Spider-Man 3

Spider-Man 3 ★★

Sam Raimi's Spider-Man films have always left me more than a little bit cold. For lack of a better phrase, they're a bit too comic-bookish, despite the large budget and special effects. I've always preferred my superheroes with a touch of bravado, arrogance, humour, or even inner demons that make them more interesting. Is it over-simplifying things to say that Spider-Man is too nice? And in Tobey Maguire, they had the epitome of an uncharismatic leading man/boy. It's probably the reason why these never quite appealed to me when they were released and also why they've sat on my DVD shelf for years unwatched. With my collection now starting to cause the odd headache or two, it was time to knock off those unwatched titles before a slew of new purchases.
Spider-Man 3 was a huge financial success grossing nearly $900 million dollars at the box office. Sounds impressive, but a $258 million dollar budget back in 2007 was colossal, and I'm not entirely sure where it all went despite some rich special effects for Thomas Haden Church's Sandman, and a couple of new dresses for Kirsten Dunst. Attempting to bulk out the story with more than one villain felt like they simply weren't sure either would have been enough to hold our interest on their own, but unfortunately neither Venom or the Sandman get enough of their background story fleshed out to save this from mediocrity. Both Topher Grace and Church do bring something to their roles, but too much time is spent on the Mary Jane/Harry sideshow which deflects from the real villains of the story, arguably much more interesting than Maguire's boring Spidey and his battle with the Symbiote that's attached itself to Peter. Dunst and Franco have always been just too vanilla for me in these supporting roles, but my own bugbear has always been Maguire who could bore villains into submission rather than with his web-slinging.
Certainly one of those movies that wasn't worth the wait, although 10 years is a long while to sit unwatched on the shelf, maybe I'd have liked it more back before Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone gave us a more likeable and interesting couple to root for. Don't get me wrong, The Amazing Spider-Man wasn't a game-changer by any means, but it knocked this one into a cocked hat. Dull, and monotonous, much like Maguire, it's strike three with Raimi's Spidey flicks which are unlikely to ever get another watch.

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