Spider-Man 3 (2007)

Reid, 12. May 2007, 11:31


Mitchell liking this movie more than I did is not necessarily surprising because he likes films for different reasons than I do; I think that’s especially true in the action genre. But even I was surprised that he gave it such a high score. The only thing I can think of is that there’s something about this film that resonated with Mitchell on a personal level. Objectively, I have a hard time imagining anyone saying this was a good film or even really enjoying it. (Even Larri didn’t care for this.)

Now, I can see people like certain aspects of the film, but overall, it’s not a very good movie (imo).


Basically the film suffers from an overload of storlines (at least four) and characters. In the comics, the storylines would have (or did) play out separately. The only reason I can think the filmmakers crammed all these stories together was they really liked the idea of having cool villians like Venon and Sandman in one film–the cool factor of using cgi to bring these villians to life. Maybe the fact that this could be Tobey Maguire’s last film had something to do with it as well.

Whatever the reason, they’re not good reasons for putting all these story lines and characters into the same film. Because of this overload, the filmmakers don’t have adequate space for the stories or characters to develop. Two things come to mind. First, the issue of Peter learning to put MJ ahead of himself. The change in Peter and his relationship with MJ does not come off well. Perhaps, the problem could be acting, but I just feel there’s enough film to develop this well. Bouncing from different stories had a disorienting effect; I had a hard time knowing what the characters were actually feeling and the status of the relationship. This weakened the drama and realism of the important stories, making the important themes like revenge-forgiveness feel hollow. The stories and characters needed some breathing room.

As for the action elements, I think the cgi worked fairly well, considering they used a lot of it (something I getting more and more turned off by). But these scenes felt like the main focus of the film versus the story and characters. I could tell the scenes (particularly with Sandman and Harry and his “flying skateboard”) were scenes Hollywood types would relish. But if there isn’t a great story that’s well-executed, it doesn’t matter. That’s what I felt like in this film.

Well, I liked Spidey 3 more than Reid. What a shocker! It is strange, because taking each of its parts, it is not that great a movie. Reid is right: the storyline is crowded and the character development is pretty shallow, although the movie does try to touch deeper areas than the ubiquitous “i like you because you are pretty” and “i am so misunderstood.” Some of the action sequences were pretty cool, although Grace and I both felt the pacing was somewhat off (and slow) for an action film. It’s almost like the movie wanted to accomplish too many goals that everything ended up suffering.

Yet despite all that, I still enjoyed the film. NOT because Grace actually cried more than me (although it was almost like a moment of personal victory that someone cried more than me). I do not know why. The only thing I can think of is that somehow the sum of the parts make for an inexplicably better whole. The feeling I got while leaving the theatre was *sigh* that was good, although intellectually there were all these obvious flaws. Perhaps there was something added to my diet coke? I don’t know. I still would recommend this film…you need to see it on a large screen. Go to the $1 theatre or see a matinee, but go see it.

I needed some of that diet coke.

Seriously, after thinking about my score, I have to say that is seems a bit harsh. However, I think I have a pretty good explanation. First, I was just totally annoyed by what the filmmakers did to the storylines. If the Venom-story had been developed separately, the movie could have been great. They just ruined that character/story–and for very poor reasons.

Second, I don’t like when filmmakers think they can just add cool action sequences/effects and that will be enough. That’s what this felt like. I could just picture the Hollywood executives (and maybe Raimi) salivating at the prospects of the flying skateboard scenes and the Spiderman battling Sandman and Venon at the same time. Throwing in Harry to join Spiderman was also super cheesy.

I guess what I’m saying is that they not only ruined the film, but other potentially great storylines.

Penny, I wish you and Grace could have seen Snow Cake. You both would have liked it. I’ll try to get a review soon.

I also saw Hot Fuzz. 3/10

I don’t care for films like that, but there was nothing else. I’ll try to write more on it later. This is the type of film Jill usually likes, but I don’t think she would like this much.

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