May 6, 2007 Spider-Man 3
Studio: Sony Pictures Rating: PG-13 for sequences of intense action violence.
In the third installment of the "Spider-Man" trilogy, Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) has finally found a balance between his private life and his superheroic deeds. But new villains and love problems threaten to ensnare the wall crawler in a web of defeat.
When we last saw Peter Parker at the end of the second film, his relationship with Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) was cruising right along. He'd defeated the menace of Doctor Octopus and life was looking good.
That's where things pick up in "Spider-Man 3." New York City is in love with the web slinger. He's the idol of millions and soaks in the limelight. But trouble from his past reappears as his old friend Harry Osborn (James Franco) tries to avenge his father's death.
Besides dealing with the new Goblin, other villains enter the picture to threaten our hero. Peter discovers a small-time hood named Flint Marko (Thomas Haden Church) is the man who killed his beloved Uncle Ben. But an accident transforms Marko into a super villain called the Sandman, making Spider-Man's job tougher.
"Spider-Man 3" is an entertaining movie. The special effects are fantastic with the fight scenes leaving you wanting more. The acting is generally good with the notable exception of Dunst. The writers do her a disservice by making Mary Jane a spoiled, self-centered, and really unlikeable character. She is without a doubt the weakest link of this movie. I question her decisions, her motivation and how she deals with the problems between she and Peter. Please Mary Jane, just go away.
In addition, even with all of the great moments delivered by a number of different characters, there is ultimately just too much going on.
Director Sam Raimi would have been better served to have pared down this movie instead of trying to cram everything into a two and a half hour film. Probably the most underserved plot element is the introduction and the evolution of the villain Venom (Topher Grace). The way the character is brought into the story is laughable and you never get a feel for the menace the symbiote represents.
I would rather have seen Venom left out entirely if they couldn't fit the character into the story more naturally.
Another arc that is criminally undeveloped is the one involving Gwen Stacy (Bryce Dallas Howard). The beautiful blonde is Peter's lab partner. But after a few quick scenes she fades into the background. Such an important character deserves more.
"Spider-Man 3" will make a lot of money and leave many people happy. But there are too many problems with the story for me to love it unconditionally.
On my rating scale, "Spider-Man 3" earns a Triple.
THE BIG BANG THEORY Tonight at 7:30 PM The Herb Garden Germination
Amy and Sheldon spread gossip as part of an experiment; Howard decides to take a big step in his relationship with Bernadette