Here's my Spider-Man 3
review. If you haven't seen the movie, be forewarned that there are spoilers ahead. Proceed at your own risk.
I went into this movie excited, but realistic. Spider-Man 2
was nearly the perfect example of what a comic book movie should be. Consequently, I did not expect the third movie to top the second and I don't believe it did. However, I did enjoy it very much and did not leave the theater disappointed. I have read many of the reviews of movie critics and heard responses from many of my students. Across the board, the response seems to be mixed, with some loving it and some not. Yet, I've noticed that for many of the people who didn't like it that much, it was often because it didn't top the second movie -- an unrealistic expectation to begin with from my way of thinking.Spider-Man 3
benefits greatly from maintaining the same cast, director, and production team. The quality of the movie is thus on par with the first two. It serves as a fitting conclusion to this initial trilogy by tying up virtually all of the story lines set up by the first two. I'm not sure of what would be the best way to write my review, so I'm just going to list what I liked and didn't like about the movie. Since it's a much shorter list, I will start with what I did not like.
WHAT I DID NOT LIKE:
The occasionally rushed feel of the film. I think Raimi tried to fit too much into this movie and so had to force some things rather than let them unfold naturally.
The script, though good, lacked some of the tightness of the other two films.
The gigantic Sandman at the end of the film. In the comics, Sandman was not able to expand to such gargantuan sizes. By making him bigger, it made him less interesting to me.
I would have liked more of Venom. In fact, he should have his own movie.
WHAT I REALLY LIKED:
The special effects were outstanding. This movie contained some of the most thrilling web-swinging and fight scenes we've seen.
The initial battle sequence between Peter Parker and the new Goblin. The previous two movies shied away from in-air battle sequences because they hadn't quite figured out how to make them work. In this movie, they got it. It really captures the kind of mid-air fights that are a staple of the comics.
The birth of Sandman. His attempts at formation in the particle accelerator are fascinating to watch.
Gwen Stacy. She was always one of my favorite characters. I think she was under-used in this film, but just having her in the movie and the possibilities it creates for future films is exciting.
Black-suited Spider-Man. I always liked the black suit in the comic and it was great to see it come to life. The way the symbiote alters Peter's personality is very faithful to the comic.
Goth Peter. I thought Tobey did a good job of pulling off Peter's transformation to the dark side.
The dance scene. I know some people who found Peter's semi-impromptu performance in the jazz room to be kind of cheesy, but I found it very enjoyable to watch.
The earlier scenes of Sandman. I thought Thomas Hayden Church was perfect casting for that role and he captured the essence of Sandman. He was always a villain who wasn't really sure he wanted to be a villain.
The redemption of Harry Osborn. I could see it coming a mile away as they foreshadowed it early in the film, but I still thought it tied up his story line well.
Venom. Venom. Venom. I love Venom. Always have, always will. Visually, they depicted him very well. I do wish they had kept the Venom face on him more rather than switch to Eddie Brock whenever he wanted to talk. The movie was very faithful to the Venom story, right down to the church bell scene. The reason why Eddie Brock was in that church in the comic was different, but that's a relatively minor point. I'm hoping that the way Venom was dealt with in the movie -- note that we didn't actually see it or Eddie Brock die -- means that we may seem him again down the road.
Again, this installment doesn't scale the heights of Spider-Man 2
, but it is definitely, in my humble opinion, a worthy addition to the Spider-Man saga.
If you've seen the movie, I'm curious to hear what you think.