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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


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Spider-Man 3
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by Eugene Novikov

"I've always preferred bizarre to boring"
3 stars

As I write this on Friday morning, a consensus has formed that Sam Raimi's SPIDER-MAN 3 is vastly inferior to its two predecessors. A litany of complaints is being levied against it: it's poorly paced and disorganized; full of plot holes and sundry implausibilities; so busy and with so many villains and conflicts that nothing gets enough play. These criticisms are being made in reviews the world over, and they're mostly uncomplicated and correct; you won't have to look too hard to find a writer who goes through them in detail. Though I largely agree with what's being said, I don't think I have very much to contribute to this part of the discourse, except to affirm that a lot of what you're hearing is actually true.

So instead, I'm going to tell you what I liked about Spider-Man 3, because for all its problems and miscalculations, the film is fascinating and gutsy in its sheer strangeness. Sam Raimi, manifestly not content with the emerging superhero formula, spends 140 minutes flailing around, trying all sorts of weird and different things. And though not all of them work, surely there must be something to a movie so willing to venture off the beaten trail.

I liked the film's absolute dedication to its characters. There are really no stakes here beyond Peter Parker and his relationships with girlfriend Mary Jane Watson and friend-turned-mortal-enemy Harry Osborne, and while this would ordinarily be a demerit for a $250 million comic book extravaganza, it works here because Raimi (who co-wrote as well as directed) is so invested in this stuff. It's heartbreaking how Peter is so deeply in love with MJ, and thinks this so obvious, that he's oblivious to the ways that his actions are hurting her. It's wonderful how patient the film is, how willing to talk, to leave room to breathe, to allow individual moments to transcend the confines of the story. And it's interesting how every action scene -- and there are plenty, though they come sporadically -- has a hook in the characters' psyches rather than just in the mechanics of the plot.

I liked the way Raimi mixes endearing comic book goofiness with earnest gravitas. Some have called Spider-Man 3 a soap opera, and that's not entirely inaccurate: people cry and rage and occasionally launch into soliloquy. Others have called it self-important, but that just seems like an uncharitable way of saying that it thinks its story is serious business, and that, it seems to me, is healthy. But just as you think the movie might start to collapse under its own weight, Raimi launches into what must be the funniest five minutes of the year: think the second film's "Spider-Man No More" montage, only on crack. What's more, Raimi deploys this in service of the film's most "serious" aspect -- the emergence of Spidey's dark side -- thereby giving it the maximum possible undercutting effect. It's a ballsy move (the midnight audience I saw the film with seemed almost too stunned to laugh), but somehow it's right: the first two films skillfully infused crucial emotional beats with humor, and this, too, isn't mere frivolity. It's funny, but it functions as an important bit of emotional groundwork -- which also goes for a hilarious cameo by Bruce Campbell as a French maitre'd.

I liked how the movie, for all its idiosyncrasies, seems to have brought out the best in the actors. Kirsten Dunst has never been better -- MJ spends most of the film frustrated or annoyed, which sounds like a thankless part, but Dunst turns it to her advantage: the more exasperated MJ gets, the more desirable she seems to become. Tobey Maguire takes the film's mood swings in stride, retaining the gee-whiz quality that has made him a hit in the role while adding a convincing mean streak. And James Franco delivers on the promise he showed in the first two films by nearly running away with the film: Harry begins as a terrific supervillain, undergoes an amnesiac transformation into a sweetheart and Peter's best buddy, then does another about-face before resolving in a way I won't reveal. It's a fantastic, difficult performance.

Obviously I've underplayed the film's problems, and make no mistake: as a follow-up to what I consider the finest superhero films ever made, Spider-Man 3 is a major disappointment. But many of the responses to it have been disappointing as well. Some people can't get past the admittedly shoddy treatment of the two new villains; others seem to be getting hung up on plot holes and inconsistencies. But with a film that does as many interesting things with the genre and the story as this one does, I feel like we can be having a more interesting discussion than the one that seems to be dominating the internet. Spider-Man 3 may not be transcendent, but it's food for thought.

Reprinted from Filmblather.com

link directly to this review at http://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=15898&reviewer=419
originally posted: 05/05/07 00:30:32
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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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