Monday, May 14, 2007

Movie Review: Spider-Man 3

(This review contains minor spoilers for the film in question, but that's okay, because you don't really need to see it, anyway.)

Alison and I saw the uncreatively named Spider-Man 3 with some friends this weekend. Let's just say I was disappointed with it.

On second thought, let's not. I mean, what kind of review would that be? First let me talk about what I did like about the film:
  • The action sequences look quite good, thanks mostly to expensive* visual effects.
  • It was really cool to see Spidey in the black suit and to see the full-blown Venom. The aforementioned visual effects really brought the symbiote to life.
  • Sandman looked good, too.

You might notice that list contains nothing about the story or the characters. Now, here's a much longer and more important list of what I didn't like:
  • There are way too many storylines in this film: not only are Peter and Mary Jane are having relationship problems, but also there is a true round-robin of all the super-folks in this movie: everyone fights everyone else.** As a result, no single plotline is fully fleshed out.
  • Several minor and even major plot points hinge on something that just doesn't make sense. For example, someone's butler chooses the end of this film to reveal a secret he should have spilled at the end of the first movie, two full movies earlier. Also, near the middle of the film, it's made clear that Sandman, who is made of---wait for it---sand, reacts poorly to getting wet, but later, we see him crying. Not only is that inconsistent, but, did I mention that he's made of sand? Another example: When presented with a sample of the symbiote, Peter's physics professor says something like, "I'm not a biochemist; I can't help you with this," immediately before launching into discussion of the material's biochemical properties.
  • Apparently, when a good guy turns bad, his hair gets darker and he starts wearing eye-liner. This isn't the only film where I've seen this shorthand, but I find it really annoying every time.
  • Kirsten Dunst. The woman continues to look like she's either stupid or asleep. Or both.
  • Dancing. There are several instances of ridiculous dancing in this film. And there's pointing as well. Way too much pointing.
  • There are others, but I'm too annoyed to list them for you right now.

In summary, if you're looking for a good superhero movie, this isn't it. (See my Superman Returns review for alternatives.) Overall, I give it 4.0 out of 10.

* This film reportedly cost 270,000,000 dollars to make.
** That's six combinations.


  1. Anonymous8:44 AM

    Yeah, between you and James Berardinelli, I'm convinced that I have no need to see this movie. The "Too Many Plots" problem is just lethal to a movie, as my recent HBO viewing of the dreadful, depressing mess that is "X-Men: The Last Stand" has reminded me with great force.

    Oh, and don't forget that good guys who magically transform into villians often acquire unnaturally pale skin and visible veins in addition to the black hair and the smoky eye makeup (c.f. Evil Willow, Dark Phoenix, etc.).

  2. Also, Stan Lee's cameo in this movie was HORRIBLE. EMBARASSING. It hurt to watch.

    The Bruce Campbell cameo, on the other hand, was a highlight of the movie.

  3. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention Stan Lee's cameo. As you say, Bruce Campbell's appearance---it was more than a cameo, really---was quite enjoyable.