Science fiction and fantasy
a Sam Raimi film
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.
If you like this, try:Venom by Ruben Fleischer
When alien organisms come back to Earth, an investigative journalist tackles the corporation that wants to conduct unethical experiments on them.
Captain America: The First Avenger by Joe Johnston
In the forties a secret plan to boost the war effort results in the creation of a superhero. But can one person really make a difference?
Batman Begins by Christopher Nolan
The story of the origins of the Dark Knight is retold.
Review © Ros Jackson
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