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Spider-Man 3
Reviewed by Joe Crowe, © 2007

Format: Movie
By:   Sam Raimi (director)
Genre:   Superhero movie
Review Date:   May 14, 2007
Audience Rating:   PG-13
RevSF Rating:   8/10 (What Is This?)

"Don't do it, Spidey!" -- little girl, before Gwen Stacy kisses Spider-Man

So it's been over a week since I did my part, and contributed to the bazillion bucks Spider-Man 3 made. I just hope the public hears about the movie somehow. I elected to let the hubbub die down, and let my brain mull and stew over it before I wrote my review. Also, I'm lazy.

Before Batman Forever came out, I said "A bad Bat-movie is better than no Bat-movie." Then a certain director whose name I shan't type took that as a challenge. This one still has Mr. Sam Raimi, the same director as the first two Spider-flicks, but it's stuffed and frantic like a guy at a Mexican buffet when the bathroom is out of order, and X-Men 3.

It felt like Raimi wasn't feeling it this time. Check out this comment from an interview with Raimi on Sci Fi Wire about Marvel movie producer Avi Arad: "Avi said, 'You're not giving me what I asked you.' He said, 'They want Venom. Just give them Venom already!' That was my desire. I was led there."

The pathos! I just hope they didn't make the poor bastard read the 1990s Spidey comics that had Venom in them. That would just be cruel.

The movie wasn't as good as the previous two. It didn't totally fumble the web-ball. It had Spider-Man in it. No other movie lately has had Spider-Man in it. Here are some things I liked.

SPOILERS AHOY! Come on. Go see the thing. Don't make me alert the geek board.

The characters. What a clever idea: The audience invests in the characters because the actors, director and writers put so much character, emotion, and wit into them.

Such a thing wasn't as strong in this movie. A good deal of the emotional stuff didn't play right. But the goodwill is still there from the first 2 movies. When MJ kisses Harry, the audience gasped. That just doesn't happen at the movies.

James Franco. He finally got to do what he should have in the second movie. The ease with which he got amnesia was right out of the comics. He needs his own superhero movie. I think there are some left.

Some might say, "He deserves to be in a movie where his acting talent can be highlighted." But will he fly around on a glider and throw bombs in that?

Eddie Brock. That 70s Show is funny, but Topher Grace usually isn't the best part. He's funniest on the show when his naive dork Eric tries to be neither naive nor dork. That's how Grace played Eddie in the whole movie.

Gwen Stacy. I expected her to get dead. That's what she does in the comic. That's all she does! She even had the black hairband. If you like that sort of thing.

Dr. Connors examines the symbiote. My big dork moment was I told non-comic fans that in the comics, Spidey took the symbiote to Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four. The non-geek public knows who Reed Richards is now! Or at least they know the stretch guy from the movie with the rock guy and Jessica Alba.

Everybody else. All the background players got star moments. I could watch that guy play J. Jonan Jameson for a whole movie.

But I shan't let some things slide. The movie had a higher goofy-assedness ratio, or GAR, than the other two.

The thing with Spidey's origin and Sandman. And he just let him go?

Sandman's daughter. So is she going to be OK? They never said. I figured Harry would use his money to get her a cure. Or she'd be eaten by Venom.

The crying. Weeping is reserved for superhero movie viewers. There's no crying in superhero movies!
Mr. Ditkovitch. I saw in the credits the Peter's landlord's name is Ditkovitch. Stan Lee gets to play Stan Lee, but Spidey's co-creator Steve Ditko gets name checked as a grump with an unintelligible accent. Nice.

Harry's little secret. So the whole time everything was all gooey and kissy-facey with Peter and Mary Jane, he never told her "Remember our buddy Harry? Yeah. He wants to kill me."

Where did Gwen go? She vanished after the big dance number, like some of us wanted to. It would have been neat if she and MJ were trapped together in that car. They could have had someone to talk to.

The newscasters. Having the media cover breaking news was old school. But nowadays we laugh at newscasters. Because they deserve it. They blocked my view of Giant Sandman.

Why was Gwen Stacy at the funeral? She goes to funerals of friends of people who humiliate her in public? Whatta gal.

My fear is at the rate they're burning through villains, Spider-Man 4 will have the Spider-Clone, and Tobey Maguire will have a big CGI fight with himself.

Allow me to sob softly into a tissue for a moment.

There should be a Spider-Man 4. Why stop at three? This is Spider-Man. They'll stop making Harry Potter movies when they've covered all the books, but there are 45 years of Spider-stories. After 30-plus years in my life of having no Spider-movies, I don't want to go back.

I don't want Maguire, Dunst, and Raimi hobbled and gray and miserable doing these things. They can take a break. Eventually they should stop doing Spidey, once they fill up their double-decker mansions with solid gold cruise ships.

Besides, Superman and Batman have two more than him. They have five movies each. You gonna take that, Spidey?

For more web-zinging Spidey 3 reviews, see Peggy Hailey's and Alan J. Porter's.

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