Monday, May 21, 2007

Spider-Man 3: Black, gooey and, well, shitty

Good things never last long. As Spider-Man adds another number and three more supermen, the collective super weight brings the film down. Well, more supermen should be more fun, right? Wrong. And how horribly so.

I remember watching the first part, when none of this hoopla accompanied the film. I had missed reading about the opening weekend collections, an all-time record for Sony and Hollywood, and went in with an open mind. I am not an avid comic book reader, and probably because of that, the film left me untouched. The film's pseudo theme 'With greater power, comes greater responsiblity' was even irritating. A couple of things were good: the technical wizardry and the frank admission at the beginning of the movie that this was a love story. Besides it was at least fulfilling in a commercial sort of a way. This wasn't Bergman making Spider-Man, in any case.

The three men with superpowers are Sandman, Venom and New Goblin. Please don't ask me to explain their evolution. The movie gets a bit crazy around these parts.

Much is being made of how dark films have become in Hollywood. This darkness in most films is shallow. From X-Men's Logan, to Super-Man to action heroes like Ethan Hunt everybody in Hollywood is now officially dark. So I presume director Sam Raimi went into this movie with a preconceived notion that he was going to make Spidey's suit black. So in the end, Peter Parker has to find the goodness in him to fight the darkness that is feeding a symbiote that has chosen him for a host. Well, balls to that.

MJ, Harry Osborn and Peter Parker play the merry go around. You never know who is going to end up with whom in the next scene even when you are sure that in the end, your friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man will kill the baddies and get the girl. But wait, one of the baddies - Sandman made of amazing CGI and very little character - isn't killed. He is instead - key word here - forgiven. When Spider-Man says "I forgive you" with the onus on "forgive", Sandman dissolves into a whirlwind of sand and disappears. When this happened, the series crashed for me.

Raimi made horror classics such as Evil Dead and one of my favourite cowboy movies The Quick and the Dead. He was one of the few who have in recent years adapted a comic book successfully on film. The other was Bryan Singer. The next time someone reminds me of all this, he gets it.