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Overall Rating
2.97

Awesome: 18.66%
Worth A Look: 17.7%
Just Average: 21.53%
Pretty Crappy26.32%
Sucks: 15.79%

9 reviews, 155 user ratings



Spider-Man 3
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by Erik Childress

"Which Suit Was Raimi Wearing While Making This One?"
2 stars

It would be sad if this was the last in the Spider-Man series. And by series, I mean with Sam Raimi at the helm. Sony studios may have plans to get out a parts four, five and six, but it will likely come with a different director, maybe even different stars and we all know how great that was for Batman in the ‘90s. Raimi was an inspired choice for the webbed superhero, a longtime fan of the comic who could do honor to it having cut his teeth on one of the great comic book films ever (Darkman) even if it was never a graphic novel or any other pseudonym of the paneled stories with word balloons. After his first entry, the $400 million-plus record breaker that was one of the better origin stories if not overall comic-based films, Raimi had carte blanche to make the second chapter distinctly his. And the result is unarguably one of the best comic adventures ever captured on film. It was so much to live up to, that for number three Raimi and his collaborators have fallen into the same traps that have ensnared both the Batman and X-Men franchises. Too much often resulting in not enough.

When we last left Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) he had finally won the heart of his longtime love, Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst). His former best friend, Harry Osborn (James Franco), had discovered his secret identity and was ready to follow in the footsteps of his Green Goblin father whose death he has always blamed on Spider-Man. That gives him one villain to contend with until a convenient knock on the noggin gives Harry amnesia long enough for another foe to take center stage. That would be Flint Marko (Thomas Haden Church), an escaped convict who, thanks to a dip into some experimental reactor, bonds with the tiny rocks in the pit and becomes the Sandman. The birth of his newfound identity is the most impressive and beautifully rendered of all the film's special effects.

Parker is finally beginning to enjoy his non-nerd status as a superhero adored by the public; a trait that runs counter to Mary Jane’s failures as a broadway actress. Peter’s blinded optimism begins to cause a strife in their relationship, further complicated by a crush on his alter-ego by Gwen Stacy (Bryce Dallas Howard), the girlfriend of Pete’s photog rival at the Daily Bugle, Eddie Brock (Topher Grace). Causing a further riff in Parker’s befuddled feelings is an alien symbiote that attachs itself to his suit, feeding into a darker side that enjoys the additional power and hunger for revenge against Marko, who is now revealed to have been responsible for his uncle’s death.

Thus, the themes of chapter three emerge like a death penalty rally chanting the Lord’s Creed about “trespassing” outside a firing range. Somehow I doubt Spidey fans being as accepting of a finale that is more about weepy apologies and forgiveness than kick-ass retribution. This has been a minor complaint I’ve heard heralded at the first two films. Villains with consciences and good sides instead of flat-out evil bastards. Both Norman Osborn and Otto “Doc Ock” Octavius had the good fortune of being rounded out enough as Spidey’s singular adversaries which provided their last-minute hopes at redemption poignancy. By contrast, Goblin Jr. is the benefit of a revelation from his (new) butler (character) that makes you wonder why such a loyal family servant would withhold such info for so long while Harry carried such pain and hatred. Worse is the handling of Marko, whose sick mother from the comics has been replaced by a sick child. Sympathetic from the get-go, screenwriters Ivan Raimi and Alvin Sargent then have to make him a viable antagonist by inventing Marko’s connection to the Parkers. Then it’s twisted up again in a finale that may as well have had the Sandman providing an exonerating DNA sample.

Devoting halves to Harry’s obsessive vengeance and the misunderstood Sandman’s on-again, off-again sympathetic nature would have been enough to balance the scales of justice if not weighing in for the audience’s lust for twisted villainy. But a third villain will emerge; one Spidey fans have been salivating for and finally get, ironically, thanks to the ringing of a large bell. Venom, the evil amalgamation of the oozing symbiote and Spidey’s powers, finally makes an appearance – in the LAST HALF HOUR of the movie. While this is liable to irk die-hards even more than the liberties with the characters, the Venom chapter is more akin to the final act of Mike Nichols’ Wolf than a natural progression to a trilogy’s end. He’s a sidenote, an after-thought who barely gets enough scream time to justify his introduction. Either save him for a future entry or bring him into the game earlier to provide the ultimate showdown between battling personalities, both exterior and interior.

