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Overall Rating
2.97

Awesome: 18.66%
Worth A Look: 17.7%
Average: 21.53%
Pretty Bad26.32%
Total Crap: 15.79%

9 reviews, 155 user ratings


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Spider-Man 3
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by EricDSnider

"A significant decline in quality."
3 stars

As an ardent admirer of the first two "Spider-Man" films, it brings me no pleasure to say that Part 3 is not great. It's OK, and it seems to have been made uncynically (i.e., not just as a money-maker), but it's not nearly as thrilling, funny, or emotionally powerful as it could be -- no, as it should be, given the materials it has to work with.

It begins just months after Part 2. Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) and Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) are in love with each other, and all of New York is in love with Spider-Man. M.J. has a leading role in a Broadway show. Peter intends to propose marriage, and saintly old Aunt May (Rosemary Harris) has given both her blessing and her own engagement ring.

But danger lurks on the fringes of Peter's life! Perhaps too much danger, actually, to be adequately addressed in one film. Peter's erstwhile best friend Harry Osborn (James Franco) still blames him for his father's death and is following in Dad's footsteps on the path toward total insanity, re-creating his experiments and learning how to use the old man's Green Goblin weaponry for himself. A low-rent criminal named Flint Marko (Thomas Haden Church) has escaped from prison, and while this initially means nothing to Peter, it becomes important when he and Aunt May learn that it was actually Marko who killed dear old Uncle Ben in the first film, not the thief Peter pursued and exacted revenge against. A brash young photographer named Eddie Brock (Topher Grace) is trying to replace Peter at The Daily Bugle, and has nearly persuaded J. Jonah Jameson (J.K. Simmons) to give him a full-time position -- something Peter has never been offered.

There's a hitch in Peter's relationship with M.J., too. Her acting career hits a snag while Spider-Man's star is on the rise, and Spidey gets cozy with a model named Gwen Stacy (Bryce Dallas Howard) during a publicity appearance, thus fueling M.J.'s fairly irrational jealousy and giving her more reasons to be the dour, whiny girlfriend she's become since the last film.

Basically, every aspect of Peter Parker's life -- romantic, professional, familial, fraternal, and heroic -- is thrown into turmoil all at once. And then? A mysterious black goo arrives from space via meteorite, infects Peter, and unleashes his selfish, vengeful, swaggering Id. Now he is at war with himself, along with everyone else. Yeesh.

It is too much. A multitude of villains and threats might sound like a good time, and I understand the urge to raise the stakes with each passing sequel. But part of this franchise's success has lain in its ability to infuse even the bad guys with humanity, to make everyone seem real and relatable. With so much crammed into one film, even a very long film, no character gets the full attention he or she deserves. The only plot thread that is explored in depth is the least interesting one: the stormy romance between Peter and M.J., which is altogether too WB Network for my tastes.

While fleeing the police, Flint Marko stumbles into a particle physics experiment and comes out of it made of sand, with all the powers of, um, sand. As the newly christened Sandman, he wreaks havoc on New York and tussles with Spider-Man over his alleged involvement with Uncle Ben's death -- a bit of revisionist plot history that is way too lame for such a savvy, self-aware series of films. Between that and the outrageous amnesia subplot that affects another character, I have to wonder if director Sam Raimi and his brother Ivan, who co-wrote the screenplay with Alvin Sargent, have been cribbing from soap operas. What's next? Evil twins? Interrupted weddings?

Ah, but I'm sounding more critical of the movie than I should. Despite these flaws (and some others -- Aunt May is getting way too preachy; there's not enough action; and so forth), I still essentially enjoyed the film, if not nearly as much as the previous ones. It has moments of great humor (Bruce Campbell makes his requisite cameo as a snooty French maitre d'; the sequence in which an emo-looking black-goo-infected Peter Parker struts around town is hilarious) and a few brief action scenes that are truly dazzling. There simply isn't enough of it.

The frustrating part is that all the raw materials for a great film are here. Brock and Marko both have potentially fascinating backstories and motivations. The idea of a self-serving, revenge-minded Spider-Man is intriguing. There are themes of redemption and forgiveness woven throughout the movie, but they're delivered tritely and without the deft touch that characterized the emotional aspects of the other films. Sometimes the film feels chaotic, as though scenes are missing, as if they're still sorting out what to keep and what to throw away. Harry Osborn's misconceptions about his father's death are resolved in 30 seconds by a character we've never seen before -- an outrageously simplified pay-off to his and Peter's struggle. That's the kind of thing I'm talking about.

