May 16, 2007
Spiderman 3 finally arrived, and I was hoping for a really cool movie. How could a movie have Venom in it and not be cool? Spiderman 3 is how.
This is going to be filled with spoilers so don't read if you haven't seen the movie.
So Venom is introduced as a more animated version of the blob. No mention of the back story, no mention of why it goes after Spidey, nothing. Then it becomes Spidey's suit, and he just goes with it. They imply that with the suit he's stronger, but they don't really show it. Honestly I don't know how you could, as its all CGI anyway. It also seems like his reason to get rid of the suit is rushed, MJ gets jealous, and then hurt at his pathetic revenge. Then Venom bonds with Brock, and its a big rush to the finale, where MJ is the damsel in distress again. They don't show how Brock stalks Spidey and his family and messes with him. You never really get a sense of what Venom's powers are, aside from mimicing Spidey's, like his camo capability. And given the budget, Venom looked like a comic character instead of a CGI villian.
The Sandman is introed as an escaped con trying to get back to his daughter, when he's demolecularized and gains his power. Ok, you're gonna have a billion dollar physics experiment in the open, in an uncontrolled environment? Yeah ok. The movie explains that it was the Sandman, who killed Spidey's uncle, and not the creep Spidey thought it was. Basically Sandman is there so Venom/Spidey can have a revenge target, and be bad ass against and then be there at the end for the forgiveness scene. His mantra was "I didn't want to be bad. This isn't what I want.". Everyone in the theater was like "So Don't jackass!" I think they were trying to riff on some sort of seventies its not the criminal's fault he's a murderous thug, it's society's fault meme. It fell flat.
Goblin Jr. Harry Osborne is there trying to get revenge on Spidey for his father's death. Of course he fails, and Spidey takes him to the hospital. He's nice for a while, but then the Goblin psychosis starts up again and Dad says to keep his eyes on the ball. He kicks off Venom/Spidey's revenge mode when he breaks Spidey and MJ up. Then thanks to a confession from his butler that Spidey didn't kill the Goblin, he decides to help Spidey save MJ from the Venom/Sandman tagteam. He then gets impaled by his own rocketsnowboard trying to save MJ, and oddly his super serum doesn't heal him. Leaving MJ's field clear for Spidey. Oddly, as far as I can tell, Goblin Jr. never committed any crimes worthy of a redemtive death. He just went after Spidey, and never hurt any innocent bystanders. MJ is not an innocent bystander and all he did to her was make her dump Spidey.
Tobey McGuire plays a caricature of Spidey as the earnest, slightly oblivious super-powered-geek-struggling-grad-student. When Peter Parker is enthralled by Venom, he steals Eddie Furlong's T2 haircut and becomes a spastic John Travolta wannabe.
MJ looks like she's auditioning to play a red haired elf in the Hobbit. Which she'd be hot as. She goes from being the understanding my boyfriend's a hero gal, to a self absorbed failed diva oblivious to how Spidey feels for her. She quickly goes to damsel in distress mode and all is well by the end of the movie.
This is a case where they tried to do way too much with the film. The Venom story could have held the movie all by itself. They could've taken their time and really play up the whole alien-symbiot-rejected-lover angle. They could have really made it thrilling with Venom/Brock stalking Peter and his friends. The comics had a lot of creepy scense vis a vis Venom/Brock and Spidey. If they absolutely had to they could've worked in Venom/Spidey straightening Goblin Jr's ass, but Sandman was a total waste. And the Gwen Stacey thing, WTF were they thinking? Are they setting her up to die in another movie? They deliberately left her out of the 1st movie to concentrate on the Spidey/MJ destined lovers story. To bring her in as Brock's fantasy girlfriend, and to increase Brock's desire for revenge against Spidey was dumb. They could've used any other name for that girl and it would work.
Let me put it to you this way, for the big pathos filled ending scene with Spidey and MJ holding the dead Goblin Jr, my audience was laughing.
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