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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 Marc Kandel

"It's the 3rd film, not a goddamn race- slow the fuck down."
3 stars

You've seen it and you’ve read the reviews. But like all relationships that don’t turn out the way we want, it feels like there’s more to be said. I had my foibles with the first two films, but both are great superhero fare any way you slice it. "Spider-Man 3" fumbles the ball, pushing a slopfest of characters, effects, humor shuffled with drama, and plots that cannot hope to be resolved, even with 2 hours and 19 minutes provided to do so.

Peter Parker (I can’t call him Spider-Man anymore as the character can’t even keep his mask on or intact for even three consecutive minutes), must battle three villains as he struggles to make his love life with Mary Jane work. Note this is the same basic plot as the two prior films, but with more villains added. Its like when Lucky Charms adds purple horseshoe and rainbow marshmallows- the nutritional content doesn’t go up, the additions don’t alter the flavor, but it sure looks more colorful.

Some of the best moments of Rami’s tenure on Spider-Man have been watching Peter try and spin the many plates tossed at him. Here there’s simply too much to juggle. Rami keeps as tight focus on Peter as he can, but blurs the many other threads the film must weave together, which weakens the overall effect. I saw one truthful moment between protagonists; Mary Jane, experiencing a reversal of fortune making her George Costanza to Peter’s Jerry, tries to explain her feelings of inadequacy and failure to Peter, who takes the typical male approach of trying to “fix” things rather than just offering sympathy and lending a shoulder to cry on, which leads to MJ becoming frustrated and sinking even further into despair- that’s a real couple moment if I ever saw one, and it's a shame the rest is torn between tear-stained overkill and flat out parody.

The majority of dialogue and situations are alternating grabs on sympathy and laughs, sometimes sandwiched so close together that any hint of sincerity is completely flushed- imagine X-men 3 further undone with Magneto slipping on a banana peel while he’s lifting up the Golden Gate Bridge or Xavier losing his trousers to reveal Homer Simpson boxers while Phoenix disintegrates him. I love a good Bruce Campbell scene as much as the next basement troll, but now we have to try and reach resolution on each and every problem, add in schtick, montages, schticky montages, and hit emotional highs and lows while showcasing a whopping batch of special effects. And of course, no Spidey movie is complete without the “Spidey leaping across the American flag” shot to remind everyone the Ay-rabs can’t keep New York City down. Its time to stop making moment-to-moment checklists and get back to making films.

Still, Spidey 3 sports a few great scenes both in emotional intensity and jaw dropping spectacle. The best is Harry Osborn’s aerial pursuit of Peter through the tight nooks and crannies of Manhattan’s alleys and a subsequent scene where a corrupted Peter shows Harry how dangerous a Spider-Man without morals can be. But then the Harry/Peter conflict, the strongest element of the film, loses steam and is left by the wayside until we must pick it up from scratch an hour or so into the film where resolution comes from a completely new character- I don’t mind this storytelling tactic as much as some and I can appreciate that Rami trusts his audience to keep up with the labyrinthine plots, but when he’s not spoon feeding characters information he’s forcing them to jump ravines of logic to arrive at sensible conclusions with nary a bit of dialogue in the way of explanation. Peter’s horrific behavior to MJ during the Black Suit debacle is never addressed between the two, for example; that type of shit doesn’t fly with me in Smallville when Clark gets dosed with Red K and does something heinous, and works even less here with characters I’m much more invested in- Christ, even if you have to lie at least say something like “sorry baby, got a snort of some bad coke” or something.

The Sandman plot limps off into the sunset with Peter standing around twiddling his thumbs and Sandman having solved none of the problems he resorted to crime for in the first place. The “Black Suit” storyline fares better, a black ooze tumbled from the deepest reaches of outer space manages a convenient trajectory that not only brings it over the United States, not only over the East Coast, not just into Manhattan or even Central Park for that matter, but smack dab right next to Peter’s moped, following him home and morphing into a new black costume that brings out Peter’s dark side. That the suit happens to land right next to Peter is a bit hard to swallow, but let’s face it, its nothing comic fans in the room won’t forgive considering all the impossible coincidences we’ve been asked to swallow since Stan Lee created the character in ’63, and it pales in comparison to how Peter rids himself of the suit, which not only miraculously places him in exactly the right place to do so, but manages to arrange matters so that Peter’s professional rival Eddie Brock happens to be standing right underneath the struggle to receive a face-full of symbiote (which to be fair, is the same thing that happened in the comics).

Unfortunately Peter Parker’s dark side isn’t all that threatening, pretty much Tony Manero with a Hitler haircut. When Peter dances or swipes his hair to the right, he’s eeeevil. Using stock footage of Tobey running around with Leonardo Dicaprio’s Pussy Posse probably would have gotten the desired effect much more succinctly particularly in making MJ jealous, alongside every male in the audience.

The Venom arc gets the worst shorting, Topher Grace never being given a chance to flesh his character out (not that Venom from the comics was ever the most complex creation), and he’s shuffled off as easily as he was pushed onstage- looks pretty cool though.

Spider-Man 3 was going to own the box office no matter what, guaranteed. There would still be plenty of material to mine from the Spidey comics for any number of films with the potential for James-Bondlike serializations, and plenty of non-repetitive paths to tread. Why did Sam Rami feel the need to go overkill? Sure there’s the need to top the last effort, but everybody knows now that’s hardly done by mashing in more villains at the expense of connecting with them (Look at how much time we were given to explore Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus), a lesson learned through the near destruction of the Batman franchise.

I saw two good films here, mashed to the point where we got a barely adequate one. Spidey’s a winner, and Rami needs to pace himself, simplify and take his time in crafting good stories. If box office numbers are any indication, we’re not going anywhere.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=15898&reviewer=358
originally posted: 05/30/07 06:02:24
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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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