Countdown: El Comercio presents a series of special articles about the upcoming premiere of “Spiderman: No Way Home” (“Spider-Man: No Way Home”), the most anticipated superhero movie of 2021, starring Tom Holland, zendaya, Jacob Batalon, Benedict Cumberbatch; etc. From Monday, December 6 to Wednesday, December 15, we publish reviews of every movie that the arachnid has starred in at the cinema. This time, it’s time to see the third and last film directed by Sam Raimi, which featured two villains; as well as an exaly who switches sides.
“Spiderman 3” is a bad movie that carries, deep down, the intentions of being a good movie. Known is the interference of the studio in the plot, as well as Raimi’s little affection towards the villain Venom, elements that condemned the film. But behind the scenes or not, I need to get the bile that I accumulated out of my system by seeing it a second time.
In “Spiderman 3” (2007) life finally smiles on Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire), while Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) seems to live a contrary experience, with a stumbling block in her acting career. For his part, Harry Osborn (James Franco) develops a plan to take down his ex-best friend and a newcomer from outer space, Venom, also has plans for Parker.
The movie that sank a franchise
“Spiderman 3” is an insult, but not of any kind. Words hurt more if they are told by someone you value, in this case Sam Raimi, who knows well how intelligent the public is and is able to determine when he offers a good product, what entertains, and when what he delivers is a loss. of time. But let’s get to the details.
Why is it bad? Peter makes mistakes, his humor rises now that he is a hero loved by the city, but suddenly that plot is forgotten and inexplicably turns into another; where the hero discovers who the true murderer of his beloved Uncle Ben is and sets out to capture him. At the same time, Peter meets a black substance from space called Venom, which merges with him and changes his personality. As the movie is structured, Peter doesn’t need Venom to feel rage, so this element ends up being a piece that does not fit.
For several years I thought the problem with this movie was that it had too many villains, like Venom the Sandman and Harry’s Green Goblin; But the real difficulty lies in how their plots were spun, how to make those three antagonists make sense together and advance Parker’s story.
More plots: that of photographer Eddie Brock who becomes Peter Parker’s rival; that of Harry Osborn who wants to sink Peter, but loses his memory and then regains it (?); that of Mary Jane Watson running into a wall in her acting career and at the same time realizes that it is not easy to be Spider-Man’s girlfriend. ; to the final conflict of the film. How he reaches that point is the problem, something that does not fit with a good director like him. The failure of “Spiderman 3” is due both to the intervention of Sony Pictures in the film (it is their right, since they put the money to finance it) combined with the fact that an unmotivated Raimi continued in the project; A conflict that in other cases, such as Edgar Wright’s “Ant-Man” and Scott Derrickson’s “Doctor Strange 2” ended in the director’s departure and his replacement by another.
Fuel for memes
“Spiderman 3” is very imperfect, but it has a value: it is a machine to make memes. The entire Spiderman saga has humor. The first is loaded with scenes that would become a meme, the two have humor but not so much, and the third at all times has scenes that lend themselves to parody. And I don’t mean it as a compliment, but as a criticism. . Or Peter’s dancing in the streets while wearing his black suit and emo hairdo. At least Raimi gave us a buffoonish movie. There’s no other reason to watch it other than to hang out with friends, and every time a meme pops up, everyone takes a shot of alcohol.
This movie has been so bad that it took the franchise a decade to regain its shine, for which it needed the help of the Marvel Cinematic Universe-MCU (prior to that, no arachnid movie was connected to the world of Iron Man, Thor and the captain America). And it is in the MCU where “No Way Home” is set, which brings back the Sandman, the best character in “Spiderman 3”; Although the actor Thomas Haden Church has not been shown in the promotions of the film until the closing of this article. This is a tragic villain in the Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus lore who may have worked better in other circumstances. Holland’s film now has a golden opportunity to do him justice.
Bonus 1: Sam Raimi explains why “Spiderman 3” is bad (via Collider)
“It’s a movie that just didn’t do very well. I tried to make it work, but I didn’t believe in all the characters, which couldn’t be hidden from the people who loved Spider-Man. If the director doesn’t love something, it’s wrong for them (sic) to do it when so many people love it. I think (increasing the stakes for characters after Spider-Man 2) was the idea of the moment, and I think that’s what doomed us. I should have stayed with the characters and the relationships and took them to the next step and not have tried to rise above the bar. “
Extra 2: the criticism of “Spiderman 3” from El Comercio in 2007, by Alberto Servat
More of the same. It doesn’t matter, his followers will say. But others, the less enthusiastic, we are already getting tired of an increasingly ‘nerdy’ Peter Parker, his asexual relationship with Mary Jane and a set of repeated situations that, for the first time in the series, no longer work. exciting.
“Spider-Man 3”, the new installment by Sam Raimi, is a film that has the vigor of its predecessors but hardly presents anything new. It is not that we are expecting too much from a saga ripped from the comic that is already outlined from its first sketch. Nothing of that. What happens is that we expected from Raimi some turnaround or at least the break with some of the premises imposed in the previous films. But it’s not like that. He does not take risks, which is a shame because it is precisely the risk that distinguishes a filmmaker from the rest.
Due to this, it is difficult to stop thinking about the first two films when evaluating this one because in them are the roots and the approaches of the story of the arachnid hero.
That is why I am disappointed in Raimi’s work this time, because of his conformism and lack of audacity.
It seems that to preserve success (the box office) aims to copy itself without the need to surprise us with a twist or a touch of ingenuity. Nothing of that. For example, the presentation of the villains is always the same: a character in trouble or a petty criminal is exposed to a supernatural phenomenon and acquires malevolent powers. It happens exactly with everyone: the Goblin, Doc Ock, Sandman and Venom. The same pattern is also repeated in the relationship between Peter and his girlfriend, Mary Jane: ideal boyfriends at the beginning of the film, emotional distancing in the knot and reconciliation in the midst of danger. Needless to mention the morals that Aunt May releases from time to time. In this way, he points out the human side of the story and leaves a moral lesson for the viewers.
The funny thing is that this time, to tell us such an odyssey, Raimi takes 140 minutes. Which is nonsense when you consider what he has to say. Because even the dual personality of the hero is not worked out in enough detail: it is the weakest part of the story.
As for the performances, there is nothing reprehensible. The cast, made up of actors from different backgrounds (Thomas Haden Church, Willem Dafoe, Theresa Russell, Bruce Campbell, Rosemary Harris, among others) could not be more effective. As for the usual actors (Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst and James Franco), they repeat their roles with the same tone of the previous films.
Don’t get me wrong by the staunch fans of Peter Parker and company. “Spider-Man 3” is not a bad movie. It’s a solid storytelling, very professional. Sam Raimi is definitely an excellent director and he has nothing to prove about it. So much so that if cinema were mathematics, Raimi would be the champion of the school tournament.
- You can see “Spiderman 3” (2004) on HBO Max.
- “Spiderman: No Way Home” hits theaters in Latin America on December 15 in preview, the 16 in regular premiere.