Because the action bits are basically mid-air battles with the opponents narrowing squeezing between one crevice tinier than the next (the best is actually a sans costume mano-a-mano with Peter & Harry in his penthouse), it falls to the more human drama to carry the load. The introduction of Gwen Stacy isn’t much more than a TV series device to complicate the primary love story; one handled with such unrequited grace and sensitivity in the first two. Peter & Mary Jane’s issues feel false and just add one more subplot to a film that already can’t balance all of its own issues. That leaves us with many of the film’s best scenes which aren’t rooted in dramatic or action-filled theatrics, but in comedy. J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson has a great interplay with his watchful secretary (Elizabeth Banks). Bruce Campbell had great cameos thrwarting Peter Parker’s efforts in one and two, but he outdoes himself here in an extended sequence that’s almost as hilarious as Peter’s symbiotic transformation into a cocky hipster. Countering the splendid “Raindrops Are Falling On My Head” montage from part two, Maguire and Raimi show a flair for comedy so genuinely instinctive that its almost enough to fill-in and forgive the flaws inherent in number three’s structure; most notably that its three best scenes shouldn't be moments of comedy.

I’ll be amused at Spider comic fans who embrace this film after all the continued hubabaloo over Ang Lee’s changes to the Hulk, one of the most unfairly maligned of all films in recent years; superhero or otherwise. I can’t deny enjoying good chunks of Spider-Man 3, but as the longest of the features at 139 mins it still needed another 45 (at the very least) to flesh out more storylines than Magnolia or replace 45 with a greater concentration on just one of them. Like the digression of the (original, not Christopher Nolan’s) Batman series, an increase in bad guys becomes overkill and as learned in Brett Ratner’s X-Men entry, you can’t wrap up all the loose ends of a 50-year comic entity in under two hours. As it ended on an image that suggests future struggles for Peter’s psyche rather than the sort of grandiose fade out of a Star Wars, I hope Raimi and company will be back for a four, five and six. Maybe then the indecisiveness of the third will give way to an endurance that gives him the freedom to do one story at a time. Cause to part ways on this one would be a sad day indeed.

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=15898&reviewer=198
originally posted: 05/03/07 00:00:00
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User Comments

