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Written by Funn Lim
 

"This movie is just too hectic, too many villains, too little coherent storyline to top movie 2 and become a worthy end to the Spiderman franchise, if indeed there won't be a Spiderman 4. What a pity!"

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SPOILERS ... SPOILERS ... SPOILERS
Released In
2007

Cast-Character
Tobey Maguire - Spider-Man / Peter Parker
Kirsten Dunst - Mary Jane Watson
James Franco - New Goblin / Harry Osborn
Thomas Haden Church - Sandman / Flint Marko
Topher Grace - Venom / Edward 'Eddie' Brock
Bryce Dallas Howard - Gwen Stacy
Rosemary Harris - May Parker
J.K. Simmons - J. Jonah Jameson
James Cromwell - Captain Stacy
Theresa Russell - Emma Marko
Dylan Baker - Dr. Curt Connors
Bill Nunn - Joseph 'Robbie' Robertson

Plot Summary
Taken from IMDB.com

Peter Parker has finally managed to piece together the once-broken parts of his life, maintaining a balance between his relationship with Mary-Jane and his responsibility as Spider-Man. But more challenges arise for our young hero. Peter's old friend Harry Obsourne has set out for revenge against Peter; taking up the mantle of his late father's persona as The New Goblin, and Peter must also capture Uncle Ben's real killer, Flint Marko, who has been transformed into his toughest foe yet, the Sandman. All hope seems lost when suddenly Peter's suit turns jet-black and greatly amplifies his powers. But it also begins to greatly amplify the much darker qualities of Peter's personality that he begins to lose himself to. Peter has to reach deep inside himself to free the compassionate hero he used to be if he is to ever conquer the darkness within and face not only his greatest enemies, but also...himself.

Comments
I have watched Spiderman 1, 2 and now 3 and I will say outright; no. 2 is the best in the series and no. 3 the worst. There are reasons why no. 2 is the best, which are exactly the opposite of why no. 3 os the worst. So let's highlight why no. 3 is the worst although most papers would have you believe it is the best.

Too many villains, too many heroes, too many people with unnatural / supernatural / technological power
Exactly as my title suggests. In this movie, we have technically 2 heroes and 4 villains, where 2 people are interchangeable as villain and hero. Very strange and definitely overcrowded.

For one, Harry Osborne was a villain for the fact that he wanted our favourite superhero, Spiderman to die. Then he lost his memory, which I actually thought was an act by Harry aka Green Goblin but it turned out to be actually real memory loss and he became the nice guy, then he got back his memory and turned bad guy and then his conscience came back to haunt him and with some explanation by his faithful butler, he was good guy again. At this moment with the butler doing the explanation, I was thinking maybe Batman will pop into the movie for a quick guest appearance to bring up the tally of good guys as against the bad guys.

Then we have Flint Marko aka Sandman who may actually be a good guy because he wanted to steal money to save his dying daughter who then Spiderman found out to be the bad guy as he was suspected of killing his wise old Uncle Ben in movie no. 1 but Sandman said it wasn't like that so I thought maybe he didn't but he actually did for some lame excuse like a misfiring gun so that kinda made me thought he was a good guy but before that he teamed up with Venom to create havoc and to kill Spiderman, the one guy everybody with some unnatural/supernatural power wanted dead so I thought Sandman was a bad guy and in the end he turned out to be a desperate guy who then became a sand and kinda flew away. I am still wondering did he die? Did he suddenly evaporate? Can sand ever die or evaporate? If he were to find a wife, will he make sand babies?

There was then Edward 'Eddie' Brock who was this jerk of a reporter who was trying to steal Peter Parker's thunder and then he became Venom, whose name was never actually revealed in the movie as Venom with a suprisingly big sharp teeth and a big mouth with a rather cool black almost spidey-like outfit who seemed bad but not quite, good but not quite, redeemed but not quite, in the end dead and definitely no not quites in that department.

