Very few individuals loved the third installment of Sam Raimi's Spider-Man franchise. Most found it to be very underwhelming compared to the box-office hit that its predecessor was. But, was it THAT bad? Well, in this review, I'm going to tell you five points where SM3 actually did well!
James Franco plays Harry Osborn for all three movies and there's a good reason why: he is fantastic. Not only could he play the goofy, college-drop-out rich boy in the first Spider-Man, but also an emotion-driven, guilt-filled villain that, at times, we wanted to see win. Now sure, some of the scenes in Spider-Man 3 with him that are just plain ridiculous (like when Spider-Man defeats him via a web hitting Harry in the face) but, when Franco manages to successfully make a transition from a likeable "joe" to super-powered villain without coming off as corny, that's a plus that should not go forgotten.
Peter Going Dark:
Yup, that's an actual plus in this review. After Peter gets his black suit, he becomes a complete a-hole in the comics. I'm not going to pretend that Toby Maguire played this role perfectly. I found myself asking, as many of you did, why the heck he was crying in so many scenes. However, not all of it was bad. His taunting of Jameson fit the bill and his fight with Sandman and Harry were also on point with what most comic-obessors, like myself, felt black suit Spider-Man should be like. When Peter broke open the sewer pipe that led to Sandman's "apparent" demise, I got really excited and remember thinking how I really just wanted more.
In the future, if Marvel or Sony attempt at another black suited Spider-Man, perhaps they'll learn that what we want to see is the badass black suit in action and not whiney, emotional Peter Parker doing his best imitation of a dark, brooding character. However, since Spider-Man 3 did stay true to the comics fairly well, I'm still going to give this one a little leeway.
I don't feel I need to say much for this one because this movie got every fight scene perfect. Every single scene brings something exciting to this movie. Whether it's Peter swinging around town trying to stop Harry and, meanwhile, trying not to lose his aunt's ring, or the last scene in the construction sight where Sandman and Harry are fighting a battle of gigantic proportions (pun-intended).
Every fight, besides the first, is also placed in an interesting location. Spider-Man 3 shows the most variety of New York that we've seen in the Sam Raimi trilogy. You have Spider-Man in the sewers, Spider-Man at construction sights, and even Spider-Man beating up a guy at said guy's own house. It's a definite plus that is one of my favorites to talk about because it's one thing that most critics of the movie can appreciate.
One name; Thomas Haden Church. The guy looks like Sandman. He acts like Sandman. He is a badass robber who can kick Spider-Man's ass and a loving father who actually has good reasons for his actions of the film. While many didn't like the film, most wouldn't put Church's performance as a detriment to this film. Sure, the inclusion of Flint Marko being uncle Ben's "real killer" was weird and made the scene feel a bit like a "f-you" to those who'd watched the original two movies but, when Sandman nearly kills Spider-Man at the construction sight, my only complaint ended up being "I wish he had more spotlight."
Venom Wasn't Bad:
This is the big one. First, I'll start with the obvious downfalls. Topher Grace was a terrible choice to play Eddie Brock. He was just as whiney as black suit Peter Parker BEFORE he even got his version of the alien symbiote. With that all in mind, however, most would agree Venom's LOOK in SM3 was perfect. The twisted webs and scratched eyes emulate the comic depiction to the letter. His ways of manipulation with Flint Marko show Venom's cunning and true place as a major player in Spider-Man's rogues gallery.
Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 3 lacks some of the wow-factor of its predecessor but it still has its charm and continues to expand and develop Peter Parker's character and the New York that surrounds him. With solid moments from each of the cast, I'm giving this movie 7.6 out of 10 stars.
What do you guys think? Did you hate SM3? Did you think it wasn't so bad? Leave your comments below. I'm the Devil's Advocate Reviewer. I'll see you all next time!