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A meteor shower results in some alien black slime landing in New York. It soon attaches itself to a moody Spider-Man, feeding on the dark emotions of its new host and staining his suit black. It provides increased powers but has a side effect of enhancing of all the negative characteristics of Peter Parker. Becoming dependent on feelings of invincibility while alienating friends and family in the process, Spider-Man becomes a nasty arrogant twat.
The first bad guy is Flint Marko, a.k.a. The Sandman, a petty crim who finds himself late one night at a particle physics testing facility (as you do) and winds up with his own particles taking on the physical characteristics of sand. His ability to drift around the city as a giant dust cloud poses several problems for our hero. It's a small role, but Thomas Haden Church plays him as a tragic figure, full of regret. A family man gone wrong. We also find out that his character was involved in the death of Peter's father figure – Ben Parker – in an unusual bit of revisionist history.
The second villain is Eddie Brock Jnr, a.k.a. Venom, played by 'That 70s Show' star Topher Grace. Brock is a rival photographer at the Daily Bugle and a perfect nemesis for Pete (same age, same profession). This is a great performance - needy, desperate for adulation, full of jealousy. Later in the film he replaces Peter as the host of the alien slime and becomes Venom. This villain doesn't really emerge until near the end, and is not so much menacing as really irritating for Spider-Man (in a good way for the audience).
The final villain, and easily the strongest, is Peter's old best pal Harry Osborn (a sneering James Franco). Harry is the son of Norman Osborn (the villainous Green Goblin in the first film) and mistakenly thinks that Spider-Man killed his father. So he grabs some of his dad's old equipment, as well as taking some of those dodgy performance-enhancers that turned his old man insane, and takes to the skies to finish off Peter Parker.
The three-way triangle between Peter, Harry and Mary-Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) is expanded on here. It's a testament to Sam Raimi's direction that audiences are going to care more about the relationships between these characters than they are about any of the state-of-the-art action sequences. The action of course, is heavily computer dependent, and it shows at times. But it's all so well-choreographed, inventive and exciting that it's totally forgivable.
Tobey Maguire's performance is brilliant as usual. He's an actor who knows how to convey a great deal with very little effort, and treads the line between comedy and drama with ease.
There are weaker moments – the teaming up scene with Venom and Sandman, the deus-ex-machina moment with Harry's butler – but they are minor quibbles. Even slightly off-kilter bits (i.e. the surprising regularity of song and dance numbers) give the film freshness and keep things interesting.
'Spider-Man 3' is a smart, satisfying adventure, a blockbuster deserving of the term.
[Reviewed by Andy Hedley.]
The Peoples' Reviews
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If the comic characters go into the movie it just...sucks.
Spiderman was average, Spiderman 2 was good, Spiderman 3 is a piece of sh*t!
So boring... so very,very boring.
The only reason I stayed in the cinema was in the hope the final battle would make up for the rest of the film and my god did it disapoint.
What a waste of a great superhero and his nemesis.
I was so looking forward to the final instalment in the Spider-Man trilogy but I was sorely disappointed.
Far too long and it seemed more of a "movie" than a "comic book movie" than the other two. The whole 'Peter becomes an Emo' thing was strange and while it may have been funny initially, it got old quite fast.
The special effects were the only thing that were as good as the first two.
The main actors in the film were fine for the most part but Grace was crap in his scene in the church breaking down and so was Franco in a few of his scenes... in fact, the main actors weren't fine for the most part, the were pretty poor excluding Dunst.
The News anchor and reporter were both crap.
The two kids who said "Awesome" and "Wicked-cool" were crap.
Worst Stan... More Lee cameo ever.
They're still not getting skin tone or skin texture right in their CGI.
The black suit looked awful in CGI.
The pacing of the film was terrible.
Not enough attention payed to establishing Venom character.
Peter Parker + Symbiote = EMO?
Sandman story was weak, especially how it was "resolved".
The music in the film was actually pretty rubbish.
I could rant on but I'll just say that the first two films were fun to watch... this one isn't.Hide
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