Location: Los Angeles, California

Monday, May 14, 2007

Spider-Man 3

Wow. That was bad.

Let me count the ways:

1. The promise of this third installment was that Spider-Man/Peter Parker would venture into his "dark side." Yet, unlike "Batman Begins," this struggle isn't a psychological one. Peter isn't truly battling himself; the battle does NOT lie "within," as the trailer tagline promised.

Oh no, because the source of Peter's transgression to the dark is a gooey alien substance. It lands, of all places, next to Peter's scooter, cause, um, well, that's where the alien substance wanted to land.

So it's disappointing that Peter's brief walk on the dark side is a result of a deus ex machina. Peter's not really to blame - it's all the black goo's fault. Yawn. Could you imagine what would happen to Christian Bale's tormented Batman if he was overtaken by the black goo?

Worse, though, is that the movie presents the "dark" Peter Parker as an emo-kid with an appallingly bad hairdo:

We will not mention what happens when the movie decides to pay homage to the original "Nutty Professor," other than that the scene miserably fails to strike the right comedic note.

2. Way too many villains. You should not be introducing a THIRD villain with only 30 minutes left in a movie.

3. Kirstin Dunst's Mary Jane is a drag. Seriously, girl, you're dating Spider-Man. Get over yourself.

4. The movie cost $258 million (although some sources report up to $300 million). The question must be asked - what was all that money used for? Clearly not the special effects, which were a major step down from "Spider-Man 2."

The Sandman was quite the sorry looking CGI effect - a bloated mud thingy that would have been better off as a spokesperson for Irritable Bowel Syndrome:

Elsewhere, you can easily tell when Spidey and his foes are mere computer effects. I even caught a CGI Mary Jane in there.

5. The film chugs and chugs along to its 140-minute runtime. It felt much longer.

Conversely, the two-hour "Hot Fuzz" rolled along at an extremely lively pace, cramming sharper humor, psychologically deeper characters, crisper action sequences, and many more Brits than "Spider-Man 3."


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