Sunday, May 06, 2007

Spider-Man 3

I'm going to assume that anyone reading this has already seen Spider-Man 3 or at least has heard all of the plot elements. I'm just going to comment on some themes that the reviews I've seen missed.

Primarily this is a movie about facing your dark side. Peter does it through the black costume. Granted, the costume brings out the worst side of him, but he puts it on knowing this will happen. As Dr. Jekyll is drawn to the freedom of being Hyde, so is Peter drawn to the black suit.

That much is obvious about the movie - it's a major plot. But the villains have to face the same choice. Near the end of the movie, Harry has to face the fact that his father despised him and was responsible for his own death. Considering what has happened by that point, can he forgive Peter?

At the beginning Sandman says that he isn't a bad person but then we find out that he killed Uncle Ben. Not to mention that he is a rampaging pile of sand. He faces what he has done at the end.

Finally, there is Eddie Brock. It turns out he likes being mad. Out of the four, he is the one who fails.

So, was it a great movie? It wasn't bad. I didn't like the Green Goblin in the first movie. The costume and the solid helmet just were wrong for the character. On the other hand, I really liked both Doc Ock's personality and upgraded tentacles in the second movie. Given that background, I would put Spider-Man 3 somewhere in-between. I liked it better than the first but it wasn't as polished as the second.

My main complaint is that they stuffed so much into the movie. Three different villains plus the black suit was a lot. Some characterization got skipped - especially on Sandman and Venom.

I suspect that Sam Raimi assumed that this would be his last Spider-Man movie so he stuffed it full of his favorites. He could easily have paced the Venom plot and saved it for the next movie.

That said, I have to give him credit for not turning the movie into a mish-mash like Batman and Robin.

Since Spider-Man 3 has broken all previous box office records, there will be a lot of pressure on Raimi to do Spider-Man 4. Good thing Spider-Man has a richer group of villains to choose from than many heroes.

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