*Originally written March 21st, 2017*
WOW! Where do I begin with this mess? I liked this as a kid, maybe even loved it, but I'm a little fuzzy on that. How wrong a 10 year old me was. This film is pretty much a disaster on all accounts, no wonder it single handedly killed the series for 5 years and forced Sony to reboot it.
This time around Peter Parker's life is going just fine, all is good, he's going to ask Mary Jane to marry him and he's thriving as Spider-Man, but all this goes to shit due to the appearances of The Sandman, Venom and Harry Osbourne, who now takes over his father's Green Goblin persona.
It's a mess. There are way too many villains and sub-plots for one film. It was even considered at one point to make this into two films, but instead, it was all crammed into this utter mess. So much could be cut out. The idea of making Sandman the guy who accidentally killed Uncle Ben is pointless and brought nothing but an emotionally manipulative villain that lacked the humanity of Doc Ock or the campy fun of Green Goblin. Making him some criminal trying to get money for his dying daughter is woefully cliche and just awful.
Then we have Venom. A black alien symbiote that attaches itself to Spider-Man, turning him black and becoming more aggresive, violent and a huge asshole, both as Parker and Spidey. There's also a scene where Peter has a montage of being a massive douche set to jazz music, that is either best or worst thing to ever happen to cinema. I honestly don't even know anymore. Topher Grace's Eddie Brock fares no better as Venom, once he is infected by the symbiote. He's far more annoying than he is intimidating.
After a brief green screen heavy fight, Harry gets amnesia, which Peter just takes advantage of to make them friends again, until the end where he remembers everything, but changes his mind to help him save Mary Jane from Venom and Sandman. A fucking mainstream film that uses amnesia for plot. I forgot Spider-Man was a daytime soap.
It's clearly a film ruined by studio interference. It lacks the personal journey Peter goes through in the first two, I was a little warm on the first, but it's looking a lot better to me after this. I wonder how The two Amazing Spider-Man films compare to this, it's been a while, but I think they're both stronger than this? (I will be revisiting them to confirm)
The only real saving graces of Spider-Man 3 are some great performances. J.J. Jameson once again steals every scene he's in and it is true gold for every little moment he's in. Even with the final battle, he trumps everything else happening with one 30 second scene. There is some creative action scenes spread throughout, but they are more often than not, undercut with some really terrible CGI and use of green screen.
Despite Raimi still at the helm, the action just feels off. Everything feels fake and it's way too CGI heavy. I couldn't pinpoint a single moment that looked or felt real. I did like some of the ideas though, black Spider-Man looked cool I will admit and it was sorta fun to see him be more of a dick, but yeah, that's pretty much it.
Spider-Man 3 is a complete mess that killed a franchise with so much potential, it's somehow watchable, but a bloated, stupid and at times, laughably bad sequel and a disappointing send off for Raimi's trilogy.
Spider-Man 3 is out now on Blu-ray and DVD in the UK
Watch the trailer below:
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