Writer: Pairamaporn Buranakol Writer Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
"Spider-Man 1", "Spider-Man 2"
Everybody needs a hero, be it an alien being wearing tights with a cape (Superman), or a rich mogul with a lot of toys (Batman), or even an average girl who can regenerate herself like The Cheerleader in TV's "Heroes". In this third instalment of the "Spider-Man" movie saga, we're served the same affair of the city being hounded by evil-doers, and it's all up to one friendly neighbourhood 'Spidey' to save the day.
Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire), now having gone through what we've seen in "Spider-Man" 1 & 2 movies respectively, is living the life of a dream. He has a beautiful girlfriend by his side. As Spider-Man, he is revered by the city as a hero for fighting crime and saving people's lives daily. Although he still stays in a dodgy little apartment, and still has that freelance photography job at the Daily Bugle, he's a happy man.
However, problems soon arise, when Parker finds himself caught up with his fame as Spider-Man, so much so that he begins to revel in it at the cost of his love, Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst). One morning, he wakes up to find himself in a new black suit, and discovers that an alien-like symbiote has merged itself into his suit, creating the new look which is a flashier, stronger - yet - darker Spider-Man. Parker soon exhibits a darker personality too, in keeping with his suit, and begins to change, not just where his alter-ego is concerned, but as an individual - pushing Mary Jane to the brink.
In the midst of all this, Parker is dogged by more problems. Word is out that the real man responsible for the death of Parker's uncle, Ben, is Flint Marko (Thomas Haden Church), who has just escaped from prison and is now loose on the streets. Digging deep into his darker side, Parker goes after Flint for more than just revenge; Parker wants to exterminate him, only to find that the ex-convict has somehow become The Sandman.
More chaos occurs when Harry Osborn (James Franco) takes up the mantle of his father as the new Green Goblin. Out for revenge for his father's death, which he believed was caused by Spider-Man, Harry pursues Parker at every turn of the corner - creating havoc, and pushing Parker into finally embracing his darker side.
Now at the losing end, Parker must find a way to destroy his enemies, and sever his link to his alien symbiote - but ends up creating a new enemy when the symbiote lands on Eddie Brock (Topher Grace), the new guy at the Daily Bugle who is out to replace Parker as Spider-Man's photographer, thus creating Venom whose hatred for Spider-Man runs deep.
The beginning credits of the film showed freeze frame snippets from "Spider-Man" 1 & 2, giving a little background history for the viewers before delving into the third movie. However, the movie was above-average. I felt that there were parts that were too slow, and could do with a little bit less character development. There were too many stories and new characters, compressed into the 2 hours and 20 minutes on-screen. Although there were some exciting bits, there were also the drab, slow, and unnecessary scenes. With such a huge storyline, most parts became a little jumbled - and sort of 'everywhere-at-once'.
Sam Raimi has brought different facets to his characters, be it in producing his TV series ("Hercules", "Xena"), or his movies ("Army of Darkness"). "Spider-Man 3" is no exception, showing that good and evil are no longer as simple as black and white. Behind every character, there's a story to be told.
The main story here, however, should have concentrated on the Venom/Eddie Brock character development; the reason given for his character embracing the new symbiote doesn't hold much water. However, Raimi has spent too much time revealing the story of Flint's life, before emerging as the Sandman.
Venom seemed very puppet-like, and wasn't really scary - looking more like Spider-Man in a black suit, with fangs. It was nothing impressive, and didn't seem that venomous; unlike the symbolic original costume in the comic strips. Topher Grace's acting is rather wooden, bringing to mind his character as Eric Forman on TV's "The '70s Show". As much as one would like to believe that Eddie Brock here has embraced his evil nature by being Venom, it's hard not to laugh when he talks like his mouth is stuffed full of teeth.
There are some genuine laughs, especially when we see J. Jonah Jameson (J.K. Simmons) controlling his temper (which any major fan would know is hard for him to do!), and when Parker becomes the new, hip, flashier Parker, grooving his way through with the ladies and even standing up to his boss! Look out for a cameo from Stan Lee, who as usual makes an appearance here, with a line to say; and Sam Raimi's brother, Ted Raimi, who has a role in almost all of Sam's produced or directed movies/TV series.
After a while, it gets a little bit tiring when you know you can predict what's going to happen before every scene. The fight sequences are, as usual, impressive, yet, it lacks the smoothness and excitement of the first two movies. The action sequences, when it appears, are still exciting, and sometimes gripping; yet doesn't last very long before the movie drags you kicking and screaming back into the boring scenes.Cinema Online, 23 September 2008