Peter Parker has finally managed to strike a balance between his devotion to M.J. and his duties as a superhero. But there is a storm brewing on the horizon. As Spider-Man basks in the public's... View more >
sequences of intense action violence
Starring Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco... View more >
2005-05-20: Topher Grace will be another villain.
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The third Spider-man movie is already a disappointment in the eyes of many fans and critics. It's true that this movie is jam-packed with new characters and plotlines, and it's true that it may have been better as two movies, one featuring Harry and Sandman as villains and one featuring Venom and Harry. However, the fact is that while I was watching I just didn't care. This movie is fun. The step down in quality is more akin to Return of the Jedi in the face of A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back; it's got a whole lot going for it, but there's some that just doesn't work.
To be fair, I don't consider the first two Spider-man films to be comic-adaptation masterpieces on the operatic scale of Batman Begins; they're merely fun action movies with original and exhilirating special effects sequences. And that's exactly what this third installment is.
The movie's problems stem mostly from its overcrowded storyline. With two brand new villains (Sandman and Venom) as well as the emergence of Harry as a villain of sorts, and the inclusion of Gwen Stacy and the black suit, there's a lot going on. But for me, everything was juggled pretty well. I was left wanting more at the end: more of every single character. This is because all of the actors make great use of their screen time. Topher Grace is both hilarious and slimy as Eddie Brock, and when he becomes Venom the mad glint in his eyes and the way he seems to be enjoying his evil self is downright creepy. Bryce Dallas Howard as Gwen Stacy is radiant (a bit of a problem, actually, when she comes across much better than Mary Jane). Thomas Haden-Church spends much of the film as a CGI monster, but when he's in human form one can't help but feel bad for him while hating him for his actions at the same time. Tobey Maguire has fun being bad for awhile in this film, too. But the two actors to really step up their game are Kirsten Dunst and James Franco. Franco always struck me as sort of one-note, but here he swings from maniacal to pathetic to charming and right back to maniacal with ease. And when he plays creepy, he's very, very creepy. And Kirsten Dunst, well . . . she didn't annoy me this time, so she was much better.
Spider-man 3 suffers in the shadow of its predecessors because you can feel the whole thing creaking under its own weight; there's a lot of plot contrivances happening here that seem to be lazy screenwriting until one realizes that the filmmakers just didn't have the time to fit everything in properly. Still, this third installment has the most spectacular action scenes and the biggest laughs of the whole trilogy (thank you, Bruce Campbell), even if some of the supporting characters suffer because of it. For my money, that makes this movie a must-see and a great capper for a sure-to-be classic trilogy. ***1/2 out of 4.
The third "Spider-Man" installment takes us back to a line that Uncle Ben said in the first movie. He said, "With Great Powers Comes Great Responisibly." That's not a new line that was utter in the first movie. It was written by Stan Lee in the 15th Issue of "Amazing Fantasy," the very first appreance of Spider-Man. the thrid movie has taken u that line and it doesn't applied to Spider-Man alone. It applies to those in Peter Parker's life, whcih includes the two new villains Sandman and Vermon.If you ever saw the TV show "Heroes," it applies to them too. Peter is again played by Toby Mcguire and SM 3, his life is coming into his own in his life and he tries to settle down with his girlfriend Mary Jane Watson, played again by Kristin Dunst. His conflict with Harry Osborne has yet to be resolve. And two villians are introduced. The Sandman and Vermon. the Sandman is ok, but Vermon is the best of the two and the most scariest villain of the series. He became a costume that Peter wore, which cloud his mind until he had to get rid of the suit, then fall into the hands of his rival and that's where Vermon came into being. The funniest moments came from JK Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson. He's the finniest thing about the series. I hope he pops up again in another Marvel produced movie. Spider-Man isn't the only superhero he's got a gludge with. The film ran for two hours and 19 minutes, the longest of the three movies. The reason why I'm not giving it a "See Now" rating because foir one simple reason and it's doesn't deserve it. These movies that I rate has to earn what I give them. I'm giving "Spider-Man 3" a "Good" rating. That's good enoght for me.
Too long. Too boring. A great last act brought the film up to a good.
Even though I haven't read a comic book in 30 years, I have enjoyed the past Spider-Man movies.
This movie, however, tried my patience. At around two hours and 20 minutes, it's too long. Some judicious editing could have knocked probably 30 minutes without losing any of the primary storyline.
The best part is that all the familiar characters and the actors who played them are back. They provide some very good performances that make it easy to settle in and see what's new for Peter Parker and associates.
Unlike many other reviews I've read, I didn't have a problem with the fact that there are two villians (three, depending on how you count). The problem I had was that the fight sequences were too repetitious. There should have been a disclaimer at the end of the movie that no I-beams were injured in the filming of this movie, but I guess steelwork doesn't have the same protections in place as animals do. We see Spider-Man and his opponents hit way too many similar objects during the course of the fight sequences, and it just gets too repetitive after a while.
Other than that, I did enjoy the overall movie. For that reason, and the fact that one will enjoy the visuals on the big screen, it gets a "Good" rating, as opposed to "Wait for Rental." Some of that is based on the goodwill borrowed from the previous movies, and one hopes that the filmmakers that are surely planning Spider-Man 4 will exercise some restraint and keep the quality level from descending even further.
Having seen it once, I can't imagine seeing it again when it is released on home video. Even though I own the previous two movies on DVD, this one probably isn't worth renting as one viewing is enough for me.
Relationship between Spiderman and his "girlfriend" is barely a relationship. It's more like an afterthought. One of the writers said, "I think there should be a love-interest in here somewhere", so they stuck one in. All she adds to the movie is her beauty.
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