10/29/16 morris campbell overstuffed but good IMHO 4 stars
3/28/16 Aj wales Underated when looking back. Begining was flat compared to 2. Compared to newer movies it w 5 stars
9/02/14 Dude Wow they really fucked up 1 stars
7/18/13 Joe the plumber what the hell was that? 1 stars
6/29/13 Neil i really cant believe sam did this 2 stars
2/01/13 Kcaj Ive lost faith in humanity 2 stars
8/19/12 11 not enough venom 2 stars
8/08/12 Kcaj too much going on for one movie and too many cheesy parts. Im sorry spidey... 3 stars
6/30/12 cr a good sequel with good effects and villians. good 3 stars
1/18/12 Marc DC if this isn't the most wackest super hero films, I don't know what is... 1 stars
9/10/10 zenny tragically awful. At least 3 half-ass movies in one 2 stars
6/11/09 Nick Seemed like I was watching something from the 60's 2 stars
4/02/09 Dane Youssef Uneven, but not as bad as reputation proceeds. The cast is as great as ever, though. 4 stars
1/25/09 Samantha Pruitt pure cheese, Topher Grace was awesome though, there are some really funny parts. 4 stars
11/20/08 KB5 Not my favorite, wish I had waited for the DVD renatal 3 stars
10/27/08 Michael M Too long and the plot was a little too complex with three villains. Mildy entertaining. 3 stars
10/24/08 Gloria D. It was pretty good for a sequel, entertaining 3 stars
9/30/08 Danny I thought this wasn't all that bad...certainly a good villain setup, except Sandman 4 stars
9/25/08 Shaun Wallner Awesome Cast!! 5 stars
9/12/08 DW Smith What a waste of a perfectly good villian. 2 stars
8/21/08 black_queen_marches completely overrated. too much crying, too many villians. what a waste 1 stars
6/20/08 David V Good action scenes but too much crying, dancing, and overacting. 3 stars
5/14/08 PAUL SHORTT DECENT ENOUGH 3 stars
2/01/08 Pote Was somewhat bored by 1 & 2 but enjoyed this more, despite some bad editing and progression 4 stars
1/25/08 man weakest of the series but still enjoyable 5 stars
1/23/08 Charles Tatum Fantastic, the best of the series 5 stars
1/17/08 X Wang Entertaining, action movie - don't take the cheesy humor too seriously 4 stars
12/27/07 Taylor Fladgate Whoa...bad acting, bad script...what a waste. Hated it. 1 stars
12/14/07 zenny such a sad waste... 2 stars
12/08/07 Milky Joe Cringe worthy - parituclarly the scenes where Peter Parker turns "bad". Too many villains 2 stars
11/26/07 dude underrated 5 stars
10/17/07 Beau Not as good as first two, but somehow was half decent! still worth seeing 3 stars
10/02/07 wall dude!!! I love it 5 stars
10/01/07 Andrew Kercher Good sin/redemption/forgiveness story, but overacting disappoints. 1 & 2 are better. 4 stars
9/16/07 David Pretty good but still a littledisappointing. 3 stars
9/13/07 dude underrated 5 stars
9/07/07 Indian dude worst spiderman movie ever. This movie was soap opera between Peter Parker and Mary Jane 1 stars
8/06/07 ravenmad since when did movie franchises start selling AXE deodorant spray? 3 stars
7/13/07 MaDmAN Huge disappointment way too much going on 3 stars
7/10/07 VIVEK KRISHNAN VERY BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD! 1 stars
7/02/07 William Goss Overstuffed and underrewarding. 2 stars
7/01/07 spider2.0 One of the best movies this year.Disagree? take it with venom 5 stars
6/30/07 Mr.Jiggy The Movie is good, could be better though. The end gives alone a reason to watch it twice! 5 stars
6/23/07 Bob loves to lick nob Yo with an increase in the violent content that's what makes it a Great film 5 stars
6/16/07 Ron Newbold Ok but disappointing - Too many villians and a weak resolution 3 stars
6/11/07 Kyle What a con!!! It was really painful to watch such atrocity 1 stars
6/11/07 Total Crap PIECE OF SHIT!!! Don't believe anyone who gives this 5 stars! It Absolutely sucks! 1 stars
6/10/07 Alice Boy this sucked ! Liked 1 and 2 by the way. 1 stars
6/08/07 Harry Mediocre 1 stars
5/30/07 ES The movie starts brilliantly but it's all down hill after the dance routine 2 stars
5/28/07 pin Uh, why all the face time? Wear the masks. Hob-Goblin = "New-Goblin?" 3 stars
5/27/07 Jason it was a good movie, it was just different from the other two 5 stars
5/26/07 Ms_ArtGeek too many villains, too many plots & plot holes, too much weeping. sorry to say, it's crap. 2 stars
5/25/07 Mike Not as great as first 2 SM's but still a sweet movie!!! 5 stars
5/24/07 Desperado Plays like an infomerical about forgiving an being nice, yet its stupid, really stupid 1 stars
