It’s very common that big blockbusters get complained about more than they need to and “Spider-Man 3” is one of the most critically bashed movies of the past ten years. Personally, I thought this film was a lot of fun, the action was amazing, the acting and directing was fine, the effects were cool, there was never a boring moment, it has a really good message about the chooses we make, and there were some scenes that were beautifully matched with some great music. Overall, it makes for a really good superhero movie but unlike “Dare Devil” and “X-Men 3: The Last Stand” (which were also critically bashed) this film did have some things that bothered me and kept me from liking it as much as the other two films. Like I said before, just about any film has something to nitpick at but “Spider-Man 3” seems to have more things to pick at than any other superhero movie or summer blockbuster I’ve seen (that I can think of), and here they are, my top ten biggest nitpicks with “Spider-Man 3”.
10. Gwen Stacy being completely useless
In the comics, this was a really big character and her death in the comics was one of the first big tragedies that happened to the hero. In this movie, she’s just a big throw away character that really doesn’t do anything at all. She flirts with him a little, dates him once and then completely disappears like she was never there at all. I think that they should have worked another tragic death of hers into the story while Spider-Man was in the black suit, it would be true to her character and it would make the black suit story far more tragic and emotional.
9. The Emu Dance
This was simply one of the worst moments I ever had in the cinema, I may like “Spider-Man 3” but this was just stupid, it breaks the mood, it sucks out any seriousness that the film was going for. Sure Spider-Man has its silly moments but this was just absurd. Another problem I had with this scene was that it’s so over the top and ridiculous and immediately after this he smacks his girl friend in the face and is then scene crouched over a church, that just doesn’t go hand in hand. If you saw just a glimpse of this scene you probably wouldn’t even connect it to Spider-Man at all. Now for as dumb as this scene is, it’s only one very small moment of the film and has no real impact on the film as a whole, unlike some of the other things on this list.
8. Painfully corny lines of dialog
Okay, it’s a comic book adapted film, it’s supposed to sound like something from a comic book and the first two films sounded fine, capturing all the corny lines you’d expect from a superhero movie. But some of the dialog in this film doesn’t even make sense, take this conversation for example (Peter) “Hay, I saw you up there, you were great!” (Marry Jane) “Ups, you said great!” What’s that supposed to mean? How about this wonderful conversation, (Peter)“Just don’t give up on yourself and get back up on the horse.” (Marry Jane) “Don’t give me the horse thing and try to understand how I feel!” Um, he was trying to be supportive there. Or how about this (Girl) “What’s that smell?” (Eddie Brock) “It’s a little something called nice and easy, what’s on you?” (Girl) “It’s called go away!” Now that’s just silly talk. I’m not sure why but I think the strangest conversation in the film is this (Eddie) “How did you get a shot that hi?” (Peter) “I climbed, almost feel off a flag pole.” (Eddie) “See photography isn’t about, um, no affiance, FLAG POOLS, whatever, it’s about lighting”. I’m not sure what it is about this conversation, but it just feels a little too bizarre, as does a lot of the dialog in this film (not all, just sume).
7. Not including that awesome nightmare when he gets the black suit on
For those of you who never read the comics or watched the TV show, allow me to fill in the blanks. When the black costume first attaches to Peter we get this really creative and disturbing dream of him being chased by the alien costume, the real Spider-Man is there to help but he gets beaten and Peter gets consumed by the black costume. This was a very foreboding, stylish and a fitting way of showing the conflict that was going on in Peter’s head. I couldn’t wait to see this dream in a live action Spider-Man movie, especially under the direction of Sam Raimi. This was the guy who brought the “Evil Dead” movies to life and those were some of the most creative and imaginative horror movies I’ve ever seen. He would have been perfect to bring this dream sequence to life, instead we get black and white shots of Uncle Ben getting killed by Sandman and Peter wakes up hanging upside down in the city. This is very basic nitpicking but it was still disappointing.
6. Marry Jane held hostage Again
She may not be amongst my top ten favorite Damsels in distress (see that list if your curious to know who my favorites are) but I do like Marry Jane, she’s full of spirit, she had a sweet relation with Spider-Man and Kirsten Dunst is completely lovable in the role. But for goodness sakes does she have to get kidnapped in every film. I was okay with her needing to get rescued in the first two but this is the third film and it’s about time she have better involvement in the climax than just hanging there for Spider-Man to rescue her. It also makes the villains really dumb, can’t they be more original then just holding the girl friend hostage to lure him into a fight?
5. Nothing tragic about the Black Costume / Hummer going too far
I’m okay with a little hummer but this was just painful. The black alien costume was supposed to be a tragic addiction that just kept killing him, like a drug attic. It’s supposed to be this really dark story about how Spider-Man was losing himself to the joys of the suit, and he even begins killing criminals do to built up rage. We got a little bit of that with the Sand Man but that was a personal vendetta. While the Black alien costume story arch from both the comics and the TV show were tragic, this film goes more for comedy. If this movie went for a more serious rout, it would have been more affective, instead we get Peter dancing around in the street and just acting annoying, there’s nothing dark or tragic about this, it’s just really hard to feel all the torment the character is going through when we see him act so goofy.