We have Spidey himself who for a moment became rather egoistical, angry and temperamental when that dark like subtance which never had a name except for some scientific sounding name like Symbiote whatever which bonded with Spidey's outfit making it a cool black colour. Spidey intelligently ripped that thing away from his suit or rather ripper his own suit away from his body in what may be the best scene in the movie.

Even the symbiote whatever itself has a character, and this movie suddenly took an alien-like turn with a meteorite falling to earth and this thing following Spidey home.

In the final confrontation we have 4, sorry 5 (including the symbiote now bonded with Eddie to become Venom) fighting with one another. Too many characters and suddenly with all these weird characters that were a big departure from the past 2 movies (where the villains were first and foremost humans who became too reliant on technology and became a tech baddie of some sort) who all suddenly became a Superman or Fantastic Four movie. It just became a kiddie film and I was expecting Bionic Woman to turn up for some gender equality during the fight scenes.

Impossible Villains, Impossible to die
Impossible as in they will never die. Well amongst all the characters with some powers in this movie, the Green Goblin is the Batman of the lot; human but became superhero by way of techonology which means amongst the 4 (Sandman, Venom, Spidey and the Green Goblin), Green Goblin is the most vulnerable as he was flesh and blood. And indeed, dear Harry will suffer the most in terms of physical. I mean he got himself scarred on his handsome face for heaven's sake whilst Spidey, pounded on the chest by a big sand-like hand didn't even get a scratch on his chest. That's not fair.

Anyway, Venom could be killed as seen in this movie by a bomb. But it did take a bomb. Sandman is probably the immortal in this movie, apart from Spidey (have you seen a spider die after being thrown off a 100 storey building?). Sandman can't die, won't die and did not die. Not even turning into mud after being thrown water on his sand-like body could kill him. In fact nothing did kill him and the final scene of his flying away with the wind was well ... a scene befitting an immortal. I expect he will take up residence in some high mountain somewhere and learn the way of the Tao and become a deity.

And Spiderman himself; why is everyone so scared he will die I wonder? He will never die. Being flung the way he was, bombed the way he was, pounded on the way he was, he still didn't die. Maybe drowning him will kill him but that was never explored in all 3 movies and since there is no movie no. 4, we will never know.

The Decoration
As in this movie? Well not the buildings or ke-le-fes but rather the women. Gwen Stacey's job is to flirt with both Spidey and Peter, not really telling us whether she fancies Peter or Spidey and then to look terribly sorry for being flaunted around by the evil Peter in front of MJ.

MJ, and that is not Michael Jackson but Mary Jane's job is to feel disappointed, unsatisfied, jealous, angry, scared, terribly understanding at times and most of all, scream. In fact MJ has been in peril in all 3 movies, each time she was flung from somewhere high which requires Spidey to make some life altering choices when attempting to save her and finally saved her and gently flung her to safety with her looking bewildered and yet very turned on by Spidey's bravery and heroism and knowing that Spidey, after Movie 2 is Peter makes it more interesting I suppose. Anyway she screamed and screamed and screamed and still looking a little flustered but never quite in tears. I mean when I do get flung out of the taxi like that with sand-like person flying everywhere, excuse me, I will cry. Tears of fear down my cheek as I scream to safety. You know what I mean?

Aunt May, probably the only character with something useful to do and yet in this movie, she is just a walk on role and the one assuming Uncle Ben's position of giving some timely advice to Spidey and then nothing more. Why can't we see Aunt May being flung out of the taxi instead of MJ? And in midway she has a heart attack and so Spidey now has to decide whether to

a. save the falling MJ

b. fight sandman and venom, both terrorising ... they were terrorising Spidey only, not really the city itself, so I suppose fight these two who were threatening MJ and terrorising him

c. take Aunt May to the hospital in a matter of minutes before she expires

d. Sandman and Venom actually out to kill the people of New York or hold them at ransom for something, so Spidey has to save New York as well

e. do all at once and save the day.

