Monday, May 07, 2007

Spider-Man 3


It is quite rare for a sequel to be better than the first chapter and even rarer for the third part to better its predecessors. Unfortunately, Spider-Man 3 doesn't buck that trend. Feeling too slow sometimes and too rushed at other times, it is a disappointing third outing for the web-slinger.

A superhero's alter-ego is as important as the superhero himself and it can be argued that he is more interesting than the superhero himself. But Peter Parker's segments in Spider-Man 3 are a big bore. His relationship with Mary Jane feels repetitive and is no longer interesting as he seems dumb at times and she seems too whiny all the time. Harry Osborne comes into the picture(with the very cinematic plot device of memory loss) as a shoulder to lean on for Mary Jane while on the other side, we get Gwen Stacy, Peter's classmate who has a crush on him. The love story with these 4 is full of contrivances and cliches that would put a soap opera to shame and many sequences look like they belong in a romantic comedy - and a bad one at that.

Spidey getting in touch with his dark side after being 'infected' by something from outer space(couldn't they have come up with a different origin for this?!) is one of those things that sounded good on paper. But its a lot less interesting on screen. The mean streak is revealed through hokey scenes like Peter dancing in a club and barring a few scenes (like the fight with the now-recovered Harry), bad Spidey is never really interesting either.

But what makes it tough to give a thumbs down Spider-Man 3 is that when its good, it is really good. The action scenes are superb (though the film sets us up for somewhat of a disappointment by giving us the best sequences at the start of the film). The first sequence where Spidey rescues Gwen and the mid-air chase and fight with Harry are spectacular. Sandman is a formidable opponent and his scenes feature nice graphics (though his fights with Spider-man seem too short). The climax is superbly choreographed and features a couple of exhilarating moments inspite of being heavy on CGI.

Spider-Man 3 could well give rise to a new proverb - "Too many villains spoil a superhero movie". The film has one villain too many and Venom, who makes a late appearance, feels totally unnecessary. This supervillain is not given his due and it feels like he was tacked on at the last moment to make up for all the soap opera stuff before.

Last year, M:I:III provided a weak start to the Hollywood summer season and this year, another third part has started the summer on a disappointing note. Lets hope things get better from here on...

15 Comments:

At 12:05 AM, Anonymous Sandya said...

I don't think I can call myself a superhero fan. I don't run off to the first day first show usually to catch Mr. Super Hero in skin tight pants, smooching his lady love and beating up the bad guys. I like the masala aspect of it, but no ogling.. no thank you!..

That said, I didn't have any grand hopes for this Spidey (especially after I ran into a series of lousy reviews everywhere I went!).. So, this is just another 'bygones' for me. Will definitely see it soon on the big screen for the stunts and special effects (but have never been bowled over much by Tobey or Kirsten or the overall franchise they have both been running the world over for the last few years! Same holds true for Superman and Batman!)

Balaji, wish you run into better luck at least with Pirates and Shrek this summer! :-) :-) I did a search and ran into this list of upcoming summer films.. Ocean's 13, Live Free or Die Hard, Ratatouille that are lining up for release in the coming months.. They look interesting..

The icing on the cake: Harry Potter (July 3rd) and the Bourne Ultimatum (August 3rd)!.. Now we're talking!

 
At 2:04 AM, Blogger srivatsan said...

Interesting that LOTR and Star Wars were the other way ..

 
At 7:37 AM, Anonymous guna said...

Dear S.Ganesh Kumar,
Spiderman 3 is the perfect movie for you. Go knock yourself out.

 
At 7:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thats a shame! I was hoping atleast Hollywood would make up for some of the insipid Tamil and Hindi summer releases this year. As Sandhya said, let's hope Pirates, Shrek, Ratatouille (I'm really looking forward to this) can salvage the summer. Not to mention Superhero Sivaji!

Guna, I think that was totally unnecessary.

Kumar

 
At 10:03 AM, Anonymous vijay said...

Sequels are Hollywood's version of formula masala movies, milking out whatever is left of the franchise. I cant believe the hype for Spiderman-3, especially in India(according ro rediff). I had enough after the first installment. I guess only after it bombs badly will they stop making sequels. Most of the so-called blockbusters these days are boring sequels. Indy 5, Die Hard 4, Lethal Weapon 6....what crap is this? Cant think of anything original? Take refuge in sequels.

