The third installment in the Spiderman Trilogy has been perhaps the most anticipated of the lot. Does it live up to the hype? Well not entirely.
This Spiderman movie primarily deals with the relationships that Spiderman’s alter ego, Peter Parker has with the people in his life, foremost being his girlfriend, Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst). However the movie primarily deals with Parker’s own demons.
Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco reprise their roles as Peter Parker, Mary Jane Watson and Harry Osborn respectively. Topher Grace as Eddie Brock aka Venom seems a little out of place, but is bearable. Thomas Hayden Church as the Sandman is great, his look and build are exactly the way I remember him from the anime. Bryce Dallas Howard as Gwen Stacey is wasted (In the comics, Gwen is supposed to be Parker’s first love. Here she is present for less than fifteen minutes!).
The third movie begins sometime after the last one ended, with Spiderman now accepted as a well-loved superhero of New York City. His personal life is great with a loving girlfriend in the form of Mary Jane Watson, who is aware and accepting of his dual identity and he’s doing great at school as well with good grades and a knockout of a lab-partner! But there are still a few thorns in Parker’s rosy life. Harry Osborn (who discovers the secret identities of both Peter Parker and his own father, the Green Goblin) still blames Parker for his father’s death. At work, Parker faces competition in the form of Eddie Brock, a slimy new freelance photographer who is willing to do anything to make that extra buck.
Things begin to spiral out of control with the introduction of a new villain, Flint Marko aka the Sandman, which forces Parker to confront his past once again.
The premise of the third movie is of course, the battle Spiderman wages against himself, rather his dark side. The concept isn’t very original as the theme is present in the Spiderman comics. An alien symbiotic life form merges with Parker’s Spidey suit rendering him more powerful and agile than before. However, the life form also amplifies Parker’s darker emotions, namely arrogance, spite and vengeance.
The movie introduces a new dimension in the Parker-Osborn relation, which makes for good viewing.
Spiderman has always been synonymous with vulnerability and very realistic human angst and social problems. In that sense, Sam Raimi has been true to the essence of the Spiderman comics. However the movie script is incoherent, which renders the story-telling weak. But, what the movie lacks in story telling, it makes up with a very provocative plot.
There are many sequences in the movie that make a mark, not all of them for the right reasons! The sequence where Parker displays his egotistical self is rather silly. With John Travoltaisque dance moves form Saturday Night Fever, and Tobey Maguire comes off as a complete weirdo!
J. Jonah Jameson, the editor of the newspaper The Daily Bugle, provides some much-required comic relief for the movie and is fabulous in the scene inside his office.
The action sequences are awesome. I especially loved the crane sequence where Spiderman rescues Gwen Stacey (Bryce Dallas Howard). But some sequences seem a bit too rushed, with so much happening so fast, that my head started spinning!
As a follower of the comic book and the animation, I was very disappointed with Raimi’s rendition of the villains in this movie. Eddie Brock is given very limited screen time as Spiderman’s nemesis, Venom (moreover the movie does not even give a name to be used for Eddie Brock’s alter ego!) Ditto for Sandman aka Flint Marko. Although, Marko’s story is well highlighted.
Venom is considered as a major character in the Spiderman series, both comic and anime. But in the movie he is treated as just another character. Raimi could have done so much more with his character, but I guess it didn’t fit the script.
What was surprising was to see both Tobey and Kirsten put on some weight, which made them seem a little odd. Compared to Tobey’s Peter Parker, Topher’s Eddie Brock seemed more athletic! A little less flab could have been a good idea for both of them!
Spiderman-3 is a movie that will probably be enjoyed by avid fans of the franchise but may fail to deliver in certain aspects. Over all I would recommend the movie to all of you who have enjoyed the first two installments, since this one provides a suitable conclusion (or maybe heralds a new beginning!!??) to the Spiderman Trilogy.
My verdict ** ½ stars.