For those of you who have been waiting for the latest big screen adventures of your favorite web slinger, then your time has come. Peter Parker is all set to pop the question to his main squeeze, MJ, but there are forces out to thwart his plans in “Spider-Man 3.”
Well, if one bad guy is good – The Goblin in the first Spidey installment, Doctor Octopus in the second – then three or four just have to be even better. And, that is what we have in “Spider-Man 3,” along with the continuing story of Peter Parker and his on again/off again relationship with Mary Jane.
I have to admit that I was reluctant, at best, about going to see the third edition of “Spider-Man.” Spider-Man 2” was mildly entertaining but a little of Peter’s personal angst over his secret love for MJ went a long way. Unfortunately, there was way too much of this story so the Doc Ock action was not enough to temper the PP/MJ schmaltz.
Spidey 3” continues with the romantic angst but also has a variety of pitfalls that Spider Man must face, including a mutant called the Sandman (Thomas Hayden Church); a new version of the Goblin (with vengeance obsessed son Harry (James Franco) filling his father’s shoes as Son of Goblin); an evil Spidey clone called Venom; and an alien creature bent on possessing Spider-Man. As such, there is a kitchen sink feel to this latest entry in the franchise as it episodically deals with each of the several story lines.
Spider-Man 3” returns to its comic book roots with Sam Raimi and company giving the film the kitchy look of its source Marvel material. The combo of this and the multiple stories being told make the film move along at a fair clip, belying the near two and a half hour run time. Not that the fans of the franchise will mind – I think they would watch Spider-Man swing through the streets of New York reading the phone book aloud.
We see the usual suspects from the first two Spidey movies with, of course, Parker and MJ. Others include Franco as Harry Osborn, Rosemary Harris as Aunt May, J.K. Simmons chewing scenery as Bugle publisher J. Jonah Jameson, Bill Nunn, Dylan Baker and Cliff Robinson in flashback as Peter’s beloved Uncle Ben. We get new faces to the franchise with Topher Grace as an ambitious photographer, Eddie Brock, trying to wrest Parker’s job from him, Bryce Dallas Howard as Gwen Stacey (a wrench in the PP/MJ romance works) and Bruce Cambell giving a hilarious cameo as an outrageous French maitre d’. Thomas Hayden Church has a confused existence as escaped convict Flint Marko and the dreaded Sandman.
Techs look CGI but that is what I come to expect in the Spider-Man franchise. Extreme action, rather than realism, is the forte of entry number three – when we are not subjected to Peter’s romantic woes.
Spider-Man 3” fires the opening salvo of the summer blockbusters, getting a jump on the competition and, most likely, garnering huge box office receipts. It is geared to the fans but its variety of stories makes this sketchy feature entertaining for the non-fans dragged to it by their Significant Others. I give it a B-.Laura:
Laura did not see this film.
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