But, again, it's not that the movie is bad. It's generally fun and generally pleasant. I can recommend it, halfheartedly. I just hope the other sequels to good movies that we're expecting this summer don't suffer from a similar decline in quality.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=15898&reviewer=247
originally posted: 05/04/07 03:30:23
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User Comments

10/30/16 morris campbell overstuffed but good IMHO 4 stars
3/29/16 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
7/19/13 Joe the plumber what the hell was that? 1 stars
6/30/13 Neil i really cant believe sam did this 2 stars
2/02/13 Kcaj Ive lost faith in humanity 2 stars
8/19/12 11 not enough venom 2 stars
8/09/12 Kcaj too much going on for one movie and too many cheesy parts. Im sorry spidey... 3 stars
7/01/12 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
9/11/10 zenny tragically awful. At least 3 half-ass movies in one 2 stars
6/12/09 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
11/21/08 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
10/25/08 Gloria D. It was pretty good for a sequel, entertaining 3 stars
10/01/08 Danny I thought this wasn't all that bad...certainly a good villain setup, except Sandman 4 stars
9/26/08 Shaun Wallner Awesome Cast!! 5 stars
9/12/08 DW Smith What a waste of a perfectly good villian. 2 stars
8/22/08 black_queen_marches completely overrated. too much crying, too many villians. what a waste 1 stars
6/21/08 David V Good action scenes but too much crying, dancing, and overacting. 3 stars
5/14/08 PAUL SHORTT DECENT ENOUGH 3 stars
2/02/08 Pote Was somewhat bored by 1 & 2 but enjoyed this more, despite some bad editing and progression 4 stars
1/26/08 man weakest of the series but still enjoyable 5 stars
1/24/08 Charles Tatum Fantastic, the best of the series 5 stars
1/18/08 X Wang Entertaining, action movie - don't take the cheesy humor too seriously 4 stars
12/28/07 Taylor Fladgate Whoa...bad acting, bad script...what a waste. Hated it. 1 stars
12/15/07 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
11/27/07 dude underrated 5 stars
10/18/07 Beau Not as good as first two, but somehow was half decent! still worth seeing 3 stars
10/03/07 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
9/17/07 David Pretty good but still a littledisappointing. 3 stars
9/14/07 dude underrated 5 stars
9/08/07 Indian dude worst spiderman movie ever. This movie was soap opera between Peter Parker and Mary Jane 1 stars
8/07/07 ravenmad since when did movie franchises start selling AXE deodorant spray? 3 stars
7/14/07 MaDmAN Huge disappointment way too much going on 3 stars
7/11/07 VIVEK KRISHNAN VERY BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD! 1 stars
7/03/07 William Goss Overstuffed and underrewarding. 2 stars
7/02/07 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
6/17/07 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
6/09/07 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
5/28/07 Jason it was a good movie, it was just different from the other two 5 stars
5/27/07 Ms_ArtGeek too many villains, too many plots & plot holes, too much weeping. sorry to say, it's crap. 2 stars
5/26/07 Mike Not as great as first 2 SM's but still a sweet movie!!! 5 stars
5/25/07 Desperado Plays like an infomerical about forgiving an being nice, yet its stupid, really stupid 1 stars
5/25/07 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
5/21/07 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
5/19/07 Koitus The only scene I hated was the musical number. Otherwise, thought it was good. 4 stars
5/18/07 johnnyfog If the other 2 movies didn't exist, people might enjoy it more. Too much Sandman! 4 stars
5/17/07 Marlena This movie was way too over-hyped. It didn't live up to all the advertising. 4 stars
5/16/07 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
5/15/07 doom By far best movie and yes ppl who gave this a 1, 2 etc are retarts 5 stars
5/14/07 Total Crap An overhyped montage of super-villians and with too much plot-holes. It killed the series. 2 stars
5/14/07 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
5/13/07 Uncle Salty terrible. simply terrible 1 stars
5/12/07 Vince Too poorly put together, too many plot holes 2 stars
5/12/07 Escobar There is more to a movie than special effects, THIS MOVIE SUCKS! 1 stars
5/12/07 Bradford BRUCE CAMPBELL!!! SWEET SPECIAL EFFECTS TOO!! 5 stars
5/11/07 Seanz0rz What a fucking horrible movie. And who noticed Harry's lazy eye? 1 stars
5/11/07 Tiffany Losco Good special effects, but to much going on. I love MJ 4 stars
5/11/07 Thelonius Bruce Campbell saved this crappy movie from being a 1 star 2 stars
5/11/07 mr.mike not the best , but not as bad as you've heard 3 stars
5/11/07 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
5/10/07 Jonny bad progression 3 stars
5/08/07 Nash EPIC. 5 stars
5/08/07 venom666 go kill yourself Ian, along with other naysayers - best movie ever!! venom rules!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
