Sunday, May 06, 2007

Spider-Man 3

What was this movie about?

The first two films were phenomenal. They not only brought justice to one of the most beloved comic characters of all time but they made Sam Raimi an a list director. Raimi's talking about making a fourth film. It's easy to see why since he tried to make four films at once with this.

You get the feeling that the first two films wanted this to be about Harry. Raimi wanted a classic Ditko chracter (Sandman). And Marvel REALLY wanted Venom. They're all here, along with Gwen Stacy, Curt Connors and the Russian landlord who yells "rent!".

Unlike the Schumacher Batman films, which had so many characters there was no room for plot, this movie has so many plots there's no room for theme. Peter goes from confidence to arrogance but what does that have to do with Sandman? Why is Harry addressed, put away early and readdressed in the second act? If all the posters feature the black costume, why don't we see it for a full hour? And why is Venom in this for 15 minutes yet there's two dance numbers and three songs? There's no focus in this film. I'd say it was made by committee but it's so well crafted, I have to say it was made by distraction.

And yet it's worth watching. The action scenes blow the first two installments away. The effects of Sandman are convincing and fascinating. Venom is phenomenal. And the characters all still feel authentic.

I can't say I left disappointed but it certainly wasn't a great film. In the end it felt like watching a season of a tv show or reading a year of the comic. Everything here works, it just doesn't work together.

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