Science fiction and fantasy                                            

Spider-Man 3

a Sam Raimi film

Spider Man 3 poster  
At the start of Spider-Man 3 Peter Parker seems to have all a young man could want. In Mary Jane he has the perfect girlfriend, and he's managed to balance work, study and his secret life of crime-fighting. What's more, Spider-Man is actually popular.

But whilst Peter Parker allows success go to his head, he's oblivious to the true feelings of others. MJ's career takes a nosedive, and she's shocked by Peter's insensitivity about it. Harry Osborne still hasn't forgiven Peter for his father's death. And what's more, a new photographer is gunning for Peter's job at the Daily Planet. Eddie Brock (Topher Grace) is determined to find and photograph Spider-Man with his "hand in the cookie jar" in order to bag the staff job.

Spider-Man 3 features not one but two new villains, Sandman and Venom. Created when a criminal on the run is accidentally de-molecularlised, Sandman can re-form himself out of sand.

Meanwhile, Venom falls to Earth on a meteor, an alien looking like a cross between a spider and an oil slick. It bonds to his spider suit, turning it black and enhancing his powers. But Venom also brings out Peter's worst qualities, making him more aggressive and vengeful. Under the influence of Venom, Spidey becomes tetchy, then exhibitionist, and eventually vicious. Not only that, but he adopts an emo-hairstyle and dancin' feet, marking him out as the epitome of evil.

Spider-Man 3 has all of the action and fighting you would expect of a superhero movie. Perhaps that's just the problem: by the third movie in this franchise we know just what to expect of the web slinger, so what is left to surprise us? So the scriptwriters have responded by having Spidey face off against multiple bad guys. Flint Marko is clumsily shoehorned into Peter Parker's back story, in spite of the way that episode of Peter's life was given closure in previous films. His past no longer makes as much sense as it did. None of the new characters have an awful lot of screen time, and this means they never get beyond mere sketches, so we don't get to know them in enough depth for them to come alive as characters.

Nevertheless Spider-Man 3 does advance the story, allowing Peter Parker to grow and learn through his life experiences. At heart this is a moral tale about the emptiness of vengeance and the importance of staying true to oneself. Perhaps if Sam Raimi had stayed more true to the original Spider-Man comics, this film would be less superficial. As it is, the villains all come across as extremely shallow characters, and as a result Spider-Man 3 doesn't quite match up to the earlier films in this series.

Film Details

Year: 2007

Categories: Films

  Science fiction

Classification: 12

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3 star rating

Review © Ros Jackson
Read more about Sam Raimi