27 May 2007

Movie Review: Spider-man 3

I have watched this super-hyped blockbuster about a fortnight ago, but has delayed a review until today because I needed time to think about the plausibility of the characters' attitudes and emotions. These twisting feelings, prima facie, appear realistic, but the more I think about it, the more I feel that it has been grossly exaggerated. But first, the other aspects of the movie.

The storyline sans the emotions has involved far too much of what a two- and a half-hour movie can handle. Many characters that play a rather important role had too little screen time, such as Eddie Brock a.k.a. Venom. (As a side note, some have commented that Venom was weak and defeated too easily, but I'm actually fine with that. In fact, I would rather have this than prolonged punching and throwing.) Flint Marko a.k.a. Sandman was another, having a powerful background story of a sick daughter needing money for medical treatment, yet has that part seemingly left hanging in the air (though I suppose future Spider-man movies will touch on this). The only part of the story I thought was nicely done was with Harry Osborn. In short, the storyline has too many branches and failed to develop most of them properly.

A consequence to this over-branching storyline (even if they were well developed) is its conclusion. Spider-man 3 suffers the same problem as The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, i.e. too long an ending. (But you can hardly blame Peter Jackson: he inherited that problem.) I remember myself, while watching the end, wondering when the hell the movie was going to end.

Other aspects of the movie were good, such as the graphics and sound. The music didn't stand out, but it did its job in supporting the movie. The actions, in my opinion, were a bit excessive and at times I was bored with all those swinging and punching which never seem to end. The acting was okay... nothing outstanding, but nothing I am dissatisfied with. Tobey Maguire's portrayal of the emo Peter Parker was hardly convincing, but given the extreme contrast with the typical Peter Parker, I cannot really fault him. Then again, this could've been done on purpose.

So, back to the emotions, there are several parts to this: Spider-man's indulgence in his own fame and failure to comprehend the dynamics of his relationship with Mary Jane Watson; her reactions to his lack of understanding; and his actions and thoughts following the breakup.

Regarding the first, I think it failed terribly to convince me of its plausibility. Certainly, he can't possibly kiss Gwen Stacy without knowing that it will affect Mary Jane negatively. He would be too great a jerk not to realise this. But I think the other part - not fulfilling the role which Harry did instead - was quite possible, given Peter's responsibility and character.

As for her reactions to this, I think, with or without Harry's intervention, she would've acted the way she did. That is, her reaction is pretty much expected. So that's okay. But coming to Peter's emo state, I think it is again too far a swing. Sure, he would've felt angry, despaired and even vengeful, but for him to actually change his character totally, and seeking revenge in such a elaborate fashion is really going too far. But then, there's the symbiote to put the blame on.

So all in all, Spider-man 3 is pretty average as a movie, worth watching as part of a series, but on its own, it becomes those watch-it-if-you-have-no-other-movies-in-mind kind of movie for me.

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