Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Penny Thoughts ‘12—Spider-Man 3 (2007) ***

PG-13, 139 min.
Director: Sam Raimi
Writers: Sam Raimi, Ivan Raimi, Alvin Sargent, Stan Lee (comic book), Steve Ditko (comic book)
Starring: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Thomas Haden Church, Topher Grace, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rosemary Harris, J.K. Simmons, James Cromwell, Elizabeth Banks, Dylan Baker, Theresa Russell, Ted Raimi, Bill Nunn, Bruce Campbell

You know, I was right there with everybody at one point in time. When I originally reviewed it, I was kind to it. I gave it the three stars for delivering a high quality comic book action movie, if not the greatest Spider-Man movie. I eventually felt I’d been too easy on it. Now, after seeing it again years later, I think it’s a little better than everyone seems to give it credit.

It is true that there is far too much going on in this movie. Telling Sandman’s story and Venom’s story in the same movie that they resolve the Peter Parker, Mary Jane, Harry Osborne triangle is tearing off too much at one time. It’s Venom’s story the really suffers, and that’s the one that’s least interesting to begin with. I would’ve enjoyed a feature length Alien Costume Saga story after Peter and MJ were already an experienced couple, however, but not here.

The rest of the movie, on the other hand, is handled with the same care and appreciation that Raimi gave to both the other episodes in this trilogy. It’s a shame he gave into the studio’s pressures to add a third villain to the mix. I don’t understand why they didn’t trust Raimi’s judgment to deliver on a model he’d already proven with 1 & 2. Still Raimi understands these characters, understands their origins and source material, and he once again infuses the film with that understanding. While it could’ve been better, it is still better than most of what’s out there in this genre of filmmaking.

Read my original review here.

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