Sunday, May 6, 2007

Spiderman 3 Review

I won't waste your time re-capping the first two Spidermans; if you haven't seen them already I can't think why you would go see this.

There are four, that's right, FOUR basic plot lines in Spiderman 3.

First, of course, is Peter Parker's on-going romance with Mary Jane Watson, or MJ, whom he has loved since he was a kid and who finally decided to give him a shot at the end of the last movie. Naturally, the course of true love does not run smoothly, and the fact that Spiderman is enjoying some popularity at last just as MJ's career nosedives doesn't help matters.

Along comes Harry Osborne, the wealthiest kid since Richie Rich, who has been struggling with issues of abandonment ever since Spiderman killed his Dad (he thinks) and, wouldn't you know it, it turns out Spiderman is actually Peter Parker, his former best friend in the world. Talk about betrayal. (He conveniently forgets that he sniped Peter's girl, MJ, in a vulnerable moment, and went out with her until his Dad basically called her a gold-digging slut.) The knee-jerk reaction when you find out your best friend is a Dad-killing Superhero is apparently to go ballistic with pumpkin bombs and flying surfboards inherited from Dear Old Dad, aka the Green Goblin. This is a shame because there are some surprisingly touching moments recounting the two men's friendship. Of course, It's hard to believe that Peter and Harry were ever friends in the first place when you see how Harry lives compared to Peter. In fact, how Harry ever managed to end up a basically decent guy living such a spoiled life is beyond belief.

Topher Grace makes his entrance in the third film playing Eddie Brock in plot line 3, and he does a great job over-coming the "That 70's Show" Eric Foreman geekiness. Of course, next to Toby McGuire, Ryan Seacrest looks butch, but Topher actually would make a great salesman based on this performance. He has all the mannerisms and sucking-up down pat. Eddie is a rival photographer that threatens Peter's tenuous position with Jonah Jameson's newspaper, and frankly I would give him the job. He has great people skills, ass-kissing par excellence, and he has a hot girlfriend, Gwen. But Topher is slated to turn into pure evil personified--Venom. Venom rocks in the comic strips, and he's cool here, but I'm thinking they actually chose Topher because he was one of the few people who could fit into the infected black Spiderman suit. I mean, he and Toby McGuire are the same basic body type.

And lastly, we have the convict-Dad-with-the-dying-daughter Sandman, a surprisingly sympathetic character played by, of all people, Lowell from the old Wings series. I kept expecting him to break out with a toolbox and a wrench. The Sandman, incidentally, is a lot more impressive than I thought he would be. I was looking forward to Venom far more, and the Sandman actually steals the show.

So, four plot lines, culiminating in a big bad finale with Spiderman pitted against all the bad guys. Bet you can guess what happens in the big finale scene? No? Sure you have actually watched the other two films? Come on, it's easy.

Here it is: The Bad Guys Kidnap MJ! I bet you are kicking yourself right now. I mean, that's what they ALWAYS do, right?

The big question in the finale fight scene boils down to this: will Harry overcome his feelings of betrayal and help Spiderman save the girl, or will he join Venom and Sandman in their evil quest to...well, basically, to piss Spiderman off. They don't seem to have a plan after that.

Now, I could give you some spoilers here and tell you how it all turns out. But, really, if I have to tell you what Harry chooses to do, you probably also think MJ actually could die, or the kidnappers really could triumph.

That's really not the point of the whole film, though, the suspense of wondering what happens. It's more of an homage to Spiderman/Peter Parker as the quintessential good guy, and an action-packed tip of the hat to some of the best villains in the Marvel Spiderman series.

On a scale of 1 to 5 stars, I would probably give it a 4, based on what the movie tries to do. The action is great, even if the romance with MJ takes up quite a bit of film space, the villains completely rock the movie, and Spiderman finally gets some credit.

Go get 'em, Spidey.

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