Saturday, July 8, 2017

Movie Review: Spider-Man 3

The completion of the original motion picture trilogy of the web-slinging superhero fulfilled the contractual obligations of the actors and director, ruined an iconic suit and villain of the canon, and killed this version of the franchise with cheesy mediocrity. Spider-Man (Tobey Maguire) has found a happy medium between his life as a superhero and his secret identity as Peter Parker. He has a strong relationship with Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) but can't reconcile with his best friend Harry Osborn (James Franco) who has taken steps to become a new version of the Green Goblin as he blames Peter for the death of his father. Peter hopes to propose to Mary Jane and receives a ring from Aunt May (Rosemary Harris) but the new Green Goblin attacks him in the streets. Peter fights Harry and renders him unconscious.

Flint Marko (Thomas Haden Church) is a criminal on the run trying to reconcile with his family when he stumbles on a research experiment. His molecules become bonded with sand turning him into the Sandman. It is also revealed that Marko had something to do with the death of Uncle Ben. Crushed by a bad review, Mary Jane feels neglected by Peter who is constantly having to leave to fight crime as Spider-Man. A mysterious substance inexplicably shoots down from space and tracks Spider-Man back to his apartment. Gwen Stacy (Bryce Dallas Howard) is rescued by Spider-Man and flirts with Peter in science class. Eddie Brock (Topher Grace) is the Daily Bugle's new photographer competing with Peter to work for J. Jonah Jameson (J.K. Simmons).

Mary Jane loses her job as the lead in a play after bad reviews and becomes especially upset when Spider-Man kisses Gwen Stacy upside down. Sandman robs an armored truck and Spider-Man fights him but the villain escapes. Peter's attempt at a proposal goes horribly wrong and this creates a rift between the couple just as Spider-Man heads down a path of vengeance against the Sandman. The black symbiote attaches to his body bringing out an evil side of him, signified by a dumb new hairdo. The black spider suit is pretty cool though and helps him fight the Sandman in the sewers. Mary Jane and Harry form a relationship but when Harry is rejected, he remembers his legacy as the Green Goblin. He forces Mary Jane to break Peter's heart sending Spider-Man down an even darker path. When Harry reveals that he is the one dating Mary Jane, Peter shows up at his house and blows him up, scarring his face.

Eddie Brock capitalizes on Spider-Man's bad streak by photoshopping an image of the hero in the midst of a theft. Peter exposes Eddie for the fake ruining his career. Dr. Curt Connors (Dylan Baker) studies the symbiotic substance discovering that it amplifies its host's characteristics, especially aggression. The movie becomes especially ridiculous as Sam Raimi turns the alteration into dark Spider-Man into something absurd and silly. Sandman reemerges from a pipe, able to compose his form again. After a confrontation at a jazz club where Peter brings Gwen Stacy to make Mary Jane Jealous, Spider-Man removes the suit by exposing it to the sound waves of a church bell. Eddie Brock prays for the death of Peter Parker at the same church and the symbiote latches onto him instead, becoming Venom.

Venom teams up with the Sandman and captures Mary Jane. Peter tries to recruit Harry but at first, Osborn refuses until his butler informs him that Norman died by his own hand. Spider-Man swings to the rescue fighting Venom and the Sandman. The two villains nearly defeated Spider-Man but Green Goblin flies in flinging bombs at a giant Sandman. Osborn and Parker team up to fight for the city and save Mary Jane. Green Goblin takes down the Sandman while Venom confronts Spider-Man who uses the sound waves from pipes to weaken and remove the symbiote. Eddie Brock jumps at the creature just as a pumpkin bomb explodes. Sandman realizes the error of his way but Peter forgives him. Harry dies from his wounds making the final sacrifice of the film. Peter and Mary Jane forgive each other as well bonding over the death of their friend. The Spider-Man trilogy comes to a weak conclusion just as the special effects were showing potential. This series started off strong but in the end was a disappointment and critically panned causing a reboot for subsequent films about the hero. 

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