This past Friday I was really excited. Spiderman 3 came out and I just knew it would be the first in a long list of surefire blockbusters to come for the “summer”. So I went and caught the 9:15 show. Well, about an hour in I was fighting the urge to get up, walk out, and demand my money back. The only reason I didn’t do it was because I wanted to see just how bad it would get. I was so mad leaving the theater that I actually started writing this when I got home around 1 AM. I had nightmares about how bad this thing was. Now I’m not talking X-Men 3 bad either. Yes, we all know that X-Men 3 had a crappy script, but the action in it made up for everything else. Spiderman 3 had a crappy script, but it also lacked enough action to cover up the feces-laden script. See, there were a lot of things that were changed from the comic book to the movie for the Spiderman franchise. Let’s keep it real, Mary Jane Watson is supposed to be a model. Kirsten Dunst is about as far away from a beautiful actress as you can get. She’s the epitome of the average looking white girl. Peter Parker is supposed to artificially create his web shooters and web solution, to produce it naturally. That is supposed to show not only how smart he is, but it creates more drama when he’s in the middle of a fight with a villain and he runs out of web solution. There are plenty more little, nitpicky things but through the first two movies, I overlooked them because, well, the script and action were good enough to keep me from being distracted by those things. That wasn’t the case with this last movie. I guess Sam Rami thought he was directing a Lifetime Movie or something. No one waited 3 years to see a chick flick. We wanted to see a bad Spiderman with enhanced powers in a black suit and then see a vicious Venom. Instead we got 2 ½ hours of boring/bad dialogue, cheap laughs, and an extremely weak storyline. As hard as it was, I have narrowed it down to 10 things that made this movie suck ass. If you haven’t seen the movie yet and still want to be surprised by how bad it is, stop reading here because there are some spoilers.
10. More Talk Than Action - Spiderman 3 wasn’t going to win any Oscars for best drama. So why did they try to insert dialogue like that into the movie? All the talk just made it cheesy. This is the third movie, not the first. You expect more dialogue and less action in the first movie because you are trying to establish the characters for the rest of the series. You would have thought that they didn’t establish that Mary J was a struggling actress in the first two movies. It seemed like every 5 minutes we had to deal with the fact that she sucked as an actress and was getting no shine. Fine, 20 minutes at the most, not the whole damn movie. I felt like I was watching a soap opera, not an action movie. The actors and actresses in this movie are not that great. So I was stuck watching very little action with a whole lot of bad acting.
9. Underdeveloped Villains - In the first two movies, you felt the motivation of Norman Oswald and Dr. Octavius. That wasn’t so in this movie. I feel as though they cheapened the rivalry between Peter and Eddie Brock. Sure, Peter exposed Eddie as a fraud and he lost his job, but that’s not enough to fuel the extreme hatred that’s supposed to be there. The one thing I’ll say is that while it was skimpy, at least they tried to develop Eddie Brock. They didn’t do that with Sandman. Ok, he has a sick daughter…what is her sickness? He robs banks to get money to cure her, but we don’t know what ails her or how much he needs to get. With the powers he has, why is he robbing armored cars? Why couldn’t he break into a secure facility and steal a cure or something? And I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again: Stop “killing” major villains. It’s harder to explain a death that really didn’t happen if you decide to bring that character back for a later movie than to come up with a simple way for the villain to be subdued.
8. Gwen Stacy was unnecessary - First off, she should have died. That’s really her whole purpose. But I’ll let that slide. If you already have a “love triangle” between Harry, Mary J, and Peter, why do you need to throw in Gwen Stacy? Using her to show the strain in Parker’s relationship was just going overboard and completely unnecessary. She seemed out of place. It’s like they threw her in there for name purposes, thinking it would make all the Spiderman fans happy. It didn’t work.
7. No Spider-Sense – It was in the first two movies, why was it not utilized in this one? Normally, I wouldn’t have complained, except that Venom is in this movie and he’s one of the few that doesn’t set off Spiderman’s spider-sense. That could have been utilized to explain Spiderman’s fear of Venom. Of course that would mean you would actually have to develop Venom as a character (more on that later).
6. The “New Goblin” looks like a Winter X-Games Contestant – They had the nerve to call Harry the “new Goblin”. He didn’t wear the Goblin mask or ride the glider. Those things were clearly sitting on the table beside him and they were clearly shown in Spiderman 2. Yet good ole Sammy decided to give Harry a flying snowboard and some gay ass mask. Why? Why not use what you already have? If you feel the need to be different, then give him a different name. He’s not a Goblin if he doesn’t look like a Goblin.
