Hey folks, Valkor here. So AP3X and I went out to see Spider-Man 3 at a midnight showing here in NJ and soon after I wanted to jump right in with a review and bash the shit out of the film. But... maybe I was jumping the gun and maybe I just needed to mull it over in my head a little. So, I had time to stew on this a bit, to sit back, relax, calm the old nerves and really think this one through because frankly I don't see how things went so bad. And in the end after all that thinking and after all that stewing, I can only come to one conclusion:
I hated Spider-Man 3!!
Ok, maybe hate is too harsh of a word because, don't get me wrong, there were parts that worked, like the beginning. The 3rd film begins how the 2nd one ended, with Harry and Peter at odds. Peter is at Mary Jane's show checking her out and Harry is there checking him out (not in that gayish way as that doesn't happen until the end, read on). Harry then dons the new Goblin outfit and he and Peter have a knockdown, drag-out fight in the sky. DUDE!! You can feel every crunch, every blow, Harry is hell bent to kill Peter for what he thinks he did to his dad and it kicks ass! I loved this scene!! But once that's over we get an intro to Sandman (who was responsible for the death of Uncle Ben, but his reason for doing it were well... this brings us closer to that gay stuff I was talking about before. The scene where he rises up from the sand and begins to form as a man again is GENIUS!! It is the most beautiful scene in the entire movie! We get an intro to Gwen Stacy (more on her later), Harry's lost his memory but only temporarily, and Eddie Brock is introduced. Plus we get a darker Peter Parker and Black suit spidey formed from the Symbiote that came from outer space. The first hour and change of the movie - spot on perfect and everything flowed nicely.
The acting was also a step up from the first two films; sure everyone brought their A-game to this one - Tobey Mcguire kicks ass, and he really fits into the role of Spider-Man perfectly. Kristen Dunst, what can I say, I thought she was wonderful too. Topher Grace, you are my idol and as Eddie Brock, he fits seamlessly into the story and doesn't miss a beat with the rest of the cast. Bryce Dallas Howard as Gwen Stacy, well she didn't have much to do but scream and smile, so hey nice job too. Thomas Haden church, I wish there was more screen time for him. He rocked as the Sandman, sadly my gay comments will flow more towards him, but the character, not the actor. Lastly, there is J.K. Simmons. I felt the first film didn't capture the character of J. Jonah Jameson as much, but the second film was SPOT ON, and the third? The flow continues from the second to this one and Jonah is my favorite spidey character; he was so underused in this 3rd outing! But when he's on screen, DAMN HE'S GOOD! And so funny it hurts my sack!
So, let's dig into the why, why, WHY I hate this film. And why I'll be adding this to the pile of films that I hate because they seemed so good but ended up so badly. That pile includes King Kong (Peter Jackson's Icecapades version) and Superman Returns (Supes defeats... a giant rock of Kryptonite?) First and foremost: The Black suit. You've gotta be kidding right? Could it be any more convenient that Peter and Mary are checking out shooting stars and one just "happens" to land near them and it just "happens" to land right near Peter? Oh hell no!! I argued with AP3X on the way home about this and I reiterate, it was done smarter in the cartoon because I know we can't go into the Secret Wars backstory. But the SMARTEST thing to do would have been to have Jonah's son unknowingly bring it back from space.
My second Gripe: Gwen Stacy. No point what so ever was there a need to introduce her into this continuity. Gwen was Peter's first love and if they were gonna introduce her, it should have been in the first film, then have her die, then have Peter fall in love with Mary Jane. If Sam Raimi was smart, he'd go back in the film and alter it so that she is recognized for the character she is supposed to be and that's Felicia Hardy - the Black Cat. Everything about the character SCREAMS Felicia Hardy; from the building rescue to the kiss with Spidey, (Remember in the comics, Felicia only likes Peter as Spidey), to the fact that she's the police chief's daughter! What a great Felicia Hardy origin story. Hell Bryce has the perfect look too! But oh well...
Third: Venom. What the hell happened here? I know Sam Raimi didn't like the Venom character all that much and he has admitted that much, but to think he'd drop the ball on what could've been a great 4th movie, instead rushing the character in this film, well it boggles the mind. And it's like he did no real research on the character to boot. So, Brock meshing with the suit? NICE. After that, it's like "what the hell"? We know that Brock hates Peter, we get it. But what we don't get is that the suit hates Spidey as well! Had Raimi used the Doc Ock method, where Brock speaks with the suit, mentally or whatever, the rest of the film would have had a stronger impact - we'd kind of get a better understanding just how much both he and the suit hate the same person. Venom also doesn't speak in the "We" form, you know "we hate Spidey, we wish he were dead, we wish Raimi could have done more research on OUR character" you know, like that. My last gripe about Venom is the scene where he and The Sandman first meet. And I never saw a scene so rushed in my life that I literally yelled out "Oh my god that sucked beyond sucked". Raimi, you couldn't take FIVE FUCKING MINUTES to have Sandman and Venom duke it out? So, Sandman thinks Venom is Spidey because he looks like Spidey and he's wearing the same black suit that Spidey kick my ass in when we fought in that subway, so it's gotta be him. Instead, Sandman hits him one time and then they team up. FUCK!!!
And then things go crashing from there on.
So now Venom and Sandman team up, Venom kidnaps Mary Jane (what again??? She gets kidnapped more than Optimus Prime dies) and now Spidey goes to see Harry for help. Only thing is, as Black Spidey, he literally kicked the living shit out of Harry (and what a fight that was). But then Alfred steps in... oh wait, it wasn't Alfred because that's a whole other comic, but damn it you'd swear it was him, so I'm calling him Alfred. So, Alfred steps in and he starts talking about how Norman killed himself and that he knew it the whole time when he cleaned daddy Osborne's wounds, and stuff about why we fall, I don't know I was getting pissed off at that point. And just when Spidey was getting the living shit kicked out him, Harry steps in and they team up. Ok, I'll admit, this scene was good because Venom and Sandman are getting pwned! They save Mary Jane, Spidey Confronts Venom, realizes how to defeat him and does it in such a way that it's genius... and then... the gayness starts.
Spidey confronts Marko and they have a little talk... with tears. Cain admits he did some stuff, Peter admits he did some stuff, they start talking about their feelings, and then they hug it out. Not in the guy hug, one arm, with a pat on the back kind of way. I'm talking the full on, double clutch, crotch rubbing together kind of hug. Ok, that didn't happen but I swear to my Snapple god that it felt as if at any moment they were gonna start hugging. And that just killed it for me, the straw that broke Valkor's back because Sandman was a villain, he will always be a villain, he will never be a misunderstood criminal, just trying to get by to help his sick daughter. I don't wanna feel bad for him, I want Spidey to kick his sandy ass!!! But instead he blows away... ARGH!!!!!
I can't stand it!! I can't fucking stand it! I had such high hopes for this film, so how could it go so wrong? It boggles the mind! Tell me there's a director's cut? Tell me it was just a bad dream and that I didn't waste my time pining for this film only to be shot down in the end? It had the budget, it had the actors, why was the story so limp? GOD DAMNIT!!! Sorry folks, but I give Spidey 3 a big stinking number 2! And that's being generous. May I never have to cross paths with this film again, not on DVD, not on cable, not even on a bootleg download, unless there is a newer, better version than the theatrical.