Saturday, May 05, 2007

Look out! Here comes the spiderman!

Before I begin talking about the film itself, which shall be chock full of spoilers, so I highly reccomend watching it first, I just want to say that despite loving films, I hate cinemas.

I went to the opening night of Spiderman 3, and of course it was packed. I chose a fairly late showing- 9, and was rewarded by having mostly adults there... at least I thought they were. From people fidgeting, to people rustiling popcorn, people muttering, people laughing inappropriately, and the woman next to me taking her fricking shoes off (if you're that uncomfortable, just leave....), I felt like I was surrounded by a bunch of 12 year olds. Also the sound seemed to be dodgy. I am fairly sure there was no bloody surround sound there. GAH.

So onto the film itself.

Spoilers follow. You have been warned.

I mentioned that people laughed inappropriately, and indeed they did, and I can totally see why for some bits. Toby Macguire DID look ridiculous as a goth, and as a way to show he was being darker, it was a little silly, but actually the film very much embraced this, with a hilarious sequence of the new, confident parker walking down the street overconfidently gesturing at women. It was a surreal and very enjoyable experience.

This film actually had the potential to be the best of the three so far, I felt the relationship between MJ and Parker was handled maturely, and the direction it went into, with spiderman getting stuck into hubris, was a great idea. I read one review which wanted spiderman happy and fine in this film... I'm not entirely sure how dramatic his idea of the film would have been, I suspect it would have been one fight scene after another. The green goblin as Harry was a great arc, and was handled very well.

Sadly though, there were flaws, and they all stem from one thing.. the film had too much going on. By introducing three different villains, and giving them all character arcs, there wasn't time to flesh out some of them, leaving some characters having to give horrible exposition dialogue ("Do you want to team up to kill spiderman?" "OK!"). I suspect this was due to some studio wrangling- Raimi wanted Sandman as the big bad, but the studio wanted Venom. What resulted is a compromise that gives neither the arc they deserve. I suspect the film would have been much better if we had lost sandman all together. A bit of shifting about and I think most of the film would hold together without him, despite a fine performance by Thomas Haden Church. Yes, the creation of Sandman looked amazing, but ultimately the entire character distracted us from the main thrust of the story.

This would given more time to allow Eddie Brock to be fleshed out, so his want to kill spiderman looks less insane, and also make the conversation between Harry and his butler a bit more believable ("Sir, I should probably have mentioned this over two years ago, but spiderman didn't actually kill your dad. I didn't think it was terribly important"). Oh, and they could of just cut that damn television reporter altogether. Why the hell was she there?

So yeah, I really did enjoy the film, but it managed at the same time to be too fastly paced and also sluggish at the same time, which is a neat trick. We shall see how this performs at the box office, but I suspect there will be another one after all... I'd actually be happy to see Raimi direct again, because perhaps this film is a lesson in what happens when the studio interferes. The sequel doesn't HAVE to have twice the number of villains... so stop doing it!


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