Spider-Man 3 (2007)

Rating 12a
Length 2h19
Release 4.5.2021
Director Sam Raimi
About Peter Parker becomes one with a symbiotic alien that bolsters his Spider-Man avatar and affects his psyche. He also has to deal with Sandman and maintain a fragmented relationship with Mary Jane.
Moon: no moon sighting
Where to Watch: Netflix
Trailer:

The Good

  • The one thing every one of Raimi’s films have gotten right is the feature’s main villain. Thomas Hayden Church! God, I love Thomas Hayden Church! I could listen to him all day, I’ve yet to see him give a bad performance (Although it is fair to say that I might never give Crash Pad another watch, but that has less to do with anyone’s performance and more to do with the mortifying predicament of watching Domhnall Gleeson explain he’d had his tongue up another character’s cootch… while watching it with my Dad!)
    I would say that Church’s Sandman is the most serious of Spidey’s enemies and I’m glad there was no hamming. While I’m sure THC is capable, it would have clashed with the overall darkness this instalment seemed to be going for.
  • Yay for attempting to bring in another bad. Yes, I do mean attempt. However, I’m glad of them increasing the number because it was getting a little too predictable.
  • Peter and Harry’s eventual team-up. Brilliant, loved it. Came too late for me, but I personally think the whole Harry story arc was a load of bollocks.

The Bad

  • Harry, Harry, Harry. What the fuck did they do to this storyline?! Like, why have the memory loss for Peter not to learn from his mistake and tell the poor bloke the truth? Well, I know why… the film cannot handle three villains. To be fair, it can barely handle two, so I think that’s why Harry is side-lined, then Sandman. It’s just a fucking mess.
  • In order to bring in Gwen Stacy, did the film really have to shit all over MJ the way it did?! What’s worse is that Gwen gets booted out of the film after the emo-Jazz scene. There needed to at least be a resolution there because the character, and Bryce Dallas Howard who did a brilliant job, deserved better.

The Ugly

  • The retcon of Uncle Ben’s killer. In fact, the continuation of bringing Uncle Ben’s death to the forefront of the plot really doesn’t do this trilogy justice. This retcon removes all of the importance of Peter’s reveal to Aunt May in the previous film, it cheapens the death of the assumed killer in the first film and, worst of all, it bloats this stinking floater way more than necessary.
  • The infamous ‘Emo Peter’. While I’ve discovered during this rewatch Maguire’s Peter is a total douche all the way through, it is this Venom inspired interlude that is hardest to digest.
    Yes, we have found meme enjoyment over the years but I think watching it, is very different that utilising the stills. Fuck me, I want to die a little inside because of how bad it all unfolds and just how shit Maguire is with it; it’s too big for him.

Final Thoughts

I’d only seen this once before, in the cinema. I’d remembered this feeling of hating it, but I always put that down to the fact that I went on to have one of the biggest fights with a dear friend hours after I’d seen this. I never really spoke to him again after that and I do really miss him.

However, it wasn’t that. This film is an underdeveloped, post morning-coffee turd. It’s so bad that even when I missed the crucial part of the final showdown, I could not bring myself to rewind.

Spider-Man 2 (2004)

Rating PG
Length 2h07
Release 16.7.2004
Director Sam Raimi
About Peter Parker is dissatisfied with life when he loses his job, the love of his life, Mary Jane, and his powers. Amid all the chaos, he must fight Doctor Octavius who threatens to destroy New York City.
Moon: no moon sighting
Where to Watch: Now TV
Trailer:

The Good

  • The visual style is much improved and it’s a lot less ‘primary colours in your face) and is much closer in tone to the X-Men films of the same era.
  • I love Doc Ock and his origin story. What does suck is the fact that in all of Maguire’s outings, the villain dies often after becoming aware of what they’ve done and the monster they’ve become.
    I mention this because Alfred Molina is so good, I’m sorry to see him go. Molina, much like Dafoe before him, is able to take on the duality of the role and provide depth as well as a little ham.
  • I really love the arms of Doc Ock. They have that personality quality to a Disney familiar. Each one seems to take on its own characteristics and its quite awesome to watch.
  • Aunt May! Oh, I do love this Aunt May. Yes, it is a likeable character (there isn’t an Aunt May I don’t like), but Rosemary Harris is just … She’s adorable.

