Right off the bat, I’ll tell you that Spider-Man 3 is a two hour and thirty-six minute juggling act that is predicated on a series of hokey coincidences that are poorly edited together. There are a lot of characters in this movie and unfortunately they ALL suffer from the dopey structure of this script.
The audience learns very little about the film’s two new villains. To add insult to injury, The Sandman character (who looks as though he was made of clumping cat litter) is even given the most used up plot device that has become inherent in most comic book films. I’m talking about “Dance With The Devil In The Pale Moonlight” syndrome, as it is discovered that it was actually The Sandman who fired the gun that killed Peter Parker’s Uncle Ben. This was of course the event that defines Spider-Man.
These are all minor gripes that would have otherwise sank the picture for me had I not been in a fantastic mood before entering the theater. Also, it helped that I brought along a child to the movie, which is why I found myself enjoying some of the more juvenile notions of friendship and love that all of the Spider-Man films seem to be chock full of. By the way, I’m not being facetious when I say that. I even remember thinking …
“This movie would rule if it were a musical!” I was in that good of a mood.
Spidey gets the black costume — and suddenly hilarity ensues …
There is a very funny scene that centers around Peter Parker’s newfound confidence, upon being leeched on by a symbiotic being from outer space, whose origin you never learn. That scene then turns into something right out of a 1979 stinker called Love At First Bite. For the younger audiences reading this I’ll make a better analogy:
At one point Peter Parker’s black costume turned him into Ron Burgundy, which would be fine if the movie were called Anchorman 3.
Still, the worst parts of the film start happening at the very beginning and creep up on you before they squeeze the life out of any suspension of disbelief that is required to watch a movie like this in the first place. It was bad enough that my left brain was working double time trying to block out Kirsten Dunst’s goofy teeth anyway, but there is no ignoring that every character’s development was being robbed by unnecessary scenes featuring someone crying. Seriously, there is a lot of $#&%*ing crying in this movie! I’m not kidding even remotely. Before you assume that I’m just being insensitive, allow me to walk you through the film a little (watch out — SPOILERS AHEAD).
- Peter is going to propose to Mary Jane. He tells Aunt May. She brings up Uncle Ben. They both cry.
- Mary Jane is concerned that Peter isn’t paying enough attention to her feelings. She cries.
- Peter takes his psycho friend to the hospital, after his friend tries to kill him. Peter cries.
- The Sandman breaks out of jail and hides out in his sick daughter’s room. He cries. His wife fights with him for showing up. They both cry. The daughter discovers he’s there but doesn’t cry, which makes Sandman cry a little more.
- The clumpy cat litter man suddenly rises from the traumatic reconstruction of his entire molecular makeup. He then looks at his daughter’s locket … and cries a single dirty tear.
- Mary Jane gets fired from playing the lead in what looks like Victor/Victoria. She cries.
- Peter’s crazy friend remembers that his Dad is dead. He cries.
- Mary Jane breaks up with Peter in Central Park. They both cry.
- Captain Stacy tells Peter and Aunt May that Uncle Ben’s killer is on the loose. They both cry, before Peter yells at the captain, who looks, at that moment, as if he is about to cry. Then there’s a flashback scene where Uncle Ben gets shot. Uncle Ben of course cries. In all fairness here, bullets hurt.
- Later, clumpy cat litter man will explain to Peter what really happened on that fateful night. Both clumpy cat litter man and the flashback of clumpy cat litter man are both crying.
- Peter forgives the clumpy cat litter man for killing his Uncle Ben … while crying.
I don’t want to blow the ending for any of you, but trust me, there’s crying.
The really sad thing is I’m positive I haven’t named every scene where people begin uncontrollably weeping. I can’t stress this enough. I mean, I’m pretty sure that if you added up every tear ever shed on that TV show where Ty Pennington fixes tragic families’ homes, the count would still get dwarfed by Spider-Man 3. What’s worse about it, is a lot of the crying is unwarranted, which only made me angrier that the villains’ screen time was stolen by all that emotional hijinx.
I know you’re wondering this so I’ll go ahead and tell you: Venom looked real cool. He was in the movie for maybe twenty minutes, but he looked fantastic in a couple of scenes. Also, he didn’t cry; not even once.