Hard choices but more exciting.

Is NY in peril, again?
In all 3 movies, the villains seem to have very personal agendas against Spidey and for some reasons other than killing the good folks in the much terrorized in film, New York. It's true. Green Goblin wanted Spidey dead, so he did what he did. Octavious in movie 2 wanted to kill spidey and to continue his study on some energy field so he did what he did. In movie 3, Sandman, Venom and earlier Green Goblin all wanted Spiderman dead. None of these villains directly wanted to cause serious damage or harm to New York so well, it's kinda repetetive. and small scale.

Best friends fighting one another, how unoriginal
This has been brewing for 2 movies, Harry vs Peter ever since we saw Harry rather jealous when Peter got MJ and really murderous when he thought Spidey aka Peter killed his father. So finally we got to see these two fight it out in movie 3 and it felt like 2 kids fighting one another, like some high school feud. And it was so long since it took 2 fights. The only good part was an angry evil Peter telling a very stubborn Harry that he was tired of trying to explain to Harry what actually happened and that daddy never really loved Harry. Well ouch, so childlike banter if you ask me, that part where daddy never really loved poor Harry. I mean Peter is that the best insult you can thrown at that stubborn Harry? I am sure you can do better.

Returning characters
In the opening title sequence we have flashbacks of the previous 2 movies. Probably the best scene in here. And then we have Uncle Ben making some appearances for his death scene and then we have the usual Norman Osborne back to cause havoc in Harry's very vulnerable mental state. If I may add, once too many times.

The entire storyline
... is the problem. It's too fast, too hectic, too confusing and would you believe it, too long despite the fact that 2 hours isn't really long in movie world. This movie made Return Of The King seem normal length and I suspect, it is because it is just boring. And they had to kill someone and I thought wouldn't it be nice if MJ dies? That would be shocking but they killed...well watch the movie and you will know. The death seem seems corny at best.

The entire movies feels old, tired, rehashed, long, at times confusing, mostly repetetive and always quite didn't make me feel for Spidey. I love movie 1 where Spidey was really nerdy who became a superhero. Then in movie 2 he was really poor for a superhero but he did great things, with some scenes moving me to tears. But movie 3, sure he was a villain and there were 2 rather long scenes of Peter doing some disco dancing on the streets and on the floor looking like the manic Green Day lead singer but these scenes just feel like a joke. It wasn't even funny, it was rather disturbing because Spidey thinks he is sexy when he is making a fool of himself. Or maybe that is the main point of these scenes. Even angry Peter didn't seem to menacing at all, acting just like an angry high school kid when his girlfriend ignores him. This movie just fails on so many level because for once, I feel nothing for the villains, not even poor Harry.

SPOILERS
And talking about Harry, I was watching the commercial of Spiderman 3 on TV and I just made this remark "Poor Harry, died" and my sister suddenly screamed "WHAT?! POTTER DIED?!". Which proves my point. His death made no impact at all, except to cause some anxiety in some Potter fans who when heard Harry, immediately assumed Potter to be the last name.

Performances
Tobey Maguire as usual is excellent as Peter Parker and has a great body for Spiderman. His best scenes are those where he cried, big tears sliding down his baby faced cheeks, ala Elijah Wood in Lord Of The Rings. In fact these two should hold a contest as to who can cry the most beautifully since the way they cry is like silent tears, not quite manly but not quite boyish, both with beautiful features and skin. Anyway seriously he was good even as bad Peter.

Kirsten Dunst. Ok lar, she was never famous for her acting prowess and she was adequate as MJ in all 3 movies although she now seems older than Peter Parker himself. Maybe not having a career is stressful? Her MJ is now like Peter in movie 2, broke, down and out. Kirsten had to expand her lungs more in here as she had more screen time to scream but she also has some time to flesh out a bit of acting in terms of acting angry, jealous, confused, used, betrayed, insulted, etc which basically were the same expressions consisting mainly of how teary the eyes are, not opened her mouth is and how big or small her eyes become. Seriously, ok performance.

