Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Spider-man 3

So its been and gone. And in one word it's disappointing. really disappointing.
In fact I can't stop analysing whats wrong with it.

So in an effort to exorcise that demon, here are 7 things I think were wrong
with spider-man 3 (in no particular order):


  • Editing - or lack thereof, it feels like they just filmed it and kept everything

  • Not giving the viewers any credit - did we really need to be retold
    all the characters background again? Did every single emotion need to be spelled out in words?

  • Acting - Maguire is great, don't get me wrong and Dunst is solid, but
    they can't cry (at least not in the blubbering way the script seems to have required of them)

  • Unnecessary characters - I don't know if the screenwriter(Alvin Sargent) is just trying to cram these people in for the fans but Captain Stacy and Gwen stacy do nothing for the story and just eat extremely valuable screen time. And I hate to say it, even Venom is superfluous.

  • Cheese - for want of a better word the pieces that gave the last few
    movies heart have been overblown here and just make you cringe.
    No longer is the awful spider man theme from the 60s
    cartoon played as a novelty by a busker on the street. Its played
    by a brass band, at and apparent "we love spidey" event.

  • Plot overload - Everyone gets their own subplot and none of them
    are resolved to any satisfaction.

  • characterisation - The characters do and say things that don't really make sense. Why did peter kiss Gwen? Why did sandman help venom? Why didn't the butler say something earlier? Why is aunt may now a fortune cookie?




Here is what I think happened. Sam Raimi had his villains ;Sandman ,
Green Goblin II. The studio and the fans wanted Venom. He caved and
then had 3 villains stories to deal with as well as tying up the threads
from the previous movies. Reading the wikipedia entry for the film it
seems Sargent looked at splitting the movie into two to do it justice but
couldn't find a decent ending for the first movie. So it remained one
bloated movie. Suddenly sam has a lot more to do, a lot more
characters and a lot more shooting and a lot more CGI and what suffers?
he can't give the scenes the attention they deserve. I think its telling that
there's none of the playful references to his own back catalogue that were
seen in the last movie. (crash zooms, the scene with doc ocks arms killing
the doctors). I think he just didn't have time and the movie as a whole
suffered because of it.

Just to be clear, I'm a big fan and I think a lot of things were done right.
The whole look of the movie is fantastic, CGI is flawless( venom is perfect,
Sandman effects amazing ), The action scenes are great. James Franco
is the best actor in the movie. Topher grace makes great use of his limited screen time.
Sam Raimi kept the humour which made the first two so funny. Bruce Campbell. J.K. Simmons eats the screen (again).

Spider-man 1 was the movie that relaunched the comic book movie genre.
Will it die with spider-man 3? Probably not, spidey 3 has already beaten
the box office records. And it looks like some of the best are yet to come,
Dark Knight and Iron man look good and I personally think Hulk could be
excellent too.

So, another spider-man?

I hope so. I don't think Sam Raimi got it so wrong that he 'broke' the
franchise. And there are still a lot of stories to be told for this character.
Whether Sam, Tobey and Kirsten will be back is hard to tell.

As for the story?

I'm biased but my personal favorite spider-man story is
"fearful symmetry :Kravens last hunt" It features the black costume
(not the symbiote) so there's some continuity there.But its also a bit
more adult and has some real darkness, not the Peter Parker in black
eyeliner kind. It'd mean introducing a new Villain but I suspect that'd
have to happen anyways. I think it would make a great movie.

Failing that, maybe go for something from the current spider man
writers? how about revelations/when the stars turn cold ? The Morlun
character is excellent and it gives Aunt May a reason to be in the movie.

Just my 2 cents.

2 comments:

William said...

Haven't you heard? They're contracting three more movies on the basis of the box office of this one. It was bad, but it made colossal money, thus there shall be more. Three more.

Tyg said...

I did hear that shortly after I posted this. I think thats great I'm getting the vibe that its unlikely to be the same combination of people though. Maybe a different director maybe different stars ( no body is contracted for any further movies yet). I hope Sam Raimi gets to do it again I reckon he's still got a great spider man movie in him, and will learn from the mistakes made on this one.