5/24/07 ebert great 5 stars
5/24/07 runes one pretty wack film guys....too emo 2 stars
5/23/07 Simone I understand your POV David, but I really enjoyed Spiderman 3 4 stars
5/20/07 Anthony Feor The worst exuse for a superhero movie. Utterly dissapointed! 2 stars
5/19/07 Snail Pretty darn entertaining. Venom...wasn't Venom though. 5 stars
5/18/07 Koitus The only scene I hated was the musical number. Otherwise, thought it was good. 4 stars
5/17/07 johnnyfog If the other 2 movies didn't exist, people might enjoy it more. Too much Sandman! 4 stars
5/16/07 Marlena This movie was way too over-hyped. It didn't live up to all the advertising. 4 stars
5/15/07 Richard A rather complicated assembly line for producing a somewhat more mature Peter Parker 4 stars
5/15/07 967 It's not a bad movie, it's just been overshadowed by the other ones. Needs more Venom tho. 3 stars
5/14/07 doom By far best movie and yes ppl who gave this a 1, 2 etc are retarts 5 stars
5/13/07 Total Crap An overhyped montage of super-villians and with too much plot-holes. It killed the series. 2 stars
5/13/07 Jim "Jeeze, you know, that information might have been a little more useful to me yesterday." 2 stars
5/13/07 Galderak Sad thing is this movie still made a lot of money, and people will see it as a success 1 stars
5/12/07 Uncle Salty terrible. simply terrible 1 stars
5/12/07 Vince Too poorly put together, too many plot holes 2 stars
5/11/07 Escobar There is more to a movie than special effects, THIS MOVIE SUCKS! 1 stars
5/11/07 Bradford BRUCE CAMPBELL!!! SWEET SPECIAL EFFECTS TOO!! 5 stars
5/10/07 Seanz0rz What a fucking horrible movie. And who noticed Harry's lazy eye? 1 stars
5/10/07 Tiffany Losco Good special effects, but to much going on. I love MJ 4 stars
5/10/07 Thelonius Bruce Campbell saved this crappy movie from being a 1 star 2 stars
5/10/07 mr.mike not the best , but not as bad as you've heard 3 stars
5/10/07 Dave S. Pompellini, you are an idiot. this movie was BEYOND BAD. Worst I have seen in many years. 1 stars
5/10/07 gn2plad well theres two hours of my life ill never get back 1 stars
5/09/07 Jonny bad progression 3 stars
5/08/07 Nash EPIC. 5 stars
5/07/07 venom666 go kill yourself Ian, along with other naysayers - best movie ever!! venom rules!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
5/07/07 Kisuta Too much going on 3 stars
5/07/07 tyler Terrible: the best part was the Harry Potter and Pirates trailers! 1 stars
5/07/07 David Kimble Disappointed in the movie, but still liked some of the special effects 4 stars
5/07/07 Jeffoi Spider-man is not emo, MJ is not fugly, and Venom is not a weakl simpleton. Blasphemy! 2 stars
5/07/07 Namons The butler cleaned the wound to find the piece of glider that's all he said 4 stars
5/07/07 movieman awesome 5 stars
5/07/07 Ian I'm still in utter disbelief, how did such an awesome movie end up being total crap? 1 stars
5/07/07 Steve People were laughing at it during my screening, a megaplex mess 2 stars
5/07/07 Tony forget the comics-but not the web. spiderman 3 rocks! 5 stars
5/07/07 Tracey Chambers nots as good as I thought it would be. first two much better 3 stars
5/07/07 huong caitlin nguyen great special effects, but loose plot, bad script, too long 2 stars
5/06/07 sam no superhero should ever have a DOUBLE CHIN! wtf, tubby macguire? 1 stars
5/06/07 Christopher Utter Disappointment. 1 stars
5/06/07 Dissenter TERRIBLE! The only thing that saved me from leaving were the hot babes inthe movie!! 1 stars
5/06/07 Jiz Too many plot threads with too little development. Not a BAD movie, but far below 1 and 2. 3 stars
5/06/07 Mel reminds me of Godfather 3; if there was no #1 and #2 , #3 would have been ok... 3 stars
5/06/07 somebody too much male crying. too many villains. the fight scenes were pretty cool... but the previ 3 stars
5/06/07 Carlos R. Guzman "Curse of #3"hit Batman/Supes/Xmen hard; only stings SM3 a bit-more Gwen&Lizard in #4!!! 4 stars
5/06/07 Paul It wasn't as great, but still really good. Certainly better than what people are saying. 4 stars
5/06/07 Serpen Phlox Sam, not only destroyed Venom, Spiderman franchise is death too 2 stars
5/06/07 Mark Neace This movie does not suck AT ALL, it's a great film... People are too critical, I loved it. 5 stars
5/06/07 Amy Shipway correct me if im worng but werent the x-men team doing superman instead of x-3? 1 stars
5/06/07 Captain Highcrime Look carefully at the female extras: there isn't a woman over 30 walking the streets in NYC 4 stars
