Rave : 2007 : I Liked the Third Movie. No, really.
I've had a few people email me and ask me what I thought of the Spider-Man 3 Movie. Well, I'm hardly what you would call a film buff, and to be honest, I really didn't feel like seeing the film on the day I went along, a week after it opened. I mostly went along to keep my eleven year old daughter company. But here's my 2c worth anyhow.
I enjoyed it. In fact I enjoyed it very much.
Now, I'd say that around half of the people I've emailed or spoken to have managed to find at least a few negative things to say about the film. Just for curiosity I headed over to the Rotten Tomatoes Review Page to see what the consensus might be among the critics. They give the film an overall "freshness rating" of 61%. That means 61% of critics gave it a generally positive review, which actually isn't too bad really.
Certainly the one thing that everybody seems to agree on is that the film was ambitiously huge. In duration it's 2h 20m, which, while long for a modern film, didn't actually drag too much by my judgment. But certainly I'll agree there there was a heck of a lot of content wedged into the movie.
Of course, the danger about having a lot of content in anything creative is that the more things you put in, the more likely that somebody is going to find something to complain about. Equally, having more content means that things are spread more thinly, so character development can be curtailed.
Well, I say "bollocks" to all that. After a couple of superbly crafted one-villain clean-focussed movies, I was totally ready to see the trilogy go out with a big splash. I wasn't disappointed.
I went into the cinema expecting and hoping to be dazzled, entertained and amused. That indeed I was. Equally, I was very much looking forward to having a couple of different villains this time, and I was pleased with the way that it gave the film far more of a comic-book feel. Given how many super-villains Spidey faced in his first year of action, and how popular villain team-ups are in the books, I found that while the first films might have been good movie pacing, they maybe lost a little of that in-your-face over-the-top Marvel feel. Having two villains crammed in there worked just fine as I was concerned.
Sure, either Venom or Sandman could have been omitted and the remaining one would have filled any gaps. There's enough acting talent in there to make a single villain film work fine, the first two movies proved that beyond any doubt. But I loved the extra punch of having Spidey fight two villains at the end. Heck, I was hoping that Wolverine or one of the X-Men or Fantastic four would turn up at some stage... even Daredevil would have been great! Well, I guess you can't have everything.
As for the rest, well I laughed out loud at all the funny bits... Jonah, Bruce Campbell as the Maitre'D, and even Peter trying to make it with the chicks. I wiped back a tear three or four times - Aunt May just had to walk on set to have my reaching for my hankie. I booed with the crowd as Harry winked at Peter from the cafe window, and I cheered and gasped at all the fight scenes. Bottom line is, I enjoyed it greatly in the entire spirit the film was intended. I had a fantastic time, and I'm half-inclined to go see it again on the big screen before I get the DVD.
I'm sure I could complain if I had a mind to. Mary Jane's voice really was a bit weak, even maybe a bit weak to fill the Jazz Cafe. But then again, she's not a singer, and that matched the plot anyhow - she got fired for exactly that reason. Yes, Tobey isn't a natural comedian, he doesn't quite have the delicate touch. But hey, he did just fine with the material, and was plenty flexible enough to handle competently all that was asked of him.
Sure, some of the SFX of Spidey swinging still don't look quite natural. But I think that's just proof of how damn hard it is to get that right. It sure wasn't through lack of time, money or talent! The FX team were the top guys in the world. If they can't get Spidey to swing like a human Spider, then nobody can, and we just have to settle for the best until we get a new generation of technology. However, the Sandman and Venom and even Green Goblin CGI was top-notch. Stunning, truly stunning. The merger between the CGI and the live footage was flawless.
The sad bits were truly sad. My only real complaint was that I think by the time I got to the end, I was all cried out. I couldn't muster a sniff for Harry's demise. In fact, I really wanted him to survive. It just didn't seem fair that he should have to die. Why couldn't he have lived?! I'm gonna go register "www.bringbackharry.com", unless the Harry Potter fans have taken it already in anticipation.
Up until Harry died, I was giving the film eleven out of ten. But I think at that point, I just felt that it was too predictable for him to kick the bucket - and I just couldn't squeeze out any emotion, it was all run dry. Same for his funeral. Of course, a couple of large spikes through the chest was enough to kill his dad, so it's quite reasonable that Harry should call it quits for the same reason.
But even with that objection, I was still pretty damn pleased with the whole thing. I'd give it an eight out of ten all up and a recommendation to any Spidey fan. Thanks, Sam.
Oh, my daughter loved it too.