This review contains things that you might consider a spoiler. If you are sensitive to those things, I highly recommend watching the movie first than coming back to read this review. If you don’t care about spoilers, I guess you can just keep reading!
Spider-Man 3 is considered by many to be the worst part of this Spider-Man trilogy. They say that it’s disappointing, convoluted, messy, and just not a good movie overall. While I agree that this is the worst of the three movies, it’s not nearly as bad as people say. It’s actually a really good movie.
Usually the first thing people mention when they talk about Spider-Man 3 is the terrible scene with emo Peter Parker dancing in a jazz club. I’ve got to admit, that part is really bad. It’s awkward and it makes you cringe to the core. It’s some of the worst movie making I have seen in a comic-book movie. But other than that, the parts with “emo” Peter Parker were great. It’s such a drastic change from the Peter Parker that we are used to that it may have taken people back by surprise. They handled this side to Peter Parker so well. I appreciate how they explained why Peter turned into a jerk opposed to him just turning into one. They introduced the Venom symbiote which can change people’s minds and make them loose control of their actions. So it really wasn’t even Peter doing the things he was doing. It was the symbiote controlling him and having heavy influence on his mind and Peter could do very little to stop it. On top of that Peter was having a tough time. Like I said in my Spider-Man 2 review, Peter Parker is at his best when he is going through serious troubles. His relationship with Mary Jane is dwindling very fast. He just figured out that the person he thought killed his Uncle wasn’t actually the person who did it. It was another guy. Those things took a serious toll on Peter. With those situations going on in his life along with the symbiote affecting him, I think “emo” Peter Parker was a brilliant addition to this movie. They gave good reasoning’s as to why Peter might act like the way he did. It just added another layer to the movie that I don’t think other film makers would have the guts to do. It felt fresh and organic and not just another plot device. So, A+ for being brave and having it pay off.
One of the biggest issues of this movie has to deal with Sandman. Not the inclusion of Sandman just some story points that revolve around him. Like I alluded to above, it was Sandman (before he transformed to Sandman) that killed Uncle Ben. That was an unnecessary addition. It undermined a lot of things that happened in the past two movies. Especially the second one. Peter felt that he was responsible for Uncle Ben’s death because he could’ve stopped the guy that killed him. But now it was another person that killed him. That layer of guilt that Peter had is now gone. That was such a good part to Peter’s character and now it’s not there any more. They could’ve kept Sandman the exact same throughout the movie if they changed that one story point. And frankly, Sandman was a really nice addition. The transformation of Sandman was a beautiful scene. The fights between Spidey and Sandman were really entertaining to watch. It’s a good thing that the pointless story point didn’t change my overall enjoyment of the character.
This whole trilogy has built up the character of Harry Osborne played by James Franco. The whole trilogy has been filled with the rage that Harry feels towards Spider-Man. When Harry figures out that Peter is Spider-Man the rage thickens even more. Harry turns into the new Green Goblin and seeks revenge against Peter for the false idea that he still had in his head about Spidey killing his dad. The new Green Goblin and Peter get into a fight and it ends with Harry getting really hurt. He gets a concussion and lost most of his short-term memory. That made him a dull character for a little bit. But once he started to regain consciousness again, that’s when things got interesting. You saw the rage start to fill him up again. You saw the light that ignited his fuse. You saw him explode. You saw the after effects of everything. At the end, he teams up with Spider-Man to take down Sandman and Venom. He sacrificed himself to save Peter. It was such a poetic ending to his character. If you watch that scene with the context of knowing what happened in the previous movies, it hits you right in the feels. That character started out being a nice friend to Peter, went through a phase of complete hate, then he ended up liking Peter again. It was well done. Major props.
By far the biggest issue of this movie was the inclusion of Venom. Not the inclusion of the symbiote, but the inclusion of Venom. Green Goblin and Venom are Spider-Man’s most popular foes and they just wasted Venom. Topher Grace did a less than stellar job playing the role of Eddie Brock. He did an even worse job when he was playing Eddie Brock after being taken over by the symbiote. There was already so much going on that Venom really didn’t need to be in there. I would’ve liked it better if they kept teasing the symbiote to foreshadow Venom being in the Spider-Man 4 that never happened.
Spider-Man 3 does not deserve the hate that it gets. It’s a really well done movie that I wish more people would appreciate. It’s filled with spectacular story telling. The dynamic between the characters in this third installment might be the best that we’ve seen from this franchise. You’ve grown with them since Spider-Man 1 and now you can see where they have grown to. It was a very satisfying ending to this trilogy. I’m quite sad that they never made the fourth one like they were planning to. It’s safe to say that all the movies in this trilogy have a spot in my top 15 comic-book movies of all time. If you don’t like Spider-Man 3 I ask of you this, please watch it again but watch it from a different angle or point of view. There is an extremely good movie in there. I promise.