Emo Spider-man what a loser.

This isn't a movie review, it's more of a movie reflection. My thoughts after seeing Spider-man 3 on the cinema screen. I'm assuming, if you're reading this then you have seen the movie. I'm not going to do any kind of story outline or worry about giving away plot details. If you haven't seen it then don't read further.

Before I get on to the movie... WTF is with the movie's official site? Trying to find a cast and crew list is next to impossible, none of the photo galleries have captions and there's precious little text to read outside of the film's blogs. It's a sad day when you have to visit sites not directly related to a film in order to get information about cast and crew. Thanks to Premiere for your great article.

I think it's time director, Sam Raimi, turned his attention else where. Spider-man, the first movie was excellent. Spider-man 2, not too bad. Spider-man 3, it's all gone back to being a cartoon. It reminds me of Joel Schumacher's catch cry on the Batman 3 and 4 sets - "remember we're making a cartoon!" A catch cry that would ultimately doom the franchise for years because Joel didn't take the material seriously.

My biggest criticism of Spider-man 3 lies in the editing. There are several sequences in this movie with a lot happening yet at many points time seems to be suspended for dialog. Case in point, the scene with an out of control crane in which Spidey rescues Gwen Stacy by breaking her fall out of a sky scraper. Cut to the ground. The crane is still out of control and Spidey is talking to new Bugle photographer, Eddie Brock about who is Spidey's official photographer. Err...crane out of control - when you have a moment Spider-man.

This kind of editing happens a lot in the final big fight sequence too. The action elsewhere appears to be suspended whilst we wait for some important dialog between the current protagonists on the screen.

The plot lines are not interwoven well at all. Everything feels to be happening one after the other rather than concurrently (like it should be) in many places.

So lets get onto the whole 'black spidey suit'. Some, unexplained, black, living alien goo crashes to earth in a meteor shower. Not only does Peter and MJ not notice the bright flash of a meteor landing (exploding!) near his motor scooter but the alien goo gets no further explanation as to it's source (and no one back at the science lab where Peter takes a sample of the goo ever questions where it came from?).

The goo when combined into a Spidey suit is meant to enhance the existing powers of the wearer through symbiosis? Okay. This is fiction so I can buy that. Why then does Eddie Brock become the 'anti-spider-man' 'Venom' with all Spider-mans powers when he wears the suit? Eddie Brock doesn't have Spider-man's abilities. Am I supposed to assume that the alien goo absorbed some of Spidey's powers and gave them to Eddie?

Throughout the film, Peter Parker wears the black suit under his street clothes and becomes 'Emo' Peter. At least that is what is implied by the 'emo style' fringe and darker wardrobe. Yet at the same time the suit is making him more confident and self assured. Very un-emo like. Worst scene. Peter Parker dancing, Travolta style down the street thinking he's the coolest thing around. It was meant to be funny (given the reactions he got from passers by) but it just made me cringe like a lame joke told badly.

Getting on to other characters. Harry Osborn (a.k.a. the Green Goblin Junior.) played by James Franco must be the most miscast character of the franchise. He's unconvincing in virtually every scene. He's got a brooding face that looks like a smacked babies behind. Bugs the hell out of me. Aside from that, Goblin and Spidey fight sequences - play it up for the computer game. Boring and predictable. Just like the Pod races in Star Wars, Episode 1. Computer game written all over it.

Sandman. What were they thinking at that particle physics lab? Even the police and their dogs got through that fence to look at whatever that particle generator thingy was? Maybe they weren't too concerned about security because the machine couldn't actually kill you, it would just turn you into a super sandman with incredible strength and an ability to fly with the wind? I hope they had a permit for that thing.

Sand "I've got to get money to save my daughter" man was the most pointless of bad guys in the film. Nice effects to create him though. How gullible is Peter Parker? Every time he was told a new version of his uncle's death he believed it without question? Sandman said he didn't mean to kill Peter's uncle. Sandman is an escaped convict who thinks turning to crime is a rational solution to raise money for his daughter (ever heard of a fund raising dinner? Getting a Job? Applying for a loan?). Everything he says must be true.

Eddie Brock doesn't strike me as the kind of guy who would go to church for any reason let alone to ask God to kill Peter. Yet he does after being humiliated by Peter Parker in the work place. He seems more like the kind of guy that would've got plastered at the nearest bar then confronted Peter in a drunken rage later in the day.

However, Venom has to be the most interesting bad guy of the whole series. Shame he's only there in the last two acts. I thought the effects to create him were spot on and incredibly menacing. Even if I don't understand why Eddie gets Spidey powers? They should have scrapped Sandman and Green Goblin and just done a Spidey/black suit/Venom film. Could've been way fiercer and far more edge of your seat.

Instead the only edge of your seat stuff we have here is various characters at various times potentially plummeting to their death - yawn. Didn't that happen in the other two Spidey films?

My final gripe for this article (I could go on) is, what is it with Spider-man's mask? In all the movies Spider-man ends up fighting without the mask on. Particularly in the major, concluding fight sequences, where hundreds of onlookers, including people that know Peter, are watching. In Spider-man 3 everyone in the crowd at the end is either taking photos or filming for the TV news. How could they not get a picture of Spidey without the mask? Doesn't the TV news own a zoom lense?

I've been knocking this movie the whole way through. I will say it wasn't a bad experience. It was worth going to see. I just hope they do a re-cut for DVD that makes the whole thing flow better. It was the editing, more than anything else, that let this film down. Everything else I can say - well it's fiction so it doesn't have to always make sense.

I'd still by the DVD for the bonus features and Venom.

2 comments:

  1. I saw some of the trailer for this on TV. It's too scarey for me, too graphic with the special effects and OTT - I wouldn't go see it in a pink fit!!

    Besides, I don't like spiders, and it made me feel creepy with that slime stuff!

    I saw 'The Blob' in the 60s (managed to con my way into an X certificate film at about 14yrs, which is same as an R rating for Oz) a substance from outer space, with a young, (about 18yrs) then 'unknown' Steve McQueen, and it looked like a big, squashed, red wine gum, which consumed everything in its path, and kept getting bigger!

    They found out it couldn't stand cold, so they froze it by spraying it with anti-freeze or something that made it freeze, flew it out to the Antartic in a box and dropped it in there - that's how the film ended! Good film, but quite scarey at the time, enough for me!

    It's probably on DVD as a 'classic Sci-Fi' as it pops up on late-night TV sometimes! Alot of those early sci-fi films from 50s & 60s weren't bad, and special effects good for their time!

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  2. The trailer is probably misleading then. The film its self is more action, fight style movie (no more scary than a Bruce Lee film) though Venom is a very scary character that could've easily set the volume to 'horror film' if he'd been utilised more.

    The 'alien goo' in this film was small and spider like - so doesn't compare to 'The Blob' - though it does seem to get bigger than it was when it first arrived.

    I've never seen 'The Blob' movie but I have seen the theatre previews for it so I do have some idea as to what that film was like - though as I said at the start, previews can be misleading.

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