Spider-Man 3 (2007)
Reviewed on 2007 May 25
I heard a lot of grumbling that this movie wasn’t as good as the first two Spider-Man movies, and while it wasn’t, it’s largely because the second one was such a tough act to follow. The third installment has a couple of weak spots but I still enjoyed it. A lot.
Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) is still working as a freelance photographer for the world’s most choleric editor, courting Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst), and in his free time keeps New York as safe as any one web-slinger can. It’s a hectic pace, but Peter seems able to juggle it, and is trying to work up the nerve to ask MJ to marry him. Peter (like anyone else in a Sam Raimi movie) never gets a moment of peace. He gets a new nemesis named Sandman (Thomas Haden Church), a thief name Flint Marko who, in a cool sequence that I won’t spoil, gets turned into… well, intelligent sand. Sounds lame, but think about it: you can morph from a basic criminal into something that can crush steel or flow through a keyhole, with the added benefit of looking at times like the artwork from a Pink Floyd album cover.
That would be enough to keep anyone’s hands full, but Peter also has to deal with a slimy newcomer at The Daily Bugle: Eddie Brock (Topher Grace). Lard isn’t as greasy as Eddie. He’s gunning for a position at the Daily Bugle, and he’s more than happy to step on Peter or risk damage to anyone to get it. Finally, Peter has some big identity issues of his own to deal with. Something is changing him, and not for the better.
Raimi’s movies zip along, and this one wasn’t any exception. The acting was very good, as usual. The real flaws were with the mechanisms that changed Peter and Flint. Don’t get me wrong, the presentation was great; I just wanted more background on them. They were both sort of… dropped in there, especially Peter’s. I think that’s the issue — the first two didn’t rely on prior knowledge of the comics as much as this one. There were a couple of loose ends as well, and one annoying bit where Peter seemed to channel Jim Carrey in The Mask. But I think these are really cosmetic squabbles overall.
Three chocolate morsels. Ignore the fathead critics, get some popcorn and have fun with it.