Spider-Man 3: The End of a Franchise

I just returned from watching Spider-Man 3 (Sam Raimi, 2007; IMDb). It wasn’t just so-so; it was awful. I couldn’t believe it. The first two Spider-Man movies were great. This one was cheesy. I’m not sure what was the worst scene. Probably either the scene where Peter Parker (with his black suit Spider-Man undies on) is playing the stud walking the streets of NY or where Spider-Man swings in to fight the Sandman and Venom with the huge American flag in the background (apologies to any American readers, but it was over the top).

Perhaps I am being too hard on it. Perhaps my expectations were too high post Batman Begins (Christopher Nolan, 2006; IMDb). I sure hope Sam Raimi doesn’t end up directing The Hobbit (IMDb).

Batman Begins; Spider-Man Ends. Spider-Man has now become the old Batman, and the new Batman has become the old Spider-Man. Hebel, all is hebel.

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7 Responses to Spider-Man 3: The End of a Franchise

  1. Ken says:

    I completely agree. Spidey 3 was awful.

  2. Jim says:

    I agree Tyler, it wasn’t very good at all.

  3. Keith Demko says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more … Raimi and his brothers just couldn’t seem to decide what story they wanted to tell in this installment, and so ended up basically telling none at all .. It’s definitely time for a new face in the director’s chair if the franchise has any hope of continuing

  4. Brad says:

    Tyler I’m not sure what you are talking about… all three films are horrible. They should have just called it “Terribly Done CGI, Rubber Man�. As far as the Flag goes… that terrible American flag waving is in all three movies. But still the absolute worst scene from any of them has to be the, “You mess with one of us; you mess with all of us� junk from the subway scene in the first film (a ridiculously obvious 9/11 reference).

  5. Tyler, I couldn’t disagree with you more. The first two were both really good, but this one was much better. It had great action, much more and much better-done than the first two, but primarily it told a moral story that’s extremely counter-cultural and thoroughly Christian (though probably not intended to be), which is so out-of-character for a Hollywood blockbuster.

    I thought the stud walking the streets scene was pretty campy and dumb until I realized that it was a play on the happy nerd walking the streets scene in the second movie, which I thought was brilliant. Both were cheesy, but that was the point of both. Remember that Sam Raimi is the king of making campy stuff that isn’t just campy but has a higher-order purpose for being campy. He hadn’t done as much of that in this trilogy as he has in his past work, but it’s almost a trademark for him, so you have to look for his deliberate camp to figure out what he’s doing with it.

    As for the flag, I guess it was so prominent that I didn’t notice it. I did appreciate the themes in the second one that dealt with the great Stan Lee line “with great power comes great responsibility”, and in the current political context that does have some bearing on political positions (even if different people would apply it in different ways). I don’t think any of it was blatant, though, and I didn’t get a read on any particular policy views Raimi might be endorsing amidst it all. So I’m having trouble seeing the objection.

    As for the “which story” issue, it’s important to understand the background. Raimi did know which story he wanted to tell. He originally wanted to tell the Harry/Sandman story. Avi Arad convinced him that the fans wanted Venom, and he thought Gwen Stacy needed to be worked in as well. Raimi’s discussions of this show that it wasn’t forced onto him and that he was convinced by the reasons Arad offered. I did think the way Raimi combined them worked perfectly, allowing two stories to converge not just in plot but in the overall moral narrative that served as the backbone to the film. Good novelists do that kind of thing all the time, and I think it worked really well in this case.

  6. Sarah says:

    I’m with you on this one. Know why Toby McQuire isn’t going to be in the next Spiderman movie? He’s going to dance on Broadway!!! I can’t believe I stood in line to see it. 🙁

  7. Tony C-B says:

    I disagree Tyler. Not that it’s a great work of art, but it was still a very good comicbook film (and there are so few of those). The Bat-man franchise parallel is off-base–do you see any “spider-nipples” here? Yes, the movie seemed a little crowded with some characters not getting their due, but perhaps the critics have been evaluating the film too much as an action film (dramas tend to have more intertwined plots and no-one objects there). I agree with Jeremy’s comments above about the street-walking scene–entirely appropriate.

    I do think it’s time to give Spidey a rest (simply to avoid fatigue–anyone remember Superman 4?). They should clean house and revisist the franchise with a new cast and director in five years time.

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