Spiderman 3

All you folks who said that Spidey jumped the shark … and you know who you are … allow me to respectfully suggest that your tastes and mine do not agree on all points, and that I respectfully demur from your conclusions in this matter.

By which I mean, of course, that you are crazy as bedbugs if you cannot tell this one was the best movie of the three! SPIDERMAN ROCKS! Go, webslinger! W00T!!! Teh spid3y ownzed u 455!! AND I WILL TYPE IN ALL CAPS TO MAKE MY POINT MORE PERSUASIVE.

Seriously, I felt I was misled by critics here. I went in expecting a train wreck akin to BATMAN 2, with a crowded field of villains and no real plot. Instead, we had loads of plot, tons of plot, more plot that you can sling a web at, but all tied together nicely into one theme–pride and humility, wrath and redemption. Parker is proud, MJ is humiliated, Eddie Brock gives in to wrath. Everything is tied together. The ending was completely unexpected and beautifully done, in my humble opinion.

The acting job on every scene with top-notch. There were character who had maybe two lines, but who were do well drawn, who had such clear personality types and motivations, that it was awe inspiring to watch. The landlord’s daughter who tells Peter there is a phone call for him, or the manservant of Osborn who asks in surprise if guests are expected — memorable. I wish I knew what the writer did, so I could steal the technique myself.

The main acting jobs were even better. Aunt May can bring a tear to my eye merely by looking at her wedding ring. MJ seems to have a stature in this film she lacked in the first one–not surprising, since that was a highschool girl, and this is a struggling actress. The relationship between MJ and Pete and Spidey was played out with an inevitable- seeming logic to it. Typically, in soap operas, there is a misunderstanding, and it is all the fault of one or both people being idiots. Here, the soap opera played out with all parties seeming like decent and realistic people. (Even the amnesia is an old soap operastandby, and certainly a common enough plot twist in a comic book.)

I have heard some complaints that the plot was too far fetched: that space meteorites containing alien symbionts do not land near students bitten by radioactive spiders (or nanogenetically altered, take your pick) and turn them evil just when the evil ex-best friend was turned good by a gonk on the head. I talked this point over with the talking & singing tree from Disney’s POCAHONTAS, and the grandmother tree tells me it was completely realistic and historically accurate. What are the odds, I ask you, that a house tossed by a twister from Kansas to Oz would just so happen to land on the Wicked Witch of the East, and not, for example, a foot to the left, crushing the headquarters of the Lollipop Guild? What are the odds that a gentrified hobbit from Hobbiton would find the One Ring, the ruling ring, in a dead and lightless tunnel buried below the mountain roots? As to why Spiderman came across that evil space goo — I  can put it no plainer than by saying that Peter was meant to find the Venom symbiont, and not by its maker. In which case you, Brock, also were meant to have it. And that is an encouraging thought.

The only thing I did not like was the mask for the hobgoblin–which the bad guy did not bother wearing anyway. I actually like the big green grinning thing the first goblin wore, and would have like to see the son take up his father’s armor and batglider, not that flying skateboard thing. Another tiny complaint — too much face. This is a problem with film makers, who want to show the famous actor’s mugs on the screen, and to get them to express emotion with their features. Fanboys like me, of course, want to see the superheroes look like what we’re used to. (albeit, I am cool with swapping yellow spandex with black leather–some things look good in four color comics that do not look good transferred to the screen.)

Here is what I like the best. No gratuitous swipes at religion, no gratuitous insults against the flag, no scenes of casual sex or pointless nudity. They did not “Hollywood up” this film. The script, if the superheroics were swapped out, could have been filmed in the wholesome days of 1939.

Seriously, Spiderman 3 was a fitting climax to the story threads that have been building up since the first movie, and the themes adumbrated in the second. It is a fine, fine film.