Gone to the Dark Side

7 May

I guess I’ll cut right to the chase: Spider-Man 3 is the worst film in the series.

There’s just too much going on.

There’s too much hokey dialogue and stiff acting (even for a comic book movie).

There are too many attempts at easy laughs.

It’s too long.

And the finale just doesn’t have the same power as those in the other two films did.

But that’s not all.

I’ve never been a fan of Kirsten Dunst’s casting as Mary Jane because I don’t like Kirsten Dunst and because that’s not the Mary Jane I remember from the comic books.

M.J. is supposed to be a strikingly hot, unattainable supermodel-type girl and here, again, they have her cutesy, lame and annoying — and worse, they actually have her singing. (Yuck.) Twice. (Double yuck.)

Further, I just didn’t like how “young” the movie felt. This was fine in the first film, and it was actually not a problem in the second. But here, it’s really frustrating.

And this is really pronounced in the climactic battle. It’s like the young superfriends or something.

The best part of the movie is the stuff with Venom.

No question.

But there’s just not enough of it.

If I was writing this movie, I’d have made that the real crux of the movie, and made Eddie Brock/Venom the only villain. It’s the most compelling plot thread (we’ve been through the guilt over Uncle Ben stuff before, which makes the Flint Markoe/Sandman stuff really repetitive), and I think it’s actually the cooler effects work than the Sandman stuff.

Actually, to go one step further, if I was writing the movie, I’d have made the Gwen Stacy part even bigger too, and would have made the character arc be a little more like it was in the comic book.

Knowing there’s going to be a fourth, fifth, and six Spider-man movie (so says Variety), I’d have had Peter end the movie with Gwen, not Mary Jane.

But back to the movie that’s there.

Sam Raimi regular Bruce Campbell shows up for some lame comic relief as the host in a French restaurant. The scene is symptomatic of how the film tries just a little too hard to be audience-friendly by going for easy laughs.

There’s too much of this. It’s distracting.

So was that cooking scene where for some unknown reason, Mary Jane and Harry are listening to Chubby Checker’s “The Twist.”


I’ll say I liked some of the movie. As noted, the Venom stuff is cool, even if Topher Grace’s performance isn’t (at least it isn’t until he gets the symbiote, and even then I may have been distracted by the cool effects).

I liked how the film started out being very fast moving (before all that plot kicked in to slow things down — and don’t get me wrong, I like plot).

I liked the casting of Bryce Dallas Howard as Gwen Stacy — but again, I wish there was more of her.

So in the end, the stuff I didn’t like out-weighed the stuff I did, making Spider-Man 3 a real disappointment for me.

I’m going to give it a C.

One Response to “Gone to the Dark Side”


  1. All This Is About Getting Even? « Martin's Musings - July 3, 2012

    […] times, and it’s a much more positive message than the Raimi series left us with in 2007, when Spider-Man 3 took a very dark (and not terribly satisfying) […]

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