Monday, May 07, 2007
Movie Reviews: SPIDER-MAN 3
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Having settled into his relationship with M.J. (Kirsten Dunst) and come to terms with bein' Spider-Man, Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) is one happy fella. But not for long. Soon, his love life is complicated by an old flame, Gwen Stacy (Bryce Dallas Howard); two new baddies (Thomas Haden Church, Topher Grace) are on his tail; and Harry Osborn (James Franco) suffers some seriously conflicted feelings about his old pal and a potential secret identity.
Cast Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, Thomas Haden Church, Topher Grace, James Franco, Dylan Baker (more)
Director(s) Sam Raimi
Writer(s) Alvin Sargent
Status In theaters (wide)
Release Date May 4, 2007
MPAA Rating PG - 13
Spider-man 3 is an adequate if over stuffed movie. This installment shoots for the middle market target audience and hits it's target. There in lies the problem, this movie plays it very safe all the way through. That's not to say there aren't lots of fun moments and lots of wow factor here but it just doesn't dare to get too dark or serious. Sadly, it's a missed opportunity because Sam Raimi could have really explored Parker's/Spiderman's dark side and see what this superhero could become if he gave into his darker impulses. Instead we get very light hearted montages that show Parker, with Maguire having a ball hamming it up, living it up as a "cool" guy. Only one moment in the whole thing do we get a real sense of Parker's dark side when Mary Jane tries to stop him from beating up just about everybody at a Jazz bar, aside from that the dark side portion of the story is played pretty lightly, its really a shame. It doesn't help that the movie as a whole tends to lack focus as there is so much going on. 2 new villains appear and both are introduced fairly clumsily and don't carry nearly the emotional weight that the villains had in the previous 2 films. Thomas Haden Church is given very little to do other than look severe and Topher Grace does decently with the small bits he's given before he's transformed, playing a good doppelganger to Maguire's Parker. Personally wish Sam Raimi would have explored it a bit more that relationship more and just dropped the Sandman villain entirely as it doesn't really add anything to the overall story line. James Franco steals a page out of Hayden Christensen Star Wars acting handbook and turns in a terribly stiff performance, can't really blame it entirely on him since his storyline is just silly. Bruce Campbell once again shows up in a very fun cameo. Stan Lee also shows up for his usual cameo. Bryce Dallas Howard isn't asked to do anything other than be a face on the 4 part of an underdeveloped love quadrangle. Kirsten Dunst is kind of just there, nothing terrible but nothing really memorable either. Tobey Maguire gives us what we've gotten in the past films and, as mentioned before, isn't given any real meat to sink his teeth into even though he's give a chance to let loose and let his hair down, literally. The effects and action sequences are top notch for the most part, there are some great sequences and the Sandman effects are excellent. My only complaint in this department is that sometimes the effects go from looking fantastic to very CGI, Spiderman's first encounter with Harry and his glider come to mind. Still there are lots of great action sequences and the final showdown is fairly enjoyable as well. I'll be the first to say that this is still a fun movie but it's got some pretty visible flaws as well. Spiderman 3 overall doesn't match up the high standards the first two films set, it still a fun film but it's over bloated and has too many underdeveloped story lines going on causing it to become unfocused and lack any real depth.