Saturday, May 26, 2007

Spider-Mess


Well, I finally got around to seeing SPIDER-MAN 3 and, I'm sorry to say, the rumors are true. What a jumbled up mess of a movie. Like the first film, this one beats you over the head with its theme (forgiveness) at every opportunity. And this time, there's not just one, not two but THREE villains. Hollywood never learns. Raimi made a game effort in trying to tie all the storylines together and that may have been the problem. There were so many unbelievable coincidences in the plot that my suspension of disbelief crumbled by the second reel, not the least of which is the revelation that Flint Marko is the real killer of Peter Parker's uncle Ben within minutes of becoming endowed with superpowers as the villain Sandman. This plot "twist" (read: retcon) completely changes Spider-Man's origin and invalidates his entire motivation for becoming a superhero in the first film. This is the same kind of jackassery that tied the Joker into Batman's origin in Tim Burton's original BATMAN film. It's unnecessary and distracting.

And, what the hell was up with Spidey losing his mask every ten seconds? I know they're paying Tobey MaGuire a lot of money to appear in these films, but nobody goes to a SPIDER-MAN movie to see his cherubic puss. (Or Kirsten Dunst's, for that matter, despite her moronic, egotistical claims.) A word of warning. Take a good look at the picture at the top of this posting. That's what Spidey looks like with his mask on. Remember it well, because you won't see much of it in SPIDER-MAN 3.

Now, lest I leave you with the impression that the movie was all bad, allow me to give a shout out to the F/X team. Venom was amazing looking. I was never a fan of the comic character but I really enjoyed seeing him come to life on film. He was suitably menacing. (Unfortunately, they must have been paying Topher Grace a lot of money too because he kept losing his mask as well.) The Sandman effects were terrific. I wish he wasn't the size of King Kong through most of the movie, but at least the visuals were good. The fight scene in the armored bank car was right out of the comics. And, best of all, Bryce Dallas Howard was enchanting as Gwen Stacy. She really looked the part (though, why they cast a redhead as blonde Gwen and a blonde as the red-haired MJ, I'll never understand) and she excelled in what was actually an underwritten role. The filmmakers played Gwen up as a bit of a ditz but Bryce at least managed to give the part some heart. And, did I mention, she looked great? She made Dunst look, well, skanky by comparison.

Anyway, I'll have to give this one 2.5 stars out of 5. It's too violent and scary for the kiddies, too silly for adults and it plays too fast and loose with the mythology for the comic geeks like yours truly. I'm just not sure at whom they were aiming this one.

5 comments:

Ink Blatt said...

"You know, maybe one person really can make a difference..." Unfortunately, Mr. Lee, there were two more people in this movie than there should've been.

Mafus pretty much hit the nail on the head (with a sledgehammer no less) about this stinker. It effectively killed the series for me. The dancing in the streets, too much Dunst, not enough Howard, Vemon talking like a regular Joe, Flint Marko always flashing puppy dog eyes and whining. Hell, everyone whined in the movie except Aunt May, who just shows up like Yoda to disperse sagely wisdom to our confused little hero. Ah, my blood's getting up just thinking about it again.

Skip Aunt May's nuggets and listen to Mafus.

Denis said...

Yup. This movie was really poor. They needed to drop Venom entirely from it and focus the story on Sandman. He should have been the main villian instead of the mook! I mean, I really liked Tophers Brock, but the whole Venom stuff was forced at best. From what I hear, Raimi didn't want to do Venom but was pressured into it, so he ruined him in the process.

They need a reboot. It's the only time I've ever wished for a new cast in a series of movies! Continue the story, but replace everyone bar Aunt May, and even then, stop having her talk like she totally knows about Peters dual identity, or have her just say she knows!

Dunst irritates me as MJ, and while I liked MaGuire in the first one, he's put on a bit of weight there on the cheeks and neck! He should be committed to the role enough to work out for the part! And poor Raimi. He just seems so tired of it all.

Time for a new team.

Matt Wieringo said...

Denis, the best part of the film, for me, was when my buddy Christian (ink blatt, above), in response to Spidey yelling, "MARKOOOO!", replied "POLOOOOOO"

Denis said...

Hahaha!! Nice! Something similar happened in the cinema when we were there. Now, while I don't ever condone hitting someone, especially a female, the entire cinema erupted when Emo Parker elbows MJ in the club and someone up the back shouted "Hit her again!!"

Matt Wieringo said...

Ha! My sentiments exactly. Though, as you say, I'd never condone hitting any female. Especially with Spidey-strength.