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Customer Review

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars With trilogies comes great responsibility., 18 Nov. 2011
This review is from: Spider-Man 3 (2-Disc Edition) [DVD] [2007] (DVD)
Peter Parker is very happy, he's in love with the sensual Mary Jane Watson, his studies are going great, and America loves his alter ego, Spider-Man. But his world is quickly turned upside down as he comes under attack from Sandman, Goblin Jr and an alien substance that transforms Peter into something far darker than his super hero better self.

There is a school of thought that says that sequels are always the tricky films for directors to take on, that may be so in most genres, but for comic book adaptations, all films are tricky. By the time of director Sam Raimi releasing Spider-Man 3, he had not only shown the world that he clearly loved the Spider-Man characters, he showed that he also knew how to better the franchise with the second instalment. So really, if we are all honest here, it was going to take a monumental effort to not just only better parts one and two, but to merely make a film to sit alongside those finely crafted pictures as well! That he managed neither is no great surprise when watching it now after the dust has settled a few years later. In his over eagerness to entertain us the fans, and with studio interference that Raimi to date refuses to over elaborate on (Venom-AKA Eddie Brock-it was-ahem-requested he find room for), Raimi lost sight of the less is more policy that made the first two Spidey movies great.

When I first came out of the cinema after my original viewing, my head was chocked full of villains, not only that, but also Peter's love life struggles, it is in short, way too much for one movie. I had enjoyed myself for sure, hell! Raimi knows how to give his fans a good time, but when you break it own there are so many missed opportunities it grates substantially on the discerning movie watching fan. Thomas Haden Church is a fine actor, but as Marko he has little to do, so come the excellent transformation into Sandman, Church is a forgotten prop. Then there is the almost unforgivable act of losing James Franco {Goblin Jr} in amongst the collage of goings on, his Harry Osborn has a neat complexity to him and more attention to detail with this character arc would have provided great rewards I'm sure. Kirsten Dunst returns as Mary Jane but appears to be regressing in acting ability, is she bored I wonder? Or is she just not that very good an actress? The less said about Topher Grace as Eddie Brock/Venom the better, tho in fairness Raimi never wanted the character in the film, so it's hardly surprising that the best thing about the character is the entertaining effects as Venom snarls and snaps. Bryce Dallas Howard is sparky as Gwen Stacy, and J.K. Simmons as usual owns every scene he is in.

Yet in spite of my grievances, after my HD revisit to the film I find myself warming to the Raimi franchise misfire. Clever themes such as power and its devilish off shoots are fleshed out, while the humour here is possibly the best of the three films thus far. The romantic angle between MJ and Peter is given serious thought and dare I say it, an adult make over. Whilst Tobey Maguire really has improved as an actor with each subsequent film, not withstanding an ill advised Saturday Night Fever sequence, Parker's venture to the dark side is excellently realised by Maguire. But ultimately it's with the action sequences that many younger viewers judge a Spider-Man film by, and part three is not found wanting, with a double team ultimate smack down raising the bar in gloriously over the top enjoyment. 7/10

At the time of writing the above Raimi had agreed to do Spider-Man 4, I feel sure that lessons would have been learned, as it is now, both Raimi and Maguire have left the franchise. The head honcho executives have other ideas for the next instalment.......
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