WARNING: THERE ARE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW!
Spider-Man 3 is directed by Sam Raimi and it is the final movie in the Raimi Spider-Man trilogy. In this final installment, Peter battles his inner demons as a cosmic entity known as the symbiote attaches to him as a host and evokes negative emotions and action out of Peter/Spidey. While this is happening the Sandman emerges and is out on the loose. The movie stars Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Thomas Hayden Church, Topher Grace and Bryce Dallas Howard.
I don’t remember much of when I watched this movie for the first time, to be honest if it weren’t for the countless memes, I would’ve forgotten most of the movie. Before rewatching the movie, I tried to go in with an open mind and be hopeful that the movie was better than I remembered it to be. Unfortunately that’s not the case, at least not entirely. Spider-Man 3 is a bloated mess of a movie which revolves around idiotic characters who never do things which literally everyone would do therefore creating more unnecessary drama and creating more movie.
Harry’s arc in this movie shouldn’t even exist. Peter waits until this movie to tell him about what happened with Norman. His butler literally claimed that he cleaned the wound and he confirmed it was true but because the script wanted Harry to be the Hob-Goblin, they decided to put Harry through all of this unnecessary drama when Peter and his butler could’ve told him at the end of Spider-Man 2 or in between 2 and 3. The symbiote comes out of nowhere, it literally comes out of space and is described as a cosmic entity. Sandman literally disappears for the third act then comes back for the final battle even though he should’ve died since he was trapped in the water. The Uncle Ben storyline gets reopened with an unnecessary connection between Sandman and the case. Gwen Stacy is in this movie because the Sony producer wanted it. Venom was in this movie because, you guessed it, the Sony producer wanted it.
The reason Spider-Man 3 is a frustrating movie for me is because after I watched it I began thinking how good it could’ve been if some elements were removed. I know most people wanted Venom out because he didn’t add much to the story and while I do agree, I would’ve preferred Spider-Man 3 to revolve around the symbiote, the Black Spider-Man suit and Venom. It would’ve been a nice change from the first two movies. I absolutely love the scenes with Black Suit Spider-Man, not only did it look cool but he was more violent which gave the scenes a sense of suspense because this isn’t what Peter usually does as Spider-Man. Also in my opinion the Gwen Stacy, Mary Jane and Peter Parker love triangle could’ve worked as well but in this movie it was done lazily.
If I’m being honest I didn’t care that much for Sandman. I did not like the fact that he had an emotional connection to Peter since he was the one who killed Uncle Ben. We had that in the first two movies. Norman was Peter’s best friend’s father, Doc Ock was Peter’s mentor. Having every villain have that kind of connection made it feel repetitive, not every villain Peter encounters has to be connected to him somehow. As I mentioned earlier the Hob-Goblin storyline could’ve definitely been cut. Harry just created so much unnecessary drama between Peter and MJ, not to mention having Gwen step in. This movie is also infamous for “emo Peter Parker” which I honestly found hilarious at first but the movie kept taking it seriously that it became incredibly cringe-inducing. The bangs and eye-liner were way too much. This movie blurred the line between intentionally being funny and being so bad it’s being laughed at with emo Peter. I honestly couldn’t tell.
Even though this movie is a mess, it also has a couple of redeeming qualities. I loved, J. Jonah Jameson trying to be retain his anger and be calm it was hilarious. As I mentioned the Black Suit Spider-Man scenes were amazing, I would’ve loved to see that storyline explored a bit more. The musical score for this movie is amazing. I noticed it more in this movie than I did in the first two movies. The action scenes in this movie use a lot of CGI, unlike the action scenes from the first two movies. There are shots were nothing is real. At times it’s done really well like in the final battle, other times it’s exhausting to look at, for example the fight between Peter and Harry in the beginning. It actually got me feeling slightly nauseous because the “camera” wouldn’t stop spinning and with the poor CGI background, I don’t know if this scenes got people feeling a bit sick in cinemas when it came out but I wouldn’t be surprised if it did. All of this being said, the CGI is amazing for a 2007 movie, it looks like it could’ve been made today.
The acting in this movie for the most part is great. Maguire is once again great as Peter Parker. He delivers so much on the emotional scenes. Even though I didn’t like the stupid Harry sabotaging Peter’s relationship sub-plot, the scene with Mary Jane breaking up with Peter was heartbreaking. Kirsten Dunst is great as Mary Jane even though I feel her role in this movie was rather useless. I got so tired of seeing her get captured by the villain in the final battle. Also she got angry at Peter for trying to help her by using Spider-Man as an example for reviews which was so stupid. She kept saying how not everything is about him when he is trying to relate to her and reassure her. Also I surprisingly liked Franco’s performance, at times. I realized how likable Harry is when he’s not making a constipated face and brooding all the time. It’s a shame the bump in his head didn’t last longer.
Overall, Spider-Man 3 is an unbalanced mess of a movie which doesn’t provide a satisfying end nor a satisfying final chapter. It’s bloated with clashing sub-plots which were enough for two movies. While it does present a lot of interesting ideas and plots, they were never allowed to breathe making this movie a frustrating experience since this movie could and should have been a lot better.