Saturday, November 8, 2008

Spider-Man 3

With a third movie arriving in the franchise, the bar was already extremely high for this film. This can evidently be explained by the fact that the second instalment of the series met success both in the box office and worldwide critics. This third chapter of the Spider-Man is amusing to watch, without a doubt. Unfortunately, it’s not amusing for good reasons. Despite trying to look good, Spider-Man 3 is nothing more than a movie that could have been better.

While being in the midst of his glorious days, Spider-Man is being more and more appreciated by New Yorkers. During a night with Mary-Jane, Peter absorbs, without knowing it, a black substance from space. Moreover, when the substance takes effect, Peter notices that his powers are "enhanced", but his relatives notices that he's become more arrogant. Are Spider-Man's ideals (justice rather than vengeance) and Peter's relations threatened?

I certainly wanted to say to myself that Spider-Man 3 looks more mature than the two previous movies because of the theme that it deals with. To draw a comparison with the position of force occupied by the USA in world politics, Spider-Man 3 can be seen as a metaphor about the destructive effect of power. In the case of the movie, Peter Parker/Spider-Man becomes stronger after he absorbs a black substance coming from the space. However, Peter Parker does look like a brat who doesn't know how to use his power for good reasons. Of course, such a theme gives to the well-chosen cast the chance to push their thespian skills into deeper psychological abyss, especially when we think about how Peter's relatives react to his erupting arrogance.

Unfortunately, this is only the movie's beautiful façade, because the script hides some flaws. The first flaw is that the movie tries to have such a sombre tone that near the end, Spider-Man 3 becomes a little bit laughable. Secondly, while the film progresses too slowly toward the climax, we just feel that some of the main characters are over-developed. For instance, nobody needed to see the scene in which Peter dances in the street with black clothes, because we don't need to be told twice how arrogant the character is. Seriously, that scene could have been removed so that we can move on the to the climax! Aside from that example, the movie drags some long periods that add no dramatic interest to the film.

Finally, one may not like this film as much as the second instalment of the franchise. Hopefully, while the script has difficulty to progress smoothly, the cast's performance delivers a fine performance. To that matter, let's think about Thomas Haden Church (George of the Jungle), as Flint Marko/Sandman, who plays an interesting character always torn between the desire to hurt nobody and to unleash his brutality.

Rating: 3/5

Spider-Man 3
USA (2007)
Length: 140 minutes
Genre: Action/Fantasy
Scriptwriter: Sam Raimi, Ivan Raimi and Alvin Sargent
Director: Sam Raimi
Starring: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Thomas Haden Church, Topher Grace and Bryce Dallas Howard

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