Sunday, May 27, 2007

Spiderman 3...climbing to the top

Spiderman 3 - Sam Raimi - 2007 - 7/10


New York has finally embraced Spiderman (Tobey Maguire) and Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) feels he is ready to ask for Mary Jane's (Kirsten Dunst) hand in marriage. Things quickly spiral out of hand when a new Green Goblin emerges with the intent to murder Spiderman. Peter's world is turned upside down when the police inform his aunt and him that the murderer of Uncle Ben was really Flint Marko (Thomas Hayden Church). After Spiderman saves the life of the police chief's daughter, Gwen Stacy (Bryce Dallas Howard), Mary Jane becomes jealous when Spiderman kisses Gwen. To make things even more confusing for Peter, a strange substance has bonded with him, changing his suit from the friendly red and blue to black, darkening Peter's personality as well. Flint Marko comes out of hiding too, although after an accident with a genetic realignment device he has the ability to take any shape with sand as he comes into his own as the Sandman. As Peter slowly changes, his world around him changes as he unintentionally hurts all those around him he must grapple with his uneasy friendship with Harry Osborne (James Franco) and the new photographer, Eddie Brock (Topher Grace) who is threatening Peter's standing with J Jonah Jameson (JK Simmons) at the Daily Buggle. Which suit will Peter choose? Will he win Mary Jane back? Can he ever be friends with Harry? Can he bring Flint Marko to justice?


Overall I thought the movie was really good but I would put it a small step back from Spiderman 1 - which I rate around an 8. I thought the fight scenes were amazing. No other way to say it. I'm not sure any comic book movie comes close to these action scenes. This is the way I think Spiderman should fight. And fighting someone like the Green Goblin who has the goblin gas modified body type, it makes sense and makes for good fighting. But the movie has more than just good action scenes - the acting was really good too. James Franco totally steals the show - alternating his emotions between revenge, love, friendship, hate...Bryce Dallas Howard as a good new addition and Topher Grace makes for a great Eddie Brock who deserved a lot more screen time. Where this movie could have gotten a lot better was without Sandman. He was a cool villain bu he took away from the other storylines and his whole revenge-forgiveness message could have been better accomplished without him. Smaller things really did the movie in as possible modes of tension were erased with minutes of cheesy dialogue amounting to near deus-ex-machina type rescues for shoddy script writing. The news reports Raimi shows in key action sequences takes away from the power of the action scene and clutters the movie with camp.

What I Want to See in Spiderman 4:

Hopefully Tobey and Raimi will come back for a fourth film and really do something special. I would LOVE it if they found a way for Mary Jane to not be in the next movie (say she went to hollywood to pursue a film career). I would definitely want to see the lizard and then maybe another genetics type villain like the scorpion. But when it comes down to it, I think I would settle for carnage (he seems most likely). What would really make the movie great though is some villain where Peter needs the help of Dr Conors, both as a scientist and as the Lizard. Without Mary Jane to slow him down, I'd love to see peter have to decide between Gwen and Brandt - that would really give the movie some flavor, and maybe even attract more female viewers.


Its a summer popcorn flick that you need to see!

If you liked this movie, watch...
...X-Men 2
...The Phantom

An extended review can be found at SaltyStix.

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