“Spiderman Hits the Ground Running” (Spiderman III)

New Goblin and Spiderman (Spiderman 3)
Spiderman and the New Goblin (Harry Osborn) in the middle, with Sandman on the left, and Venom on the right

On Saturday, March 19th, I watched Spiderman 2 (my review here). After that, I had recorded Spiderman 3 as well, so I had a little marathon. I enjoyed my marathon, as I hadn’t seen either Spiderman 2 or full through, but I had seen a bit of both before.

For Peter Parker, things are finally looking up. He has a stable freelance relationship with the Daily Bugle, a stable romantic relationship with Mary Jane, and New York couldn’t love Spiderman any more. But when Uncle Ben’s real killer breaks loose, Harry discovers his father’s secret lair full of Green Goblin equipment, and a strange black symbiote lands on Earth looking for a host, Peter must don the costume once again to save the city.

After the awesomeness that was Spiderman 2Spiderman 3 had a very large shoe size to fill. Did it? Eh. It was definitely strong in some parts, like characterization. As I said in my review of the previous movie, all of the actors felt much more comfortable in their roles, and therefore making the characters more fluid and believable.

Spiderman 3 (Poster)
The poster for Spiderman 3, from 2007, featuring both Spiderman and Venom

Take James Franco for instance. In the first film, I didn’t really like him. He was good, it’s just that all the other actors were much better. In the second one, he was better than the first time around, but all of the other actors had improved as well. Finally, in the third one, I feel like he found his footing and was able to really shine. I think that was partly because of Harry’s transformation in the movie into the New Goblin, which is a much cooler character than Harry himself. One of the best things about that was how they meshed both characters together in the beginning and end of the movie, as opposed to what they did with the original Green Goblin.

I also enjoyed the new philosophical message that they toyed with, as Spiderman himself turned evil for a while as a result of the Venom Symbiote. However, there were some things that I wished they touched on. For a bit of time in the middle of the movie, Gwen Stacy appeared. And even though we all know that the Stacy family is much better in The Amazing Spiderman (my review here), that’s beside the point.

Peter rescued her, then took her out to diner, but (surprise!) he used her to get back at MJ. Her actual boyfriend, Eddie Brock, became Venom when Peter forced off the suit. I really wish that they had touched on Gwen reacting to her boyfriend being Venom, instead of just disappearing after leaving the restaurant.

Of course, the action was awesome in this one. You had Sandman as a villain, who was probably on the lesser side of creativity, but he was actually kind of cool. Then, you had Venom. I really wished they had explored his backstory more, as he really just crashed on Earth in an asteroid, and then found a host. When Peter, his first host, expels Venom, Peter immediately drops the symbiote on Eddie Brock, where it bonds with the unemployed photographer. There wasn’t much room for imagination with Venom, and I didn’t like that.

Sandman Punch
Sand, I command thee! Become… BIGGER SAND!

Anyway, I did like how Spiderman 3 gave Raimi’s original trilogy a certain sense of closure, almost as if they all knew that the third movie would be the last. Peter confronted Harry, and asked for his help in the defeat of Sandman and Venom, and showed Harry that it wasn’t in fact Peter who killed his father. Following off of that, I have to say that I wasn’t expecting the finale at all. It was a basically a fight with Spiderman and the New Goblin, facing off against Venom and Sandman, in, around, and above a half constructed building, with MJ suspended in a large web high up above the ground. I did expect something good, but not that good, and it really felt awesome to see Peter and Harry fighting side by side as a way to close out the trilogy. 7 out of 10.

A worthy conclusion to Raimi’s original Spiderman trilogy, Spiderman 3 is a movie that definitely holds it’s own against the first two. Though, I feel like it could have easily been both Spiderman 3 and 4, in any case, I’m still quite pleased with the way it turned out.

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