I’ve written in previous discussion papers how much I enjoy superhero movies, they’re always full of good meaty topics like our origins, good vs evil, friendship, secrets, revenge, violence, sacrifice, faith, justice, righteousness, gifts, character, virtue… And, the fact that I’m a bit of a fanboy helps a little. From Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to Superman, Wonder Woman to Xena, Superman to Thor these stories of extra ordinary people call our own lives into focus urging us onwards, asking us about our own gifts, motives, integrity and mission in life.
Spiderman 3 is the third in the line of the Spiderman stories, with another one planned for 2009 I can’t call it a trilogy, but it ties up a number of the storylines that have been building since Spiderman 1 graced our screens back in 2002. Harry Osborn will seek his revenge, Peter Parker will face his need for revenge on the man who killed his uncle, Spiderman will become a new type of hero after facing his demons and surviving.
Spiderman 3 ups the ante in regards to the super-villain element introducing the audience to Venom-Spiderman, Venom-Brock, the Sandman and the Goblin in one huge monolith of a movie. Unfortunately at 2 hours and 20 minutes one might argue that they’ve crammed a lot into the epic and that it doesn’t quite match up to it’s original or number 2, but I say to those people lighten up, it’s a comic book movie!
The movie begins with Peter Parker being on top of life, his girlfriend and him are looking like they’ll marry, Spiderman is a hero and loved by the entire city and the love of his life is the star in a stage show. Although all of this is so he’s still living in a beat down apartment, riding a motor scooter, working on consignment and his best friend Harry is planning his revenge.
As many of us find when things are going well for us we loose sight of things, his spidey sense seems to be offline in this movie as his success as Spiderman seems to make him blind to the cries for an ear of his girlfriend who is fired from her acting role, blind to the new journalist on the job trying out for his job, blind to the alien creature who attaches itself to his spidey costume and he even misses the surprise attack of Harry Osborn in the streets of New York.
The fight between Harry and Peter seems to be healed after a failed attack on Spiderman leaves Harry with amnesia, forgetting that Peter is Spiderman and that he’d been involved in the death of his father. Peter’s finally able to enjoy the friendship with his best friend that he’s missed for ages, however how long can Harry’s memory block out the memory of Spiderman leaving his father’s dead body in the house?
Meanwhile Peter’s followed home by a symbiote from a meteorite that attaches itself to his Spiderman suite and begins to change Peter, increasing his emotions, particularly his anger, violent tendencies and need for revenge. The new black suited Spiderman Is much stronger, but also less nice, more violent and less concerned about killing the villains he fights. Meanwhile the new Peter becomes angry, darker, hurts those who he loves, flirts with women (including Miss Brant), shows no mercy to Harry Osborn when they fight the second time, dresses different and combs his hair on an angle. Although this is a darker Peter the way they deal with this change is rather comical, lightening the mood a little than it could have been.
Throw in the introduction of the Sandman, a criminal with a conscience who had been linked to his Uncles death now terrorising the city, the growth of the symbiote’s control over Peter Parker, a new photographer in town trying to take his job and relationship problems with MJ this movie throws in so much that you shouldn’t get bored at all.
In the end everyone needs to face their demons, Spiderman needs to face his anger and violence, Peter needs to face his need for revenge and turn to forgiveness, Harry needs to let go of the memory of his father and learn to forgive Peter, the Sandman needs to come to terms with his being turned a monster and ask for forgiveness, Eddie Brock needs to face his need for revenge and power, MJ needs to forgive the love of her life and perhaps the audience will need to forgive Raimi for creating such a long epic.
I enjoyed the film, overall it was another great Spiderman adventure on par with the previous releases, and although I know others will disagree with me I’d encourage people to see it on the big screen, enjoy the epic in the way a good epic should be seen.
Link: IMDB Entry
Link: Hollywood Jesus Review
Download: Spiderman 3 Discussion Guide (pdf)