The Bad

  • Tobey Maguire cannot cry. Oh god, it just makes me cringe so much.
  • I mentioned this for the first film, but for fuck’s sake does Kirsten have to scream so god damn much?!
  • I hate the plot point of Peter wanting to stay away from MJ to ‘keep her safe’ when both MJ and his Aunt May are both in danger in both films without anyone knowing Spider-Man and Peter Parker are one in the same. It’s shit, and boring, and either Maguire cannot act, or he’s playing Parker like *he* cannot act. Either way, no one, literally NO ONE, is buying it.

The Ugly

  • I don’t like how the character of Peter Parker has been reset in this film. He’s back to being pre-bite doofus and it really doesn’t help strengthen the character or the story arc at all.
  • Spider-Man having performance issues?! I get that this seems to be a common fear of men, but do we really need it constantly projected onto our superheroes to massage the ego of the toxic masses?! (Not aimed at all men dearies)

Final Thoughts

In some ways, a much better film. However, its still not brilliant. I hate saying this because I love Raimi. I love that he’s someone who grew up making movies on a Super8 and fell in love with telling stories. I also know that he loves superheroes and comics, but this just isn’t an enjoyable watch.

Spider-Man (2002) Film Review

Rating 12a
Length 2h01
Release 11.5.2007
Director Sam Raimi
About Peter Parker’s life changes when he is bitten by a genetically altered spider and gains superpowers. He uses his powers to help people and finds himself facing the Green Goblin, an evil maniac.
Moon: no moon sighting
Where to Watch: Netflix and Amazon Prime
Trailer:

The Good

  • William Dafoe makes for the perfect Norman/ Goblin. Yes, he hams it up, but it works perfectly with that insane laugh of his. The duality of the role was performed with ease. Absolute joy to watch from start to finish.
  • The film sets up so many other pieces for the trilogy. What’s so good about it though, is that it doesn’t make this film all about the origin story like some other films do (Fantastic Four springs to mind). It’s subtle and almost unnoticeable until you look at the trilogy as a complete unit (I did one of my essays in uni on the elements of cause and effect in these films).
  • The music is brilliant. Unlike X Men (Still pains me to this day that the film didn’t include the cartoon’s theme music), this does use the cartoon’s motif, albeit in an updated way. All it took was those first few bars and I felt right at home, so it came as no surprise that the score was none other than the wonderful Danny Elfman.

The Bad

  • The CGI is god awful in some scenes. The only saving grace is that the colours and visual tones give the film that comic book feel so the CGI doesn’t look *too* out of place.
  • Again, this is more to do with the MCU and how it’s changed the landscape for superhero movies, but this outing is so campy. Like, bordering on panto sort of campy. While it works for the Green Goblin, having everything else hammed up just puts the story at odds with itself.
    At the story’s heart is grief. Peter is motivated by Uncle Owen’s death and Green Goblin is the manifestation of Norman’s fear of failure. None of which is light stuff. It all gets lost in the quips, nods and winks to the audience.

The Ugly

  • I know there are some Tobey Maguire defenders out there, and at the time I had no complaints, but the dude looks over 30. Those high school scenes really do make him look a little creepy.
    I’d also thought Emo Peter was relegated to the third outing, but in reality that emo streak was in him all along. Yes, we have been truly spoiled with Tom Holland, but while Tobey makes a good Spider-Man… he’s too old and too shit for Peter Parker. If he cried, I did one of two things; I laughed or I groaned.
  • You cast Kirsten Dunst, THE Kirsten Dunst, yet all you get her to do is scream?! What bullshit is that?!

Final Thoughts

In the grand scheme of things, this is the equivalent of the first two Harry Potters while Garfield and Holland are very much Azkaban onwards. Totally worth the pain of Maguire for the genius that is Dafoe!