We saw Spiderman 3 last night. Before I get into the review, there's a few disclaimers I feel I must say so you know where I'm coming from on this review....
I love Spiderman comics. He's awesome. I wasn't a big fan of the first two movies. They were well above average for a comic book movie, but overall I thought they were eh. The first half of 1 was outstanding, then floundered once the Green Goblin in his power ranger suit showed up. Part 2 was hit or miss throughout (Doc Ock's tentacles were cool). This is merely a version and Raimi's vision and interpretation of the Mythos. So check the comic knowledge at the door and remember its all taking place within the Raimiverse. I had heard nothing but horror stories about Spidey3 so I went in expecting Ghost Rider or Catwoman level of poop. Thankfully, it much better than those, so I quite enjoyed myself. But make no mistake from what I'm about to say, this is not a good movie. But it has enough funness to enjoy it.... simply go in with the lowest of low expectations and enjoy the good moments when you see em.
And now the review..... (and yes, I'm aware most people will disagree with me on this)
The action is awesome! We finally get to see how cool Spiderman is in action with his abilities. And Raimi ups the "larger than life" action scenarios that should be in all comic book movies. Harry's story is well done and the strongest of the storylines. I didn't even mind the Sports Chalet costume... it fit with where he was as a character in this movie version. Sandman is great, too. Church totally looks and acts the part. The birth of Sandman was a highlight for me. And within the movie series, I didn't mind his new retconned connection to Uncle Ben. Topher does a great job as an altered version of Brock and has a great birth of Venom scene. The symbiote animation rocks and overall I thought the guys at Sony did a great job with FX. Sure, alot of it looks rubbery or cg, but the STORYTELLING its serving its purpose for was outstanding. There are some scenes that I have never seen in a movie before. Did it look real? No, but it was a new way of storytelling and it was refreshing. With movies like these, you kind of have to imagine that the whole movie is CG. You don't watch Shrek 3 (out today, go see and support Jason) and harp on how the whole movie looks CG, do you? Go with it, it will make your movie experience better.
The story is blah and overstretched, but the action makes the movie. This third movie is all about having fun. You know the characters and world and I just wanted to see fun comic book stuff. Spidey 3 is probably the most COMIC like movie of the three, and that's what I wanted. Remove several horrid scenes (listed below... and probably a few I forgot) and its a fun movie. I liked it.... but then again, I went in with the lowest of low expectations. Edit all three into one 3 hour movie, I say.
Ok, so there's about 5 large chunks that need to be removed and forgotten. Then about another 5-10 small bits. Because you asked, here they are:
1) The loooong, boring, stupid singing scene with MJ in the play. Like I said, it was boring and she can't sing.
2) The looooong boring Aunt May story of how Uncle Ben (who apparently looked good in a swimsuit) proposed to him. It was like watching a drawn out Retirement Medicaid commercial.
3) Emo Parker - just have his hair messy and in his face when he's bad. Him stopping in front of a mirror and purposefully making his hair looked emo was painful. Then they kept going with it.
4) Weave the Symbiote into the story a bit better. The meteorite lands right next to Peter and jumps onto his bike? If they had just had it land in the beginning and show it seeking out a strong host, being drawn to Peter in the city and eventually finding him, it would have sealed the deal.
5) Peter's Saturday Night Fever Strut scene.... throwing the guns at women and dancing in doorways.
6) The Jazz Bar dance scene. I get why, but it hurt the film.
1) Gwen Stacy? Why? She serves no purpose. Its a shame because Howard makes a fantastic Gwen (even tho the movie series kind of swaps Gwen and MJ's characters).
2) Harry's butler. Um, where did this guy come from? If he had had a presence in the first two, ok. Maybe Raimi should shoot some xtra scenes and insert him into those for the Trilogy dvd set. Because otherwise suddenly we have this character moving the plot along and it feels very awkward and forced.
3) The Spidey in front of the giant CG American Flag. Come on! Spidey's a hero for all, not a flag waver. He's never been that so remove it; it pulled me out of the film and I groaned out loud.
4) Please stop with all the constant mask removal scenes.
5) Too many villains. I liked both in the film and they worked well together (both fluid creatures), but the story suffered because of it. I'd like to see them again in future outings, even if briefly (mainly Sandman). Venom is barely in the film.
6) Someone make Dunst eat a hamburger. While she was much better in this movie, she was so thin and sickly looking it grossed me out too often.
Like I said, remove these 12 things and the movie greatly greatly improves. Seriously, when those moments appear, just ignore them.