Reviews & Previews - Spiderman 3

Posted on Thursday, May 24, 2007 at 06:00 PM

Spiderman 3

By: S. Tran

Starring: Toby McGuire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Thomas Hayden Church, Topher Grace.
Directed By: Sam Raimi
Running Time: 140 minutes
Rated: PG-13

And the Kitchen Sink Too!

Holy Batman! That's what I was thinking as I walked out of the theatre after watching the latest flick starring our friendly neighbourhood Spiderman. Sam Raimi decided to pull out all the stops for this film by including more villains and sub plots, like a superhero buffet. Unfortunately at the end of the day it becomes a fairly incohesive mess that reminded me of the cinematic diarrhea that was Batman and Robin. As a director Raimi is excellent but maybe he should let someone else take care of the writing.

Part of the reason the original Spiderman worked better than most superhero adaptations is because of the interest people had in Peter Parker, the dorky alter ego of the web slinger. Raimi did a great job in the first movie to take some care with that character, showing us the development of the person behind the mask. At the same time he included enough super hero ass kicking to placate the action fans.

With Spiderman 3 though because there are so many story arcs, villains and other superhero issues for Spiderman to deal with that the scenes involving Peter Parker come off as corny after thoughts. The audience actually laughed at many of the emotional scenes between McGuire and Dunst because they were so poorly directed and acted. One memorable scene (and by memorable I mean ridiculous) involves McGuire doing some weird vaudeville dance scene in a bar.

The rest of the movie is handled very well technically but again the stories simply do not have any flow to them because Raimi tried to include too much. In addition to Parker's unending personal problems you have Church as the Sandman running around robbing banks, Franco as the bi-polar friend trying to kill Spiderman and then Grace appears for about 20 minutes as Venom near the end of the movie angry about losing his job for the worst paper in town. In fact many of the character's motivations are either irrational, sappy or just plain old as in Franco's case.

None of the story lines is developed enough to really get into them and some of the editing is so choppy that it was literally jarring to watch. In particular, there is one scene where Church just happens to run into Grace as Venom. He is about to kill him when he realizes Venom isn't Spiderman but some weird alien symbiote with fangs. His reaction upon realizing this? Uh...he throws Venom to the side and begins walking away. The scene has absolutely no value except as a way for the two bad guys to get together to gang up on Spiderman but it is so poorly handled that it seemed like Raimi forgot he needed the scene and shot it after the rest of the movie was done.

Even at almost two and a half hours the movie isn't long enough to accommodate the various stories and villains. Near the end I seriously began to wonder if maybe Mr. Freeze and the Riddler might show up to add to the craziness.

At the end of the day the movie is redeemed a little by the top notch special effects but the hokey dialogue, poor acting and undeveloped story lines sink the film.

You probably know by now that Spiderman 3 has been tearing up the box office, pulling in enough money in its first week to exceed the GDP of many small countries. See it if you must because of the hype but in reality this one is a poor sequel better saved for DVD.


3 out of 5 stars.


NOTE: The showtimes listed on come directly from the theatres' announced schedules, which are distributed to us on a weekly basis. All showtimes are subject to change without notice or recourse to