4. Harry blackmailing Marry Jane to break up with Peter
Okay, so Harry’s plan goes like this, he’s threatening Marry Jane that he’ll kill Peter if she doesn’t break up with him and Marry Jane goes along with it. Um, did she just forget that her boy friend is Spider-man, he fights monstrous villains for a living, he can handle Harry. I mean, if she really saw Harry as a threat to him, why didn’t she have a problem with Peter being Spider-Man in the first place. Also, after she breaks up with Peter, Harry is observing and doesn’t seem to be holding any weapons, Peter could have taken him out easily if she had pointed him out. But my biggest grape about this is that Peter defeats Harry shortly after and Marry Jane never explains any of this to him, now thanks to her not telling Peter or warning him, Peter goes Emu and dose stupid stuff. Come on Sam Raimi, your better than this.
3. Eddie Brock
One of the biggest complaints from fans was that Venom had a full 10 minutes in the film. Well, I thought it was cool just to see him there, fighting and looking awesome but my real complaint goes to who he was before he became Venom. Eddie Brock is just painfully annoying, there’s nothing interesting, threatening or tragic about this character, he’s just an annoyance. Now If the writer’s can make the Sandman responsible for Uncle Ben’s death than why not have Marry Jane’s fiance from “Spider-Man 2” be Venom, he looked big, tough and had a good reason to hold a grudge against Peter. Instead we have this wimp who complains about everything. The worst thing about him is this one scene at the end when he asks Spider-Man if he remembers what cruel things he did to him. Um, Eddie made Spider-Man look like a criminal and published a false ad about it, than Peter turned him in for the worm that he is and he got fired and now Eddie’s trying to make himself look like a tragic victim, even though he deserves no sympathy from anyone, what the heck?!?
2 Spider-Man Kissing Gwen Stacy
I understand that Peter is just getting too self confident and that he’s letting fame go to his head but kissing another girl in front of Marry Jane with their own kiss feels painfully out of character. I could never imagine him doing something so unapologetically cruel, I know it’s perfectly normal for someone to get overly confident with a relation and that in their minds there doing nothing wrong. But this is a guy who has put his life on the line to protect and be with this woman. Peter has fought hard and has gone through numerous depressions in trying to get with her and now that he’s finally got her, he kisses another girl right in front of her and he knows darn well that she’s in the crowd watching. But the worst thing about this whole thing is that they only bring it up once more and it’s never brought up again, so what the heck was the point of that?
Okay, were not looking at stupid little nitpicks anymore, now it’s really, really cheap writing that puts the kibosh on the film.
1. Sandman Responsible for Uncle Bens Death
I’ll admit, when I heard The Sandman was going to be a main villain in this move, I was like “seriously off all the famous Spider-Man villains (like The Scorpion) they picked one that wasn’t even in the 90’s Spider-Man TV series”. But to be honest, I liked him for the most part. His action scenes were really cool, I loved that scene when he first came to life as the Sandman, I loved the many different ways he shift shapes and I liked that he wasn’t an over the top, crazy villain, instead he was like “John Q” fighting to save the life of his sick doubter. But the one thing that really kills this character for me is that the writers made him responsible for Uncle Bens Death. This is the biggest soup opera cliché I’ve heard in years. He was never responsible for killing him in either the comics or the TV show, it was always the criminal from the first film. Why did they change it? Well, the writers wanted Spider-Man to get really angry at someone, which really isn’t that hart to do. You can have him get into a fight with Spider-Man and have him almost kill aunt May and Marry Jane. He could do anything that would get Spider-Man angry instead of this stupid soap opera cliché of him being responsible for Uncle Bens death. What’s worse is that this destroys the powerful impact of Uncle Ben’s death, it’s wasn’t just sad that he died, it was sad because Peter was responsible. If he hadn’t been so angry at that guy for not giving him money, he probably would have stopped that criminal from robbing him and prevented his uncles death and it was such a powerful moment in “Spider-Man 2” when he confesses all of this to aunt May. But now all of that is completely thrown away just so Spider-Man could get angry at the sandman. This just feels like really poor writing and it’s the biggest problem I have with this movie by far.
So having said all of that, is “Spider-Man 3” really as bad as everyone says? Well, I couldn’t disagree with anyone saying that it was the weakest of the trilogy but that doesn’t make it a bad movie. Common movie goers look at films in B&W and just focus on what they don’t like in the film when there’s probably just as much good in it too. In the case of “Spider-Man 3”, it has its flaws and it isn’t the masterpiece that “Spider-Man 2” was but it’s far from terrible and in all honesty I think there’s actually more good in this film than bad. I’d normally go into more detail about what I liked but that’s for another post all together.THE END