5/06/07 Vampt Vo Fun for Spidey fans, but the pacing is off and there are too many stories crammed in here. 4 stars
5/06/07 Dumstein bad bad, couldn't be any worse than this. Hopefully they make it up in the 4th movie... 1 stars
5/06/07 Vik very cheesy and unbearable to watch at times..raimi should quit the franchise now 1 stars
5/06/07 Stephen Not as good as it could have been, lacked focus and too rushed. 3 stars
5/06/07 noops never upto the expectations.. 2 stars
5/06/07 Jeff Anderson The worst of the 3. Overproduced, desperate & no fun at all. Sam Raimi's BETTER THAN THIS!! 1 stars
5/06/07 Marty yes it's highly fictional but c'mon s3, at least try to make SOME sense. terrible. 2 stars
5/06/07 KingNeutron MJ acted like a total idiot but the film was lots of fun anyway. Venom better have survived 4 stars
5/06/07 TJ Sclafani This movie proves that Tobey McGuire has been severely miscasted as Spidey 2 stars
5/05/07 Viper Villian overload, too much male crying, Venom was completely underused as a villian. 2 stars
5/05/07 Keystra Williams The worst movie I've seen this year by far. VERY disappointing. 1 stars
5/05/07 Andrew Lame, this movie should have premiered on the lifetime channel. 3 stars
5/05/07 bullit16 Can I give less than one star? Just awful 1 stars
5/05/07 mikee SPIDDY SAYS: I Slap A ho!!!!!!!!! 3 stars
5/05/07 the wizz surely a step down from part 2 but still a good flick. I hope they make another! 4 stars
5/05/07 Todd Ugh! Good but could have been so much better. 4 stars
5/05/07 Jeff The scene with Peter "strutting" was... hard to watch. 2 stars
5/05/07 Werepanda If I wanted to see men in spandex cry I'd...wait, who wants to see that? 3 stars
5/05/07 Dark Enchantress great movie, i dont know why so many people did not like it. 5 stars
5/05/07 Ole Man Bourbon Entertaining, but what was up with the musical numbers? Dunst not too good. 4 stars
5/05/07 Matt Raimi totally mishandled one of the best subplots in the entire comic book. 2 stars
5/05/07 Jimmy Patterson a bit cluttered and weakly resolved, but increadible overall!!! 5 stars
5/05/07 Austin Wertman Terrific 5 stars
5/05/07 eddie brock best movie ever made!!!!! venom reigns supreme! 5 stars
5/04/07 Dan Best of the series. Great comic adaptation. 5 stars
5/04/07 Quigley Not as good as part 2, but awesome altogether. Mostly a hit-and-miss sequel 5 stars
5/04/07 Manny S3 IS a terrific moVie! The fight scenes are Awsome! 5 stars
5/04/07 Adam I'm trying to think of a better word, but I think "atrocious" works nicely. 1 stars
5/04/07 carlos Ferreira dominican is spider man 5 stars
5/04/07 action movie fan action! Venom! the Sandman! jeolousy it all adds up to a great part three! spidey rules aga 5 stars
5/04/07 Mick S3 is made for MALES who get their periods. 2 stars
5/04/07 malcolm no superhero movie should have a dance number 3 stars
5/04/07 John Overstuffed, yes, but still quite incredible 5 stars
5/04/07 Darren Shea As a longtime fan of Spidey's comics, I enjoyed it immensely despite its flaws. 4 stars
5/04/07 Dave Terrific 5 stars
5/04/07 Courtney The men cried way too much and the movie was just way too random. 2 stars
5/04/07 Kerk CG for Venom and the big Sandman is really terrable 3 stars
5/04/07 Steve Raimi tried to do too much! I walked out of the theater unefected and let down. 2 stars
5/04/07 jasmine Good movie, but some angles and cinematography were completely random 4 stars
5/03/07 Carlos Great popcorn movie! 5 stars
5/03/07 Dave Awesome movie. 5 stars
5/03/07 Nick Rated Spidey #1 and #2 Awesome, THIS Episode SUCKS BIGTIME 1 stars
5/03/07 spanky venom was the shiiiiit 5 stars
5/03/07 Dude Best movie ever 5 stars
5/03/07 Adrian Despite being a clutter...the action and Venom still kicked ass. 5 stars
5/03/07 Boaby Digital Tobey Maguire looks like a sex offender, he should never have been cast as Peter Parker. 2 stars
5/03/07 lyndon popcorn junkies almost drowned out the soundtrack. 5 stars
5/03/07 Pompellini Manjanik Baba+Khanji, two retard junks. They dono what they're talking. Excellent movie 5 stars
5/03/07 Manjanik Baba Yes you are spot on Khanji. Good on you mate. 1 stars
5/03/07 Khanji Just another rotten shit for the burger+coke kids who can't see beyond their nose. 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  04-May-2007 (PG-13)
  DVD: 30-Oct-2007

UK
  N/A

Australia
  03-May-2007




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