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SPIDER-MAN 3, 2007
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Movie Review - Spiderman 3

Robert's Review

Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) has finally settled into a comfortable, balanced life as the now-famous Spider-man and the boyfriend of Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst), who's just become a Broadway actress. Things are going well for him – he's top of his class in school, he's getting ready to propose to MJ, and the entire city loves Spider-man as their hero. However, all that changes in the blink of an eye when 3 new villains show up and start causing trouble. His former best friend Harry Osborn (James Franco) becomes the new Green Goblin and wants to kill Peter to avenge his father's death. Flint Marko aka Sandman (Thomas Haden Church) is revealed to have been the real murderer of Peter's Uncle Ben, which causes Peter to want revenge on him. Eddie Brock (Topher Grace) is the new upstart photographer at the Daily Bugle that's trying to take Peter's job, which causes a lot of issues at work for Peter. An alien symbiote which later becomes Venom (after it joins with Eddie) falls down to Earth and attaches to Peter's costume, causing it to turn black and enhance his existing traits… including his anger and self-centeredness that he'd been keeping in check thus far. Peter soon becomes very self-important and he hurts everyone he's cared about, including MJ. When he realizes his mistakes and takes the black suit off, the alien symbiote joins with Eddie and becomes Venom, who's bent on revenge against Peter for getting him fired from the Daily Bugle. To top all that off, throw in a love triangle, a bunch of relationship issues between Peter and MJ and also a case of memory loss for one of the main characters… and we have ourselves a bona fide soap opera! That's right, a goddamn soap opera!

I was hugely disappointed in "Spider-man 3" and left the theater shaking my head quite fiercely. I absolutely loved the first two Spider-Man movies… they had great character development, a great balance between the drama and action, and best of all they seemed serious about the subject matter (they weren't too campy or silly and they made Spider-Man and the villains seem almost believable). However, the same cannot be said about this movie. Let's start with character development – we already know about the Green Goblin from the previous movies; Venom comes out of nowhere and Eddie is already hell-bent on vengeance because Peter got him fired; and Sandman comes out of nowhere as well, but he at least seemed to have a good reason as to why he was doing the bad things that he'd been doing. Having 3 villains in a single

movie is a tricky thing to do and I wasn't impressed with how it turned out here. Next, let's talk about the drama – this movie did not take itself seriously and the drama was quite absurd and cheesy, making it seem just like a daytime soap opera, which I couldn't stand. Now on to the action – to be brutally honest, there wasn't much action at all. The movie focused way too much on the soapy drama and the 'normal life' characters behind the masks. Many of the villains came and went pretty quickly and didn't have much screen time. For example… the Green Goblin shows up early in the movie, Spider-Man kicks his butt, and then he disappears for over half the movie. The same goes for the alien symbiote; it falls to Earth early on and then it doesn't really do anything until halfway through the movie. Lastly, the fun and charm of the first two movies was sorely lacking here and Peter was just a bore to watch without it. In fact, there's a good chunk of screen time dedicated to Peter's new EMO phase (where he gives himself an EMO hairstyle and makeover, and turns into a huge jerk to everyone he knows) which really seemed absurd and out of place in the movie. Becoming mean to people is one thing (that's what the alien symbiote does… it enhances aggression), but it shouldn't turn him EMO. Anyhow, I digress… overall, I was hugely disappointed in this movie. I could go on talking about how Topher Grace was all wrong for the part, or how cheesy and quickly-wrapped-up the ending was, but I'm going to stop here and spare all of you from that tirade.

All in all, I'd give this movie 2.5 STARS (out of 5). Re-watch value: LOW.

Brett's Review

In "Spider-Man 3" we have Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) who has finally managed to strike a balance between his devotion to M.J. (Kirsten Dunst) and his duties as a superhero, however there is a storm brewing on the horizon. When his suit suddenly changes, turning jet-black from a mysterious black substance and enhancing his powers, it transforms Peter as well, bringing out the dark, vengeful side of his personality that he is struggling to control. Under the influence of the suit, Peter becomes overconfident and starts to neglect the people who care for him most. Forced to choose between the seductive power of the new suit and the compassionate hero he used to be, Peter begins to give into this new dark personality, he starts to abandon the

ones he loves the most. Parker also begins a new romance with his lab partner, the beautiful Gwen Stacy (Bryce Dallas Howard) but in doing so Peter sets off a rival Bugle photographer, a troubled young man by the name of Eddie Brock (Topher Grace) who is obsessed with Stacy. Little does Peter know the black substance has its sights set on Eddie else as well. Brock is turned into Venom, a arch-foe that mirrors everything Spider-Man can do. Peter is forced to become the strong-willed hero he has forgotten about if he hopes to defeat his greatest threat yet. Peter must overcome his personal demons as two of the most-feared villains yet, Sandman and Venom, gather unparalleled power and a thirst for retribution to threaten Peter and everyone he loves.

I really loved "Spider-Man 3" and although I think Spidey 2 was better, Spidey 3 would defiantly be my second choice. The mixture that Raimi brought into the story with the Sandman (one of the original Spider-Man villains (Spider-Man #4 1963) and the next generation of Spider-Man with Venom (Spider-Man #298 1988) was extremely well done. We get to see two very different villains with very different reasons for not liking Spider-Man . Thrown into the mix is The New Goblin Harry Osbourne's alter-ego, and this rounds out the tri-villian experience. With the story heading down a dark path for Parker as we see him trying to balance the inner darkness, and trying to maintain the nice guy routine this is really well played. The beginning of the movie we see that fame starts to go to Parkers head, his ego gets swelled and he becomes more obsessed with his own headlines, and less interested in everyone else. As the movie progresses and the dark suit starts to get involved we see the side of Spider-Man and a side of Parker that really turns the movie a little dark. Overall it's a really good Spider-Man experience and one that I must see again.

Overall Rating: 4 Stars (out of 5). Re-Watch Value: High (a couple more times in the theatres and then purchase on DVD).

Trivia: (1) The release date for the film was set before Spider-Man 2 (2004) was even released. (2) A scene (and poster) of Spider-Man shows him in his symbiote-suit and, in a window, his reflection in his old red-and-blue suit. This image is reminiscent of a scene from _"Spider-Man: The Alien Costume: Part 1 (#1.8)" (1995)_ , which also featured, as in the trailer, the symbiote-suit attaching itself to Peter as he sleeps. (3) This film is the first "third installment film" to be directed by the same director. Most directors who have done superhero films usually make the first and second films, and then leave.

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