5/08/07 Kisuta Too much going on 3 stars
5/08/07 tyler Terrible: the best part was the Harry Potter and Pirates trailers! 1 stars
5/08/07 David Kimble Disappointed in the movie, but still liked some of the special effects 4 stars
5/08/07 Jeffoi Spider-man is not emo, MJ is not fugly, and Venom is not a weakl simpleton. Blasphemy! 2 stars
5/08/07 Namons The butler cleaned the wound to find the piece of glider that's all he said 4 stars
5/08/07 movieman awesome 5 stars
5/08/07 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
5/07/07 sam no superhero should ever have a DOUBLE CHIN! wtf, tubby macguire? 1 stars
5/07/07 Christopher Utter Disappointment. 1 stars
5/07/07 Dissenter TERRIBLE! The only thing that saved me from leaving were the hot babes inthe movie!! 1 stars
5/07/07 Jiz Too many plot threads with too little development. Not a BAD movie, but far below 1 and 2. 3 stars
5/07/07 Mel reminds me of Godfather 3; if there was no #1 and #2 , #3 would have been ok... 3 stars
5/07/07 somebody too much male crying. too many villains. the fight scenes were pretty cool... but the previ 3 stars
5/07/07 Carlos R. Guzman "Curse of #3"hit Batman/Supes/Xmen hard; only stings SM3 a bit-more Gwen&Lizard in #4!!! 4 stars
5/07/07 Paul It wasn't as great, but still really good. Certainly better than what people are saying. 4 stars
5/07/07 Serpen Phlox Sam, not only destroyed Venom, Spiderman franchise is death too 2 stars
5/07/07 Mark Neace This movie does not suck AT ALL, it's a great film... People are too critical, I loved it. 5 stars
5/07/07 Amy Shipway correct me if im worng but werent the x-men team doing superman instead of x-3? 1 stars
5/07/07 Captain Highcrime Look carefully at the female extras: there isn't a woman over 30 walking the streets in NYC 4 stars
5/07/07 Vampt Vo Fun for Spidey fans, but the pacing is off and there are too many stories crammed in here. 4 stars
5/07/07 Dumstein bad bad, couldn't be any worse than this. Hopefully they make it up in the 4th movie... 1 stars
5/07/07 Vik very cheesy and unbearable to watch at times..raimi should quit the franchise now 1 stars
5/07/07 Stephen Not as good as it could have been, lacked focus and too rushed. 3 stars
5/07/07 noops never upto the expectations.. 2 stars
5/07/07 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
5/06/07 Viper Villian overload, too much male crying, Venom was completely underused as a villian. 2 stars
5/06/07 Keystra Williams The worst movie I've seen this year by far. VERY disappointing. 1 stars
5/06/07 Andrew Lame, this movie should have premiered on the lifetime channel. 3 stars
5/06/07 bullit16 Can I give less than one star? Just awful 1 stars
5/06/07 mikee SPIDDY SAYS: I Slap A ho!!!!!!!!! 3 stars
5/06/07 the wizz surely a step down from part 2 but still a good flick. I hope they make another! 4 stars
5/06/07 Todd Ugh! Good but could have been so much better. 4 stars
5/06/07 Jeff The scene with Peter "strutting" was... hard to watch. 2 stars
5/06/07 Werepanda If I wanted to see men in spandex cry I'd...wait, who wants to see that? 3 stars
5/06/07 Dark Enchantress great movie, i dont know why so many people did not like it. 5 stars
5/06/07 Ole Man Bourbon Entertaining, but what was up with the musical numbers? Dunst not too good. 4 stars
5/06/07 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
5/05/07 Dan Best of the series. Great comic adaptation. 5 stars
5/05/07 Quigley Not as good as part 2, but awesome altogether. Mostly a hit-and-miss sequel 5 stars
5/05/07 Manny S3 IS a terrific moVie! The fight scenes are Awsome! 5 stars
5/05/07 Adam I'm trying to think of a better word, but I think "atrocious" works nicely. 1 stars
5/05/07 carlos Ferreira dominican is spider man 5 stars
5/05/07 action movie fan action! Venom! the Sandman! jeolousy it all adds up to a great part three! spidey rules aga 5 stars
5/05/07 Mick S3 is made for MALES who get their periods. 2 stars
5/05/07 malcolm no superhero movie should have a dance number 3 stars
5/05/07 John Overstuffed, yes, but still quite incredible 5 stars
5/05/07 Darren Shea As a longtime fan of Spidey's comics, I enjoyed it immensely despite its flaws. 4 stars
5/05/07 Dave Terrific 5 stars
5/05/07 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
5/04/07 Carlos Great popcorn movie! 5 stars
5/04/07 Dave Awesome movie. 5 stars
5/04/07 Nick Rated Spidey #1 and #2 Awesome, THIS Episode SUCKS BIGTIME 1 stars
5/04/07 spanky venom was the shiiiiit 5 stars
5/04/07 Dude Best movie ever 5 stars
5/04/07 Adrian Despite being a clutter...the action and Venom still kicked ass. 5 stars
5/04/07 Boaby Digital Tobey Maguire looks like a sex offender, he should never have been cast as Peter Parker. 2 stars
5/04/07 lyndon popcorn junkies almost drowned out the soundtrack. 5 stars
5/04/07 Pompellini Manjanik Baba+Khanji, two retard junks. They dono what they're talking. Excellent movie 5 stars
5/04/07 Manjanik Baba Yes you are spot on Khanji. Good on you mate. 1 stars
5/04/07 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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