Bryce Dallas Howard. Simply unrecognisable. I can't believe she was the same girl in The Village and Lady In The Water. In fact looking at her I felt if she had made her movie debut earlier, she could have been MJ. Anyway acting wise no comments because she hardly had anything to do except to kiss Spidey, look hurt and nothing else. So basically wasted kinda casting. Anybody could have performed this role. In fact to save money why didn't the producers just put a wig on Kirsten and let her do dual roles?

James Franco. As Harry in movie 1 and 2, he had little to do except to be James Dean; moody, angry, unhappy except for the rebellious part. In movie 3, he is still all that, except he got to do it on the Green Goblin flying machine. His earlier scenes where he lost his memory were scary; I thought he was putting on an act. He didn't seem genuine and when this actor really smiled, it felt sinister and forced. I didn't believe him. And his last scene was ... well it was corny, it was funny, it was not at all touching or sad or anything at all. Just that because before he appeared in that scene I thought he was dead with that bomb going off near him but he didn't die. The only time I felt "Poor thing" was when I saw his scarred face on that formerly beautiful handsome face. Poor thing. Acting wise, average at best, even in movies 1 and 2.

Willem Dafoe. He can continue to make guest appearances in this movie because even if one scene and one line, he was better than the rest of them, save for Tobey Maguire.

Topher Grace. Nice name, could hardly believe he's that sweet kid from That 70s Show. In here he was malicious, ambitious, evil, angry. Good performance but hardly anything much to do except to be angry and snarl a bit at poor Peter.

Thomas Haden Church. Totally wasted. All those hoopla about his role and mostly it was computer generated, all those body building and I didn't see past his waist and all those hoopla about his performance and voice, all I could see was one stony face after another stony face. Bad performance? Maybe not but definitely overrated and blank most of the time. He made Tobey Maguire feels like a person with so much feelings he could burst. I can't see the point to this character and the so called forgiveness issue, well overblown since Spidey took only 10 seconds to decide to forgive Sandman. Not much conflict when there should be more, emotionally.

Verdict
So my verdict? The trailer was good, in fact better than the final product. The whole black Spidey costume was so interesting in the trailer because the danger felt imminent since evil Spidey would mean the world may be at peril but in the movie it was kinda childish, that it was all good for showing off and showing a bit of anger but nothing else. Even Venom isn't so bad considering he directed all his anger at killing Spiderman. The whole vengeance thing seems so limited, so personal and yet does not engage, involve nor provoke the viewers. Well watch it just to complete the whole sage thing but this movie by itself is tiring and long and when watched with movies 1 and 2, I shall add boring to the list. Give me Spiderman 2 anytime. This movie is just too hectic, too many villains, too little coherent storyline to top movie 2 and become a worthy end to the Spiderman franchise, if indeed there won't be a Spiderman 4. What a pity!

Interesting Fact
Is it me or that the Spiderman series is probably the cleanest movie ever? Cleanest as in no foul language of any kind? Definitely no *F word, can't remember hearing any *S or *D word, not even the *H word (except maybe as a verb) or the * B word (if you're British) and hey, no *S word or scenes as well. CLEAN!!

Did you see Peter Parker actually eating in this movie? He hardly even sleeps except for one short moment when he was waiting for news of Flint Marko on the police radio. I didn't even see Harry eating. Not even MJ. Nobody eats in this movie except for Marko who almost did. How strange.

Likewise nobody showers in this movie. Thanks to his Sandlike body, poor Marko Flint will never get to shower anymore. The upside is of course saving money on the water bill. Can he drink?



* F = F**K, S = SHIT, D = DAMN, H = HELL, S = SHIT, B = BLOODY

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