Wednesday, January 2, 2008
Despite its overly long running time and a handful of blatant flaws, I thoroughly enjoyed Spider-Man 3, both on DVD and in the theater. The film had dazzling action sequences, incredible special effects, and enough Peter Parker/Mary Jane relational dynamics to keep even non-comic book fans interested. And, of course, the bit players did their usual fine job, most notably Rosemary Harris as Aunt May and J. K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson. Many critics and fans complained that three villains were too many, but that didn't bother me at all--it simply amped up the action.
Now for the flaws:
#1. The worst part of the entire film was when the Venom symbiote infected Peter Parker's personality. Parker becoming angry and cold hearted was fine, but him strutting about town and acting "cool" came off as extremely silly and not at all funny.
#2. Tying Flint Marko to the death of Ben Parker was a bad idea that was clearly shoehorned into the film to create additional hero/villain conflict. It didn't achieve its goal. Not even a little bit.
#3. Spider-Man letting Sandman go near the end of the film was ridiculous. During his rampage through the city, it was clear that Sandman injured (and probably killed) numerous innocents, including police officers. Forgiveness is fine, but heinous actions deserve fitting consequences.
#4. Gwen Stacy, whose death in the comics is mourned to this day by fanboys worldwide, was given very little depth. Her apology to Mary Jane in the night club was a nice touch, but she seemed vapid and empty headed overall.
For an action flick, Spider-Man 3 definitely works. Discriminated viewers, however, will have to overlook a few sore spots.