From RedFenceProject.comDirector: Sam Raimi
Cast: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Thomas Haden Church, Topher Grace, and BRUCE CAMPBELL!!!!!Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 62%Our Rating: C-If I go Emo, then will you still call me Spiderman?
No wonder Spider-Man spends so much time off the ground fighting villains; they are always more interesting than the good guys.
Below the fight a million citizens scurry between cabs and curbs, from shops to restaurants in an endless pattern of mundane, unending melodrama. Among these citizens are some of Spidey's friends: Mary Jane Watson – a mediocre actress in danger of losing her career, Harry Osborne – a pampered daddy's boy with a bad case of angst-ridden amnesia, and Gwen Stacy – an up and coming model who can't decide what shade of pink lipstick to wear.
Amidst these teeny-pop do-gooders runs a misunderstood convict named Flint Marko (aka The Sandman). Marko escapes prison to help his sick daughter and stumbles into a secret testing facility where, in true comic book form, he is genetically merged with a large pile of sand. It's hard to guess what the scientists were trying to test in the first place, and even harder to grasp how they missed such a subtle side-effect: Marko is able to manipulate sand with his mind, retaking his original form but able to pound through walls or dissipate into a cloud of grit and fly around the city. Thomas Haden Church plays Marko with enough gusto to make up for the ludicrous nature of his powers, and the special effects certainly match the high standards set by SpiderMan-2. But, as The Sandman, Church lacks the warmth and honesty that Alfred Molina brought to Doc Ock or the pure, sinister sadism that Willem Dafoe used to perfect The Green Goblin.
While Spider-Man is busy fighting with a living sandbox, he also is being tracked by a small piece of sentient tar that hitches a ride on his scooter after crashing into Earth on a meteor (no, I'm not making this up). Apparently, the small, gooey "Symbiote" is a space creature with a passion for all things Emo. It binds with Spider-Man in the form of a shiny new black suit. When Spider-Man eventually figures out what's going on, he rips away the parasitic space creature and, without any regard for scientific research or the safety of other people, leaves it dripping in a church where, low and behold, Eddie Brock (fellow photographer and career rival of Peter Parker) stumbles upon the slimy beast. The two combine to form Venom, a soulless, vile monster with the powers and strength of Spider-Man but without all the psychological baggage and troublesome conscience.
If you aren't confused already, try a few of these subplots: While Peter talks with Aunt May about getting married to Mary Jane, Harry Osborne forces M.J. to break up the romance with Peter, who then uses Gwen Stacy to make M.J. jealous, and in the meantime finds out that The Sandman is actually the man who murdered his uncle.
If the whole thing is beginning to sound like a daytime soap opera, you aren't far off. The problem with soap operas is that they never end; characters love, lose, even die, but always manage to return without any signs of change. Meanwhile the plot careens out of control with happenstance: a meteor just happens to crash next to Peter Parker, Harry Osborn just happens
to suffer from amnesia and forget his animosity towards Peter, The Sandman just happens
to be Uncle Ben's real killer, Eddie Brock just happens
to be in the same building when Spider-Man sheds the Symbiote.
In its third installment, the Spider-Man Saga has regressed to its comic book state with no regard for the new form it has taken on the screen. While a comic can expound endlessly on tangents and rabbit trails, a film script must use an economy of scenes to depict deep emotions and themes. Spider-Man barely pulled off this feat and Spider-Man 2 made the transition flawlessly, but Spider-Man 3 has failed completely, shuffling scenes and plots into a random pile.
The movie does not completely miss the mark; how could it when the director and co-writer Sam Raimi used a shot gun approach to filmmaking, pelting the audience with new characters, back stories, and even genres? The film switches back and forth between science-fiction, action, romance, comedy, epic, and tragedy. Much like the Pirates of the Caribbean
sequels, it feels rudderless, wandering aimlessly through cheesy dialog and a convoluted story with only a few great performances to steer the course.
One of these performances comes from Bruce Campbell, who appears in a deliciously French cameo, seeming to channel John Cleese as he flaunts and smirks his way through one of the film's many comedic scenes. Also worth the $12 ticket price is Rosmary Harris as Aunt May. Having moved from the old family home to a tiny apartment, Aunt May carries a deep sadness as the voice of wisdom to Peter Parker, and Harris captures every nuance, turning potentially soppy dialog into genuine heartbreak.
The strongest performance in the film comes from Spider-Man newcomer Topher Grace. His Eddie Brock is devilishly impish, like Puck with bite, schmoozing and plotting to destroy both Peter Parker and Spider-Man. He is the geeky kid at school that the teachers pretend is harmless, a hidden sociopath with a deep-seated dark side that finds a voice, and claws, as Venom. Despite his wispy stature, Grace manages to capture the dominant rage and power that made the comic book Venom one of the best, and creepiest, Spider-Man villains. He glowers and growls with the help of prosthetic fangs, but is the most frightening when, in a brief moment of control over the alien force, he utters the words, "I like being mad. It feels good."
Despite its strengths, Spider-Man 3 ultimately falls prey to its weaknesses. Sam Raimi is searching for themes of forgiveness and redemption, but takes his characters so far into the realm of melodrama they might never be resurrected for number four.More Spiderman 3: What Must Have Happened After... Spiderman Tore Off His Costume In The Church