Short Thoughts On… Spider-Man 3

Spider-Man 3 Raining Poster

I remember seeing Spider-Man 3 when it first came out back in 2007. At the time I enjoyed it but I knew that it didn’t quite live up to the first two, though I couldn’t pinpoint why. In the years since then, I, of course, became familiar with all the talk, jokes, and ridicule surrounding it. Dancing, evil Peter Parker was a travesty and embarrassment to the series. They ruined Venom. Topher Grace was a terrible casting decision. It’s too long and too stuffed with too many villains and characters. So going into it now after the excellent Spider-Man 2 I was sort of expecting the worst. I’d seen critics like MovieBob and Devin Faraci defend the movie but the overwhelming negativity on the Internet was enough to make me worry.

But I’m here to report that Spider-Man 3 is not the train wreck we all remember it to be. In fact, it’s a pretty good, fun superhero flick. Don’t get me wrong, it’s almost definitely the worst of Raimi’s trilogy and some of the common Internet complaints aren’t off base, but it’s no where near being a bad film. Spider-Man 3 doesn’t deviate that far from its predecessors in terms of tone, themes, focus, or content. Like the first two films, it puts Peter through the grinder, focusing more on how being Spider-Man affects him than on Spider-Man himself. Peter and his personal relationships are more important here than the villains or the action scenes, just as it was in the first two movies, and they still remain interesting and utterly compelling to watch. Tobey Maguire is on point for every step of Peter Parker’s journey and it’s simply tons of fun to watch. Spider-Man 3‘s flaws mostly stem from the fact that it’s simply too big, not leaving enough time to properly develop and resolve arcs and storylines.

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Short Thoughts On… Spider-Man 2

Spider-Man 2 Doc Ock Arms Poster

Like clockwork, every few months I go on a Spider-Man binge. This most recent bout of Spidey-mania comes courtesy of a new story arc in The Amazing Spider-Man comic, now that the bloated Spider-Verse event is now over, that will hopefully get the new series back on track. So in order to satisfy my cravings for more Spider-Man I’ve dived back into the Spider-Man movies, and since I watched the first of Sam Raimi’s trilogy fairly recently (last spring), I figured I would start with its sequel, Spider-Man 2.

Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy exists in a stylistic middle ground between retro 60s and modern-day realism. Peter Parker lives in 21st-century New York City but he’s still a Silver Age nerd going to a classic 60s style school, complete with bullying football jocks. Raimi’s camera swings and zooms in ways most modern blockbusters stopped doing years ago and his edits are artificial and obvious in a fun and campy way. And while the first film in the trilogy probably leans a little too heavily into its goofy 60s style, Spider-Man 2 finds the perfect balance between the two.

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