Let me first start off by saying I do not hate this film like most people do. Do I acknowledge it's insane amount of flaws and it's very inconsistent and often dumb screenplay? Absolutely! This film is a mess, but I find it a very enjoyable mess for many reasons. Before we get started, here is the trailer, that I will admit, had me jumping for joy back in 2007:
Now tell me that trailer does not look awesome if you were 14 years old, and wanted to see the latest Spider-Man movie on the big screen. Grossing over 890 million dollars and becoming the highest grossing film of the trilogy at the worldwide box office, it was no question that quality was not a factor for the love of this character. I say quality did not affect the box office, but it sure did affect the mixed critical response, which would eventually lead to the hatred of this film by fans all over the world. Crammed full of dumb jokes, too many characters, and surprisingly bad over-the-top performances, "Spider-Man 3" undid everything that made the first two films so enjoyable, but to me, still managed to have a fun film stuffed deep down inside. Most people choose to ignore the good in this film, which somewhat annoys me. Here is why I agree with the film's backlash but also think it is not as bad a people say it is.
Coming off the critical acclaim of "Spider-Man 2," it was no question that this film would have a hard time living up to the standards set by it's magnificent predecessor, and boy was that true. It was clear that the main villain of the film was always going to be Sandman, as they take the time to set up his character, but for some reason, they quickly needed to have Harry put on a Goblin suit, fight Peter, try to kill him, have Harry suffer from memory loss to have a break from that storyline, while also setting up Venom for the finale. This film has far too many things happening at once, which ultimately shatters the cohesiveness of the story at hand. Mary Jane falling for Harry while Peter is suffering more than ever was not fun to watch at all and I felt a sense of DeJa Vu when watching this portion of the film.
Emo Peter Parker has been bashed to death so I will refrain from going into detail on that. We all agree that it is far too over-the-top and out of place, even for a Spider-Man film. Aside from all of these gripes, the final act with Peter and Harry teaming up was really fun to watch as they worked together to take down Sandman and Venom, but the set-up for this fight is very fast and forced, so it is a bit of a letdown overall. Filled with an over-abundance of CGI, the final act some become a little overwhelming.
What I appreciate about this film upon each visit, is the fact that even though the script has been dumbed down from it's previous instalment, it still takes the time to focus on character motivations and I find myself respecting that more and more as time goes on. Sandman's motives are very much present and Harry has wanted to kill Spider-Man all along, so him finding out that Peter is his father's killer (or so it seems), felt earned. The only issue is that each of their motives are rushed through to make room for nonsense. If Venom was cut out of this film, Peter was not dealing with the symbiote, and the main focus was on the friendship between Harry and Peter as the rise of Sandman was occurring, the film would have been much tighter. I admire a lot about this film, from it's popping visuals (perfect for Spider-Man), to it's fantastical action sequences, to it's character development. There is more on the inside of this film than it might seem to the average viewer.
You are entitled to your own opinion, but I truly do not think this film is as bad as most people do. It deserves a bit of backlash for being dumb and unfocussed, but there is much more to this film than that. "Spider-Man 3" is a jumbled mess of a movie that just happens to remain fun in my eyes and when I choose to revisit the first two films, I usually have no problem sitting through this film for some closure of the trilogy, even though there really isn't much. Recommended? If you are a forgiving moviegoer who likes the superhero genre? Yes.
Review By: KJ Proulx