After seeing Spider-Man 2 back when it came out and heard that the third was in production I knew right then that I had to see it. Then after hearing it would include the whole symbiote thing there was nothing keeping me away. I now understand why the movie poster shows Spider-Man in such disgust with himself.
Spoilers to follow…
Okay, where do I begin? Maybe we should start with the whole Mary Jane thing. Now, anyone who knows me knows I really dislike Kirsten Dunst, and this is no different at all. From the stupid singing, ridiculous dancing (I’m looking your way too Franco, you know what I mean) and basically just being as huge of a focus of the movie that the relationship shit was, Mary Jane and Dunst in general proceeds to unimpress me in yet another film. But we have much bigger fish to fry…
Okay, so Peter and MJ are having a good time looking at the stars and talking in a giant spiderweb in some trees (good way to keep a low profile by the way since we know no one is ever in the park in New York) and just happen to not notice a meteor falling from the sky and hitting the ground with the force it does. I sure know that in the dark of night, seeing a firey ball of rock that close in the vicinity wouldn’t be possible. Thus we have our symbiote, which attaches itself to Peter’s piece of shit scooter.
Let’s que up James Franco now to not only reprise his role of Peter’s pissed off friend Harry Osborn, but now to take on the suit of his late father as the Green Goblin. Apparently, somewhere in between the years the Green Goblin became an extreme snowboarding technopunk with an even more X-Tr33m attitude to boot. Attacking Peter on the way home, there is a long drawn out battle, which I have to admit was pretty well done, and to keep things short Harry ends up getting raped like the little bitch he is and loses his short-term memory. Now, not only does he love Peter and MJ again, he gets an overabundance of close up shots to show just how back to normal he is. Anyone who has seen a trailer of this movie let alone have any brain in their head knows that this isn’t going to last long and surprise, surprise it ends with Mary Jane bringing those memories back after a single wrong kiss. After a brief stint with his dead father’s ghost or memory or whatever Harry decides its best to fuck with Peter’s emotions now to break him down and thus threatens MJ to break up with him. There is more to deal with this, but we’ll get back to it later.
In the last two movies, I actually must admit that, while having had my own preconceived notions against what Tobey Maguire could do with Peter ParkerI was actually pretty impressed. I mean, we all know that since Peter is a dork Spider-Man would have some pretty lame one-liners and some cheesy moments, but there is a line that should be drawn and it just wasn’t in this movie at all. First of all, Peter is completely oblivious to his untalented girlfriend’s life and is in reality extremely selfish in many ways that piss MJ off, but he honestly has no clue that hes being a retard. While this I can understand, especially since the stupid bitch makes no attempt to discuss why she’s pissed, it seemed a bit too tacked on for just more shit to add some screentime. Adding in Gwen Stacy into the picture just adds more shit that, really, should have been there at least in Spider-Man 2 (if you know anything about Gwen’s part in the comics you probably agree) but that isn’t a huge deal, and Bryce Dallas Howard is sexy as hell in the role anyways so that was all good.
When Peter first gets his symbiote suit, he awakes to himself hanging upside down looking into a reflective glass on a large building and ends up just swinging around for a bit trying out his new enhancements. After learning that it was Flint Marko who would later become the Sandman that originally shot Uncle Ben (which is a fucking retard thing to do just to get a movie with “closure”), Peter decides that it would be best to take matters into his own hands and, with help from the black suit ends up raping Marko like an asian cheerleader in a football team’s lockerroom. This brings us to the most cheesy, crappy part of the movie…the new Peter Parker. This has to be some form of balancing in that since the new Spider-Man kicks ass, the new Peter Parker must be the stupidest shit on the planet. Seriously, from the moment he sees himself and changes his hair to look like he was the missing link in AFI I knew we were in trouble for a good hour.
The only good thing I can really say about the stupid dancing parts are the fact that the women on the street still thought he was a cheesy dork, because that is the reality in it. This portion of the movie was, in all honestly, an embarassment to watch and had many “head-slapping” moments that really weren’t cutesy or funny/witty but rather cliche and quite frankly unnecessary. From the random dancing down the street trying to impress everything with a vagina with his shitty dancing to being obessed with getting back at everyone who has wronged him (which was actually really fucking cool), the new Peter Parker is nothing but a ball of teenage angst and libido. It was only where he “kills” Marko, completely rapes Brock’s career ambitions, fucks Harry’s bastard ass up and humiliates and then assaults Mary Jane that this whole hour redeems itself, but even still just barely. Cut this part out and you would have a much nicer flowing movie albeit a little harder to follow.
