Let's just start out by saying that I'm a HUGE Spiderman fan. Ever since I was little when the 90's animated series was on, I would watch and read anything Spiderman. I got plenty of comics and loved everyone of them. I just wish I could have more! Anyway, back to the main point of this review: Spiderman 3. This was one of my most anticipated movies of all time (along with the previous two) but I had confidence in the filmmakers to not disappoint. Did they? Not even a little. Spiderman 3 is one of the most putrid piles of steaming shit I've seen in years. And even THAT's putting it lightly.
There are so many bad things about this movie that I can't help but want to cry thinking about it. The previous two films were so great and just monumental as comic book movies and as movies in general. They had great character development, breathtaking action scenes, well handled drama, subtle humor and damn good acting. Now take ALL of that and completely take it away, add cheesy dialogue, character "underdevelopment", over the top humor, cringe worthy drama, and underwhelming action scenes, and there you have Spiderman 3.
Now first off, is the story. What a jumbled mess. I don't even know if I would consider it a story it's so convoluted and bad. There are so many intersecting storylines that it's really hard to make sense of it all. It jumps from one storyline to another to another and the entire time and left me thinking "What was the point of that?" And trust me, you'll be asking yourself that many times throughout the duration of the film. One subplot that seemed completely useless other than to show off the amazing effects was the Sandman AKA Flint Marko. He was in there to...I mean for...he had this...wait, why in the hell was he in this? What part did he play in the whole scheme of things? Oh wait nothing. The writers (which by the way, should be shot for their stupidity) decided that, in order to add him into the movie, HE was the one that killed Uncle Ben. What a load of shit! That's called the writers being extremely lazy.
Another thing that I felt the writers felt complied to use was the whole New Goblin subplot. It seems like he was just there because the end of the second showed Harry finding his fathers Goblin stash. I was very disappointed in how they handled the character overall. They seemed to just have him in there just to help Peter out in the end. His character would have been a complete waste if not for Franco but I'll get to that later.
The Peter/Mary Jane subplot was just hard to watch. You could tell that they both hated each other (the actors) and it carried over to the characters. Their performances were stale when they were with each other and just uninspired. I disliked MJ's selfishness on her career and her not even realizing how difficult a job being Spiderman is for Peter. I mean, in the end of the second, she was willing to make sacrifices but now suddenly she only cares about herself. Again, this is a case of bad writing.
Probably the only part of the story that I did really like was the Eddie Brock/Venom storyline. Eddie was likable at first, and if I had known nothing about the story or his character in the comics then I would end up thinking he was a good guy. I think this is more credit to Topher Grace than to the writers. When he turned into Venom my heart was racing and I could wait to see what he would do. They didn't show him as much as I would have liked but I still loved every second of celluloid he was in. The look of him was top notch. One thing I didn't like about his character was the fact that when he was Venom he didn't refer to himself as "We" like in the comics but he refers to himself as "I". I really disliked that part and YET AGAIN, that's the writers not knowing what they're doing.
One point of the story that could have been done much better (that my dad also helped the idea along with) was the ending of the film. Instead of how it went down Mary Jane should've been killed by Harry near the middle. Gwen Stacey should've been put in the same predicament as MJ was in the end because Venom has a reason for that: Revenge on both Gwen and Peter. Plus, since half the fans already hate MJ as it is, they could've made the end more dramatic with people worrying about Gwen. But of course, the writers decide to screw it all up, and make a very unclimactic ending.
Looking back on all of the different problems with the storyline and the characters made me think "Did the writers even WATCH the other two films?" "Did they even READ the comics?" I was quite angry at how the characters suddenly had different motives as to what they had in the other films. And the new characters either had motives to try to make them likable (the Sandman being a criminal to get money for his terminally ill daughter) which just showed that the writers can develop characters properly. Or the new ones were completely underused (Gwen Stacey was in it for a total of five minutes and she could have been a great character.)
Now onto the acting. Usually the Spiderman films are staples for great acting in an action movie but of course this one fails to impress. Tobey Mcguire even fails to deliver a great performance which he does in the others. I was quite disappointed in that fact. Kirsten Dunst, as usual, gives a horrible performance and the bad expressions made me annoyed beyond belief. James Franco gives a tremendous performance. He balances out the two different Harry's he must play: The mean "goblin" Harry and the nice amnesiac Harry. I liked both though the darker one this time around was great to watch, though I must say I definitely liked seeing Harry as a nice guy again. J.K. Simmons again hits it out of the park as J. Jonah Jameson but honestly who would have thought other wise.
As for the newcomers, Thomas Hayden Church does a tremendous job with the little that he is given as the Sandman. I really appreciated how much depth he tried to add to the character but not much can be done to a character who is so contradictory in his actions that it's hard to even be plausible. Next comes my favorite performance which surprisingly comes from Topher Grace. He gives a very believable performance as the desperate photographer Eddie Brock. His turn as Venom is menacing and I loved every minute of it. The voice should have been altered a little but it was still damn good. Bryce Dallas Howard does such a good job as the small role as Gwen Stacey. I loved her but honestly, who couldn't?
Onto the effects. I knew going into this that the film would have top notch effects that would make any fanboy cream his pants. Was I right? Most of the time. There were some shots where it looked a little iffy but most of the time it was believable. The sand effects were great and I particularly loved the transformation scene where he's falling apart. Very well done. Every scene with Venom looked great and he was definitely the best villain of the series. I just wish they would have focused the whole movie on his character rather than having three villains. Oh well, there's always the fourth.
One thing that bothered me throughout the entire film was the music. It just didn't fit. It made the whole film make less of an impact. I really think Christopher Young shouldn't get another job after this. He made certain dramatic scenes completely corny because he put in atrocious music. And then, with action scenes, the score just didn't fit at all. In the other two films, the score added depth to the action bits, but in this it took away from it. It sort of ruined a lot of the experiences and I really hope Elfman feels bad for leaving after having to listen to this other guys horrid music.
Something else that was certainly not very well done was the out of place humor. There were way too many added bits that just didn't fit well with the film as a whole. Peter strutting down the street after being attached to the symbiote and shaking his hips at hot girls as they passed. It felt like a scene from a disco movie, not Spiderman. Another scene was the bar room dance scene which was so cringe worthy that I looked away at one point. I wanted to just walk out at that point. Another part was the random shots of the newswoman and the crowd during the intense battle with Venom. I mean Jesus Christ. That was completely unnecessary. Same with Jameson buying the camera off the girl. Completely pointless.
The directing in this film was...well it hurts me to say bad things about Sam Raimi but I've got to say, he dropped the ball on this one. He had stylish shots and such but he's also responsible for the whole look of the film overall. And I must say that he failed to execute. I mean did he realize that he would actually need to EXPLAIN the whole symbiote thing. He didn't explain how Brock knew everything about Peter and knew exactly where to find Mary Jane. That's a combination of bad writing, which this film has plenty of, and a poor job on Raimi's part. Now another thing which I would like to address before wrapping this up would be the atmosphere of the film. The trailers showed this great dark dramatic film that would be a film of epic proportions. The movie itself was campy, light, over the top and just not very good. It was poorly written, badly acted, horribly scored, and just a bad time. What a disappointment...