Life finally feels good for Peter Parker. He has managed to balance life as both Spider-Man and as Mary Jane's boyfriend. He is even planning on proposing to MJ. But life isn't always going to be easy for the webbed hero. Harry Osborn still hasn't forgiven Peter for the death of his father. He has developed the perfect technology and crowns himself the 'New Goblin'. Harry isn't the only problem. It is revealed that an escaped convict, Flint Marko is the real killer of Peter's uncle. After an accident, he is now the invincible 'Sandman', who has teamed up with Venom to target the superhero, who is struggling to handle his life.
Directed by: Sam Raimi
. Starring: Tobey Maguire
, Kirsten Dunst
, James Franco
, Thomas Haden Church
, Topher Grace
, Bryce Dallas Howard
, Rosemary Harris
, J.K. Simmons
, James Cromwell
, Theresa Russell
, Dylan Baker
, Bill Nunn
, Bruce Campbell
. Music by: Christopher Young
A current Hollywood trend is to scream the likes of trilogy, trilogy, trilogy... if only it were that simple. As these series bank on their final act, one would expect the finale to always be of the best quality. But both past and present attempts have proved that this is not always the case.
Spider-man 3 slings off soon after the events of it's prequel: Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) is ready to propose to Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst), and New York is buzzing from Spider-man fever. Yet everything turns haywire as various problems begin to arise. J. Jameson (J.K. Simmons) is playing with the idea of giving Peter's position at the Daily Bugle to Eddie Brock (Topher Grace); Mary Jane feels that Peter and herself are on different wave lengths; Harry Osborn (James Franco) has decided to avenge his father's death; the murderer of Peter's uncle is revealed to be Mark Flinto (Thomas Haden Church); and Peter undergoes a personal struggle of revenge.
Spider-man 3, while not convoluted by any means, contains a variety of complexity in regards to its overall storyline, which is the first of many mistakes that inhibit the film: there is too much happening and Sam Raimi can never seem to control it. With this comes the lack of character development and depth of the existing plots. Of all three villains, the new Green Goblin is perhaps the best handled, with the rift between Peter and Harry widening. This story arc had to be completed, and is done so with a definite, if not sad ending. The next of the villain is Sandman, who yields an intriguing story. He was part of the murder of Peter's uncle, and is desperately trying to save his daughter from an illness, but as the film continues, it's the former which takes precedence over the latter factor of his story. This only goes to make Sandman more of a villain and less a sympathetic character as he ought to have been. The last of the villains, while a fan favourite, is poorly integrated into the film. As quickly as Venom appears, does he as quickly disappear. While an extension of Brock, Venom never has time to grow to allow for a convincing villain. Venom's position is similar to a lesser villain, and better used at opening the film, instead of concluding it. While the romance between Peter and Mary Jane is the most positive in terms of story development, this arc is not faultless, especially with the introduction of Gwen Stacey (Bryce Dallas Howard), who seems to be thrown into the mix at the last minute, as her role is underused and pointless.
Also, the overall vibe of the film is lacking. There's no flow between scenes and every action comes across as very coincidental and linear. Also ridden in the film are oddball scenes, which bring nothing to the film or its characters. Such scenes contain Peter dancing at a Jazz club, or a kid muttering 'Wicked cool' during a fight scene. These are amateur at best, and really downplays the credibility of Sam Raimi: these scenes add to the overall length of the film, but while their exclusion would help pacing purposes, it serves to emphasis the lack of depth apparent throughout. If anything, Spider-Man 3 should have been told through the course of two films to help character development.
Most of the overall cast do not go about helping matters. Sadly, it's the main characters who provide the least, with Dunst never fully completing her character, and Maguire never being able to show the evil side of Spider-Man without comical results. Grace and Hayden play their parts with mediocre success: they show that they can act but their characters never reach actuality and there are nuances of dialogue problems which come across as rather questionable.
The most memorable performances come from Howard and Franco. Howard, while in a limited role exudes an energetic spunk which is omitted from the rest of the film, even the action scenes. Franco, however, continues to show that he does possess ability to act, and he is easily a character who many will be able to feel for. Franco represents the emotional capacity of his character who is dealing with the death of his father, the believed betrayal of his friend, and the obsession for revenge. Even by the end of the film, in a sad moment, Franco keeps up his act, to bring about a villain who is not entirely heartless. On a last note, Simmons, like the first two Spider-Man films, is still superb as the aggressive and hilarious editor of the Daily Bugle.
If the problems for Spider-Man 3 could not get worse, they sadly do. For a movie which cost in the vicinity of $300 million to create, it sure does not look like it. The CG, like before attempts in the trilogy, are forgivingly lacking and unrealistic. Sandman is somewhat impressive towards the end of the film, and Venom is far too cartoon looking to hold any real menace. The special effects are not entirely unlike anything seen before, and the musical score is not the most impressive. It's a wonder where all the money was used for even the action scenes, for the most part, are uninspiring. While its never a problem that a director tries to make a film an epic, it is a problem when all efforts are unprofessionally executed.
With a mess of a storyline, odd placed scenes and dialogue, underdevelopment of villain characters, and a general lack of energy, Spider-Man 3 becomes the very thing it was toted never to be: an utterly horrid film experience. And any positive elements are so far and few, that they themselves cannot effectively be of any help. Spider-Man 3 attempts to be two films, but only proves to be half the potential of one.
Review by Cruiz Dwyer from the Internet Movie Database.