5. Every Damn Villian sees Spiderman’s Face - I can understand Norman and Harry seeing Spiderman’s face. I was disappointed that Dr. Ock got to see Spiderman unmasked (let’s not forget all those people on that train either). Venom knows who Spiderman is through the symbiote. I’m still trying to figure out why Sandman got to see Spiderman’s face. This flaw isn’t limited to just Spiderman. Batman does the same damn thing too. Every chick Bruce Wayne is boning, he eventually tells that he is Batman. What the hell is the point of a secret identity? The reason this bothers me more in Spiderman is that he’s showing his face to his enemies. What the hell…doesn’t that defeat the purpose of a secret identity?
4. The Black Suit was Useless – Yes it made Peter more aggressive…but most people weren’t excited to see the black costume for that. We also wanted to see the enhanced powers that Spiderman got from that. Increased strength and agility. Stronger webbing. Not to mention that the costume is actually alive and they could have at least tried to show that before he tried to take it off. None of those things were present. It seemed as if Sam just wanted to show that the suit made Peter Parker a jerk and that was it.
3. The Saturday Night Fever/Grease Moment - What the hell was up with Peter Parker walking around acting like he was in a bad 70’s disco? The black suit was supposed to make him more aggressive, increase his confidence…not make him metrosexual. That part of the movie actually made me groan. I had sudden flashbacks to the crap they pulled in Batman & Robin. You know, that stupid shit with the villains skating around on the ice like the ice capades. This ranks right up there with that. Above the “Bat Credit Card”, but still below nipples on the batsuit.
2. They Belittled Venom - Imagine if they did a Batman movie and they put the Joker in it for only 20 minutes. Now image they did that, didn’t give Joker his signature laugh and didn’t display how psychotic he was. That is what they did to Venom. They didn’t even give him a name. He didn’t say his classic “We are Venom” line. Hell, he didn’t even speak in third person. And to top it off, he damn sure wasn’t scary enough. Venom is supposed to be the combination of two entities that have extreme hatred for Peter Parker/Spiderman: Eddie Brock and the Symbiote. What we got in the movie was just Eddie with Spiderman-like powers. Again, this is what happens when you rush to put a movie together and try to cram in way too many plot lines.
1. The Script Sucked - Honestly, I could have overlooked all the things above if there was at least a decent story. Instead, in addition to the crap listed above, Rami decided to also write a crappy, rushed script. Three years of anticipation and this is what I get? I guess when you direct two blockbusters like Spiderman and Spiderman 2, you get a little full of yourself. Don’t get me wrong, Sam Rami has every right to be a little arrogant. However, he should have left the screenplay writing to someone else. The first two scripts managed to insert the drama of Peter Parker balancing work, school, his love life, and being Spiderman without spelling it out for the audience like they were 2 year olds. The opening scene of Spiderman 2 illustrated this perfectly (Peter was fired after he failed to deliver some pizzas on time because he saved two kids). In Spiderman 3, Rami repeatedly beats us over the head with the whole “Parker and Mary J’s relationship is strained because he is Spiderman” deal that eventually you want to yell at the screen “OKAY, WE GET IT!!!” There are three different villains (four if you count the suit) in the movie and they are all fighting each other for screen time. The whole “Harry gets amnesia from the bump on his head” was cheap and pathetic. So let me get this straight…he has short term memory loss, but he remembers MJ and Peter, but he doesn’t recognize his own house or remember his father? Do I look stupid? People in the theater were laughing at the “serious” parts of the movie because they were so damn corny it was the only thing you could do to keep from walking out. It’s like they rushed through the writing of the script and completely forgot what they did successfully in the first two movies. Peter Parker is a borderline genius. Yet, he couldn’t figure out that maybe he should try heating Sandman up so that he would turn to glass? No, instead he thinks he kills Sandman by flooding him with water? Come on. Any elementary school kid knows that sand and water makes mud. Yet Peter really thinks he’s killed the guy? That doesn’t make sense…just like the rest of the damn script.
So that’s it. I’m extremely disappointed. I’m sure some people out there liked the movie. To me, it didn’t live up to the hype. Honestly, it wasn’t even as good as the first two movies. So now I’ll just wait for the 25th to arrive and hopefully Captain Jack Sparrow can help me forget the crap that I saw on Friday. Now I’m off to make amendments to my “Top Ten Comic Book Movie Disasters” article.