Now, I’m sure it is not in any way easy to not only introduce two new characters into a movie, let alone one of which has a HUGE cult following, but that is no excuse for casting Topher-fucking-Grace as Eddie Brock who is also later on known as Venom. It should be known that I hate Topher Grace with a passion and that will bias a lot of what I think of his character, as it wasn’t even as badly written as the other main characters but was pulled off ridiculously. Seriously, Topher Grace has even said himself that he grew up reading the comics and loved them and all this shit, so what excuse does he have now for not acting out integral little things that make Venom the badass that he is? Case in point, when Venom in the comics referred to itself, it always did so in the plural to signify that the symbiote and Brock are two entities in the same such as using “We” in lieu of “I” or “Us” rather than “Me“, but did this happen in this movie? Hell no it didn’t because rather than get the badass, muscle-bound, crazed vigilante Venom, we get some dipshit in a neat black costume with crazy teeth and stupid looking fingernails for “claws” that talks like Eric Foreman from That 70’s Show. I won’t even get into the other little shit that irked me about Venom in the movie (like how he goes out like a bitch or the fact that they didn’t give him his signature tongue action) because those are really just the little ornaments that top off a deeper resentment for all that is that fagget Topher Grace and how he was asked to do such a great role.
Thomas Haden Church was very good casting as Sandman and for the most part pulled it off cleanly, for how little he was actually written in as anything more than a giant “growling” ball/fist of sand. Unfortunately for him, however, even he could not escape the tragedy that was the writing in this movie as his character was entwined with a storyline that shouldn’t have even been introduced again and was made out to be nothing more than a giant pussy with a horrible case of “wrongplace-wrongtime” syndrome. This whole arrangment involving Marko, in fact, brings up another cult controversial moment in which George Lucas makes Greedo shoot first; both incidents take a moment in time, however short (the speed of a fired projectile really), and in those incidents make a completely different portrayal of character. With Greedo shooting first, Han Solo has become defensive in the situation which complete negates his first appearance of being a ruthless space pirate on the run from bounty hunters who shoots first and takes names after. This directly relates along the same lines in that because Uncle Ben wasn’t shot in cold blood, Peter’s previous actions are no longer justified as the vigilante hero who avenged his uncle’s death (although rather unjustly) but now just a typical act of manslaughter, making him no better than Marko himself. It was obvious that it this was thrown in just for a whole “closure” story and to try to quickly establish a whole character background using previous movies he wasn’t even in.
The ending of this movie started up with a lame conversation between Eric Forema…I mean, Venom and Sandman discussing how if they team up they can totally make Spider-Man lick their balls and soon try to get Spider-Man’s attention by taking Mary Jane hostage in a taxi that has to be thousands of feet in the air with a message in webbing that is not only very neatly legible, but also is in the typeface of the Spider-Man font. Spider-Man, knowing that he has no chance tries to get Harry in on the deal because, since they used to be friends in high school, becoming bitter rivals trying to kill eachother for both the same girl and for vengeance means nothing. Harry tells Peter to piss off and Peter goes to battle alone, but not before taking a quick second in stride to stand proudly infront of a giant, extremelty obvious computer rendered United States of America flag just to show how wholesome and inhabited by American pride he is.
It is at this point that the Green Goblin should no longer have been an issue for this movie. Spider-Man can by all means go get his ass kicked for 40 more minutes and then find some unrealistically simple answer to defeat both his enemies and this movie would have ended on more of a note than it should have. Instead, Harry’s butler decides he can finally do some acting after all those crazy expensive lessons he had been going to after Norman died and finally tells Harry that after all those years Spider-Man totally didn’t kill his father and he died by his own blade. Sweet, this means that they can be friends again and what better time than to fight two enemies that can’t be stopped alone and have come together just hours before. Coincidence? I think not.
Now, the biggest problem I have with this isn’t the fact that the butler can’t act worth a shit, that his lines were probably written in by Tobey-letsbefriends-Maguire last minute or that Harry decides to completely forget the past so abruptley , but rather the fact that this little act of friendship has just killed Spider-Man’s classic rivalry with the Goblin and even makes them friends! Way to go Raimi, now was just need the Joker and Batman to play some cards together and the Joker to confess that he never killed his father but it was his goon that he later fired so they can fight crime and tell jokes together.
Back to the fight, we have Spider-Man getting DP’d by a completely overpowered Venom and ridiculously giant Sandman. It seems almost over until the extreme snowboarding Green Goblin comes and saves the day. Since Sandman can’t be killed apparently, he is just bombed down to submission and Venom causes some shit (including killing Harry) until he is blown up as well. Spider-Man is of course sad because Harry is dead, Mary Jane is still pissed and he is forced to forgive Marko for killing Uncle Ben. Not much to say about the ending other than that and that I completely am not impressed with Venom being completely obliterated by nothing more than soundwaves and a single pumpkin bomb (which, if you watch the movie seems to change in just how powerful of a blast it actually has from use to use).
Overall, Spider-Man 3 has been a big let down for me both as someone who had been anticipating a night out at the theater to see it for many many months now and as an old Spider-Man fan period. The movie is worth seeing at some point and would be pretty fun if you had no self dignity or real tie to anything in the Spider-Man universe. Sam Raimi, please stop shit like this before you become the next Joel Schumacher.
P.S. I do look forward to more Spider-Man movies to come…can’t let one letdown ruin the rest.