 
At 11:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

no one has mentioned rush hour 3 yet!!!

 
At 12:24 PM, Anonymous Sandya said...

Actually, after seeing Bourne Ultimatum listed August 3rd(which is a showstopper for me! :-), I didn't scroll down the rest of the list in August or look very closely at it. No wonder I didn't mention it, despite the fact that I enjoy Chris Tucker's antics a lot. His Michael Jackson dance is one of the best.. :-) ;-)

 
At 1:43 PM, Anonymous Prin said...

Anyone waiting for 'Evan Almighty'................sequel to Bruce Almighty?

 
At 3:06 PM, Anonymous ram said...

Prin, count me in! I loved "bruce almighty." sure, they could've done a lot more with the intriguing premise but for what it was, it was so much fun. freeman's the kinda actor who can infuse any script with sense...

BB, what'd u think of spidey 1 & 2? i liked spidey-1...2 was a little boring though the stunts like the train sequence were thrilling...yet to watch spidey-3...

but yeah, peter parker-ku dhaadi vechaa namma ooru ravi krishna...mookala azhardha oru art form aakiduthunge idhu rendum!

 
At 3:23 AM, Blogger rads said...

hmm..oh really? Tell me this - can pre-teens watch it. say 11-12 year olds? The kids want to watch it, but we are skeptical...

 
At 11:18 AM, Blogger Narayanan said...

I liked the cartoon, but Spidey 1 itself was disppointing.

vijay,
sequels in whatever language bank on the response for their first release. Whats the big deal if it is Hollywood, Kollywood or Tollywood. Rediff movie reviews are waste of webspace and time waste in browsing them :-)))

Ratatouille - idhu enna padam. whats there in it to look forward ?

BB - if you get a chance, try . The plot sounds interesting and one person recommended this movie.

 
At 11:24 AM, Anonymous Sandya said...

Rads, please read this! This will help you decide (somewhat, at least!)

Narayanan, check out this trailer for Ratatouille (in case you haven't seen it already!)

 
At 10:20 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

sandya, was a big fan of superman and batman when i was growing up but not spider-man. but the 1st movie made me a fan of atleast the movie spidey :)

really looking fwd to 'bourne ultimatum' i see... big fan of damon or the books??

srivatsan, LOTR i agree but 'star wars'? i think its true for episodes I, II and III. But among the earlier 3, i think 'return of the jedi' was the weakest :)

guna, lets not make things personal please :)

kumar, but spidey's no disappointment at the BO though. for some reason 'ratatouille' hasn't excited me as much as prev. pixar releases. but 'shrek' and 'pirates' better be good :)

vijay, yeah i know what u mean. its become really rare to get a non-sequel blockbuster these days. this summer i think every movie that people r looking fwd to is a sequel...

anon, RH 2 wasnt too bad. but RH3 doesn't figure too high in the list of movies i'm awaiting...

prin, yes i am. mainly for carrell...

ram, i liked spidey 1 a lot. spidey 2 had spectacular action sequences. that train sequence was amazing. i own both the dvds. wont be buying 3 for sure :)

rads, i think everyone else in the theater we went to was a pre-teen :) not sure if they'd get bored. but nothing to not take pre-teens to as far as sex or violence goes :)

sandya, that was a great link. if one doesn't worry about spoilers, that is a must-read b4 taking kids to the movies i think. thanx :)

narayanan, r u serious about that movie? the comments r not too encouraging :)

 
At 1:48 AM, Blogger KayKay said...

Dear BB, I echo many of your points in my own review of all three Spidey flicks here: http://tomesflicks.blogspot.com/2007/05/oh-what-tangled-web-they-weave.html

Am not known for my brevity, so read only if you gave some time to spare:-)

 
At 11:51 PM, Blogger Orange Fronkey said...

I was one of them dinghies who looked forward to Spidey 3 and stayed away from reading all the reviews (including yours). I just got back from watching it and I loved it... I went in there with no expectations at all and was sure I'll enjoy it no matter what and I did... Was some wat stunned a lil saddened when it was over. I think the fact that it had so many villians I was like how's all this gonna mesh together and go in the end... and it came out pretty good I thought.

The one movie I'm very much looking forward to and it better rock my pirate ship is non other than Pirates 3!!!!! Coming out in couple of weeks, woooo baby!

 

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