Tuesday, May 01, 2007


Last night I got a chance to see one of the first of many screenings for Spider-Man 3 in New York, and I got to tell you the truth--I felt like a kid on Christmas Morning. For those people that know me they understand how much I love Spider-Man. Since I was five years old I was hooked on the web slinger. I named my first dog Spider for Christ sakes. So am I going to be kind of biased towards Spider-Man 3? Probably--but it also means that I'm going to be really anal about how they portray my favorite characters, so how did this 3rd and possible final chapter in the Spider-Man saga fare? I gotta say I loved every frame.In the third installment directed by Sam Raimi, Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) is now living his dream. He got the girl, Mary-Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst), the people of New York love Spider-Man and he is excelling as a student at Empire State University. So of course there is no where else to go but down. Mary-Jane is having a rough time with her acting/singing career and she gets a little jealous of the new girl who vies for Peter's affection, Gwen Stacy (Bryce Dallas Howard). Harry Osborn (James Franco) is also having a rough time of it as his quest for vengeance against Peter/Spider-Man for the death of his father (Willem Dafoe) reaches a boiling point. It also provides one of the most entertaining fight sequences of the film as Peter fights Harry sans Spider outfit. Not to mention a bizarre asteroid crashes unleashing a strange black ooze all over Pete’s new duds, what is a guy to do. The three new villains to add to the story are Flint Marko aka. Sandman (Thomas Haden Church), who is revealed to be the true murderer of Peter's Uncle Ben from the first film. Peter has a new rival for a position at the Daily Bugle in Eddie Brock/Venom (Topher Grace), a sarcastic brown noser with a very murky morality code. When the mysterious alien goop attaches itself to Peter's clothes it brings out a very dark side in him, making him a bit of a villain as well. Actually the dark Spidey provides some truly funny bits. I admit there is a lot of plot going on here--to some Critics it may seem disjointed but to me it was perfectly in-sync.

The fight scenes were incredible and visually stunning. Raimi was tasked to top himself from the last two Spider films and I believe that he has done so with style. With the addition of the very complicated Venom and the constantly shape shifting Sandman, he still keeps the storytelling top notch as all of the characters stay completely true to themselves and we get to see the completion of a phenomenal trilogy. The themes are simple, the first film was about Responsibility, the second was about choice and the third one is about forgiveness. These simple themes along with strong grounded characters are what make these films watchable over and over again. It is what is completely missing from the 3rd X-men film. They rushed it and got a crappy movie. Spider-Man is proof that you can take a seemingly difficult and fantastic story from the pages of a comic book and make a series of strong capable films if you have the right filmmakers behind it. I read somewhere recently where Kirsten Dunst made a comment about future Spider-Man films. She said that it wouldn't work without herself, Tobey Maguire and Sam Raimi. She's only partially right. Don't get me wrong Tobey and Kirsten are great in their respective roles, but there is only one director that has the passion and desire to make a great Spider-Man film and that is Sam Raimi. There are many talented directors out there but I don't think any of them could do as good a job with this series as Raimi has with this one. I mean just look at this supporting cast of JK Simmons and J. Jonah Jameson, Bill Nunn, Rosemary Harris, Cliff Robertson, Elizabeth Banks, Dylan Baker, James Cromwell and the always funny Bruce Campbell. Raimi has so intricately created a real universe of sub-plots and character development that has consistently spanned all three films. Bear in mind that this one is a long one so take your pee break before the show--otherwise you're gonna be hurting.Spider-Man opens this weekend May 4, also in IMAX. As Stan the Man Lee says. Nuff Said.
P.S. I saw this and I just couldn't resist!

Grade: 5 Buckets

1 comment:

Captain Mike said...

Man! I thought I was gonna have to wait for "Ocean's 13" for a summer movie with such a superstar-studded cast. But with "Spider-man 3" boasting the powerhouse box office duo of JK Simmons AND Bill Nunn... I mean... studio executives dream about that when they masturbate! Thank you, God!