Spider Man 3

From being accused of giving off ‘the faint odor of running on fumes’ to being a ‘monster to be fed, an imperious creature with its own needs and drives,’ Spider-Man 3 is drawing it’s share of reviewer witticisms. Record-breaking sales indicate, however, that viewers around the world walked willingly into Spider-man’s web of heroism, self-doubt and dizzying feats of Spidey-ness.

Suspended in the tree-tops on a hammock fashioned from a web, Peter Parker and Mary Jane gaze at the stars and declare their love for each other when a ball of evil molten goo enters the atmosphere and drops to the earth nearby. As the goo cools, it becomes a self-propelled sticky bit of web, with a mind of it’s own, that attaches itself to Parker’s motorcycle just as our heroes head back to the city. Once the black web touches Parker, he is drawn towards evil and thus begins the fiercest battle of Parker’s life – the battle against his own inner darkness.

Parker’s transformation is stunning. Expert at playing the nerdiest nerd on the planet, Tobey Maguire manages to convince us that Parker is mean, macho and even a little bit sexy. The first clue comes when Spider-man allows the girl he saved to peel off his face mask and kiss him in public, knowing that Mary Jane, the beautiful and forlorn Kirsten Dunst, along with all of New York, is watching. It doesn’t give a girl much to hold onto. The reason this moment came about in the first place, Parker’s takeover by the evil web from the dark side, is lost amidst Mary Jane’s other woes – a bad review and getting unceremoniously fired from her glamorous singing role. So much has happened to Mary Jane that she begins to see like the main character, except that she takes no action.

Meanwhile, Spider-man has several foes to contend with, each with his own agenda. The most stunning of which is Sandman, brilliantly played by Thomas Hayden Church. His impossible emergence from sand into a man of sand is both eerie and beautiful. Sandman’s screen presence never fails to escalate the energy of the story. Less stunning, but equally enticing, partly because of the artful posters used in advertising, is Venom (Topher Grace), transformed, by the same evil web as Spider-man, from a news photographer. Venom possesses all the skills as Spider-man but none of the goodness. The ensuing spectacular battle between good and evil, including special effects that allow us to look down from the dizzying heights right to the street, brings Spidey back to his senses, back to Mary Jane, and back to his former, sweet, nerdy self.

Spider –Man 3
Release Date: May 4, 2007
Run Time: 2hrs. 20min.
Rating: PG13: Sequences of intense action, violence.
Cast: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco,
Thomas Haden Church, Topler Grace, Bryce Dallas Howard.
Director: Sam Raime.
Genre: Action Thriller, Comic-Book Superhero, Si-Fi/Action/Fantasy.
Stars: 5.

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