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Spider-Man - A Retrospective: Part 2

Last we left off, I had just explained why Spider-Man 2 was one of the greatest films of all time. Now we're going to explain why three was just a bit too ambitious for the crew this time around.
Spider-Man 3. Much has already been said about this . . . 'Ambitious' film. But, I'll go ahead and talk about it a little, seeing as how I already released a retrospective for the first two.

Plot


Spider-Man has finally started getting recognition and success after the events of the second movie. MJ is . . . Flailing, for lack of a better term. Peter has the success go to his head, kisses some random lady, blah blah. Harry gets his butt kicked after he goes after Peter and gets amnesia. There's also this thing with Venom and a photographer named Eddie Brock. Harry becomes bad, then becomes good and saves Peter from Mr. Sandman. Also, the Chordettes pop up at some point. Maybe.

Characters



Peter Parker


Peter Parker. Well, I'll be honest, they tried hard with him. Really dang hard. That much is obvious. The character arc seemed to be a clever subversion of the usual hero arc. Tracking it out, he starts out heroic, deals with corruption, spirals further into darkness, finally managing to literally and metaphorically beat the evil inside of him.
Unfortunately, It doesn't quite work. I think we can all agree that the 'Emo Dancing Peter Parker' scene is one of the greatest in all of film history for a variety of reasons. And more seriously, the scene when he rips venom out of himself is amazing. I absolutely adore the cinematography in every aspect of the shot.
Yeah, the build up kinda falls flat. In theory, I should've loved this arc. The idea of expanding on the 'flawed human' aspect should've been amazing. But it divorces itself so far away from the character we've all come to love, that the guy Tobey plays might as well not even be Parker.
Two things they really should've done. One, they shouldn't have replaced his character. I think that the emo haircut really emphasizes the major problem with Parker 3.0. It isn't even the same character. Where was the familiar core heroism he always had? The duty? Where's the awkward bumbling silliness?
Two, they didn't even give the guy ANY redeemable characteristics while under the control of the symbiote. Parker 3.0 was arrogance personified, period. They never once showed him, at the very least, helping someone in a totally honest and kind way. He was just an arse. I can't root for someone like that.

MJ


Yeah, I don't have much to say about MJ. Once again, It felt like she was simply filling a role. They did 3Dimensionalize her by having her go through a conflict, but with Peter as the center, I couldn't really bring myself to care.
At the same time, though, she occupied a lot of unnecessary screen time when I could've cared less about her arc, so honestly, her portrayal was probably the worst in this film.

Harry Osborn


Well, he existed. No, but seriously, his entrance is really sudden and really awkward. We get a tiny amount of foreshadowing, then he has a battle to the death. It doesn't transition very well, especially considering the last time we saw him was when he was discovering the green goblin and his fathers legacy. It feels like such a wasted opportunity when the last film gave a very strong start for the origin story.
The green goblin could've been genuinely scary, but it was ruined the moment the first time we saw him in this film was a high-speed action CGI chase. Especially with that awkward foreshadowing:
Harry, we should talk about Spoderman-
No.
I appreciate that he starts out pretty dang evil, gets his face burned off, yet still comes to Peter. Surprisingly good character growth, even if the beginning was shaky.

Sandman


Sandman was a really sad attempt to duplicate Doc Ock's success. You want more detail?
No.
Okay just kidding.
Sandman was very clearly supposed to be another 'tragic villain' like Doc Ock. So what was the difference? Why was Doc Ock so well-received, whereas Sandman was lukewarm?
Well, most of all, it felt insincere. How many times have we heard the 'I have a daughter' excuse? Frankly speaking, I don't care if the guy has a daughter! He's already an uninteresting character who didn't get enough screen time for me to care! I think that's the big difference. We got time to know more about Doc Ock. To find out about little personality traits that bring him to life. To hear him make jokes about poetry and love.
Sandman was a villain right from the start. We just got a faceful of 'tragic backstory', then we were expected to care. Guess what? I don't care!

Eddie Brock


He was a jerk photographer who went crazy and tried to kill a bunch of people.
Let's go a bit more in-depth. For the most part, he felt like a victim to Peter Parker's temporary insanity. I would've loved if they had actually shown what being publically shamed like that would actually do to one's reputation. If it had been shown he had been forced into the streets after he couldn't make rent anymore.
It would've been nice if they had given more screen time and gave him a bit more nuance. Overall, it felt like he suffered the same role MJ did. He was just there to fill a hole. Nothing more, nothing less.

Plot


The plot was very . . . Meh. The film focused so much on the character arcs and relationships that there wasn't much time for the plot to develop properly. That's okay, as long as the character interactions are good enough to compensate. And really, it makes sense they didn't do another 'the entire cities will be destroyed' plot. It all would've been fine if they had just compensated with proper character development.
It could've been fine.

Cinematography


The cinematography was surprisingly on point. I think Parker separating with the symbiotic is the best example of this. The CGI was good enough for the amount that they used, while the actual camera work was beautiful. And of course, the 'emo dance' also serves as a great example.

Overall


Well, I think that the core problem was that they were trying very hard to replicate the success of two, yet they wanted to take the movie in a totally different direction then both the first and the second films. This created a kind of tone whiplash that ruined the entire film.
If there's one thing that we can learn from this film, it's how to create the greatest scene of all time.

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