bit by a radioactive spider and gains great powers (and great responsibility). Of course, if I had been him, I'd have been glad to not have silk coming out of where it comes out of spiders (in the comic books, Peter Parker invents mechanical webslingers, instead of having it "naturally" coming out of his wrists).

The first Spider-Man and 2 were very good movies. Along with Batman Begins, Spider-Man is one of the greatest origin movies for superheroes ever. It captured the strength and joy that came out of that. 2 was also a very good continuation and while focusing more on Peter and Mary Jane, the conflict of Doctor Octopus was well handled.

3 disappointed me some...

On its face, 3 has a lot going for it. For one, it's got the black suit. An alien symbiote arrives on earth and decides to attach itself to Peter, giving him incredible powers and a black suit which looks pretty cool. We have the continuing development of the Peter/MJ relationship with its necessary conundrums. We have the revenge factor of Harry Osborn (Peter's former best friend) trying to get revenge on him ostensibly for murdering his father. And parts of it work well. Some of the fight scenes are really good. Even some of the Peter/MJ relationship issues work well. I remember during one of their conversations, thinking that they really captured the Women from Venus Men from Mars moments that men and women have, where I perfectly understood where Peter was coming from and not having a clue how MJ got to the point she did (no, not "the Kiss;" I understood that one perfectly). I even liked how the Eddie Brock character was portrayed, especially leading up to his changeover. I thought Venom was a great villain, and the mistake made there, was killing him way, way too quickly. Sandman should have been killed and Venom to come back for another movie.

Speaking of Sandman, he was the part that didn't work for me in the slightest. I understand the storyline need to build up the revenge factor in Peter. It allowed the symbiote to gain control over him (which also gave us the awful, Peter in black and with the Peter Petrelli bangs). However, I found the whole character completely unnecessary. The movie didn't need another misunderstood villain who was doing the wrong thing for the right reason, and just happened to get caught up in a science experiment that changed him into a giant Sandman. And it particularly didn't need him disrupting established continuity by making him Uncle Ben's killer. Peter's need for revenge (btw, in that conversation with Aunt May, I really wanted her to say, "You're not Batman") could have been fulfilled in some other way, and that way we could get the New Goblin and Venom without the time devoted to the Sandman, cutting probably about 20 minutes out of the movie.

The other thing that really bothered me about the movie was that in some ways, it seemed like it was becoming a parody of itself. The Stan Lee cameo seemed almost obligatory and even the Spidey in front of the American flag just seemed like they did it because it was expected. It's moments like that which take me completely out of the movie. Self referential is not bad. I liked Peter's line about wondering where all these super villains came from, but too much of it, and it just seems like they're getting too "winky."

So, I enjoyed it, but it wasn't nearly the movie that the first two were, which is unfortunate, but it does save me from wanting to see it in the theater again.


Rob Cox said...

Did Venom really die? When the steel rod circle was shown he was gone. It's been a week, but if I remember correctly there was a flash of light and both the symbiote and Eddie Brock were gone. I think if they really want to bring him back they will. Venom had the biggest "cool factor" in my book.

I agree about the Sandman. There was too much crammed into this movie. They also spent too much time (seemed like 15 minutes) making Peter Parker seem like a nerd.

I really enjoyed the movie though, particularly the last 30 minutes.

Clarissa said...

You two sure are sensitive about the whole nerd thing.

Template Designed by Douglas Bowman - Updated to Beta by: Blogger Team
Modified for 3-Column Layout by Hoctro