Here’s another review of a movie starring my favorite, wise-ass comic book character (not to be confused with my favorite comic book character) wearing my favorite 2 colors.   Director Sam Raimi gives us the darkest of his Spider-Man trilogy in “Spider-Man 3.”  We get 3 villains: Sandman, the new Goblin, and Venom!  “Wow” you say?  “Eh,” I say.   Superhero movies that put too many new villains in a movie tend to suffer from lack of character development of those characters and/or lack of focus.  This is partly true of “Spider-Man 3.”

The Sandman was given enough backstory so that we feel some sympathy for him: he wants to make money to give his sick daughter the proper medical care.  The new, Green Goblin has been slowly introduced to us in “Spider-Man” and “Spider-Man 2,” so that character is already fully developed by part 3.  No problem there.  Venom, on the other hand, takes full form in the last third of the movie, and it felt rushed to me.  And let’s not forget the new, black, Spidey costume that Venom came from.   There is too much going on here for one movie.

The black costume by itself could be the storyline for one movie.  For those who aren’t familiar with Spider-Man comics, Spidey and a bunch of superheroes left Earth to fight bad guys; and Spidey came upon this black costume and decided to take it back to Earth and use it.  Well, the new costume turned out to be an alien creature that formed a symbiotic relationship with Spidey, and at some point Spidey ditched the alien.  The alien got angry and joined with a jerk named Eddie Brock, turning Brock into Venom: basically a large, evil version of Spider-Man.   Sounds like a big story for a movie, right?  It is.  Maybe for 2 movies.   But to have all this mashed into one movie along with the Sandman and the new Green Goblin and Gwen Stacy and who really killed Uncle Ben and problems with Mary Jane…it’s like trying to take in as much of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan in 2 hours.   The rush doesn’t do the art justice.

So is it a bad movie?  Oh, no.  This is a good movie.  I give it a 7.5 out of 10, with 10 being the best.   But it could have been much better had it not had too many stories going on.  So what was going on?  Well, let me tell you about it by giving you some of my memorable, movie moments of “Spider-Man 3.”

Numero uno: when Spidey kisses Gwen Stacy while he’s upside down hanging by his web.  Yup, that same kiss he gave to M.J. in “Spider-Man.”  Their special kiss.  Their first kiss.   And he did that knowing M.J. was in the audience watching.  This is a prime example of what women talk about when they say men are clueless.  I know deep down, Parker is still feeling like a geek and he has little experience with women, but damn, dude!   He should’ve know better.  This leads to a big fight and break-up of Spidey and M.J.  I remember taking a special woman to the same restaurant many times.  A restaurant that we both found during one of our days together.  It felt weird taking another woman there, even though the first woman gave me her blessing to take others there after our romantic relationship was over.  After all, that was “our place.”  But at least I waited until it was over, and I got the go-ahead from the first woman, and we both had an understanding that we could take others there.   Not Spidey!  He just gave away that special kiss to another while he was still with M.J.  And, oh, he paid for that lack of insight.

For the second memorable, movie moment, I give you the sequence where the new, Green Goblin chases and tries to kill Spider-Man for the first time, early in the movie.  It’s memorable for how badly it was done.  It reminded me of those “Back To The Future” movies where McFly is being chased by big, bully Biff.   The tone of the sequence was wrong.  It came off as comedy/action instead of being serious and suspenseful.

The third memorable, movie moment is the sequence dealing with Peter Parker’s new, cocky attitude thanks to stress and the effects of the alien costume that he wears under his street clothes.  With cheesy, 1970s style disco/porn music playing in the background, Parker struts the streets of Manhattan like John Travolta (“Oh, my god, Spider-man — where?”) in “Saturday Night Fever.”  Snapping his fingers to music only he can hear, Parker disco points, thrusts his pelvis, and smiles at all the ladies, creeping them out.  It’s funny and a bit scary, like preachers who wear fancy suits and wear too much cologne, sweat too much, and always ends sentences with “hah!”

My most memorable, movie moment takes place near the end of the movie.  Even though this movie is old, I will be careful of my words so I don’t spoil it for people who haven’t watched this movie.  It deals with forgiveness, which I think is the spine, or theme, of “Spider-Man 3.”  Most of the main characters come to an understanding of what they’ve done, and why; and we get the feeling that from here on, they will try to be better people with whatever time they have left in this world.

That’s what I try to do every day.  I don’t always succeed, but I do make the effort.

M

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