I’ve been back and forth Spider-Man 3 since it came out. As a child, I loved it and it was one of the first films I eagerly anticipated and saw on the day of its release. Since then, I’ve taken in its criticisms and come to disregard it as one of the first missteps in Spider-Man’s cinematic journey, but what if I was wrong?
It’s been a few years since I’ve seen it and upon revisiting it I’ve come to believe that maybe we’ve giving this one a bit of a hard time. Now that’s not to say that there isn’t anything bad, there’s some definite strange choices made throughout and unfortunately, they seem to have detracted from the good, and do you know what, there is a lot of good stuff in this film. I would argue that at least the first hour of this film is pretty amazing, the setup of the characters, the darker side of Peter Parker before the symbiote even bonds with him, when his pride and selfishness takes over and the incredible visuals that show and not tell the story. Any change from source material is made to inform the main character who in turn informs the story, like Gwen Stacy being smart, successful and having a caring Father is everything MJ wants, making her the perfect unknowing antagonist, and it surprisingly works really well.
Talking of MJ, I always used to think her character was really annoying in this film when I was younger. However, having now grown up a bit, I think that most of her actions are justified, she’s a woman who wants more from life than to be Spider-Man’s girlfriend, she needs something independent to that, something that Peter isn’t helping her with. And although this aspect is not concluded, it does add some depth to her character.
Now obviously, the emo styling and dance scenes are a weird choice but an argument could be made that they are Parker’s own dorky version of what he thinks is cool, either way it’s still odd. Ultimately, it’s Venom that doesn’t work, he’s shoehorned in and should either be given more time or just set aside for Sandman who, along with Harry Osborn, bring some emotion to the core of the story. And I’ve got to say, Pete and Harry fighting alongside each other at the end brings a great smile to my face as that storyline is resolved.
Overall though, I think it’s time for people to re-visit this one, it’s a smart, pulpy, energetic and a high stakes conclusion to a brilliant trilogy that I wish never concluded. There’s no denying it’s the weakest of the trilogy but each film has been about Peter Parker, building on his character and making it interesting to watch and develop even past his origin story and this one is no different. This is something hopefully that’s Marvel Studios will bring along to their own solo outings for the superhero. Man, I wish we were on Raimi’s Spider-Man 6.
Can we all agree though that we don’t want a Venom solo movie?
Thanks for reading!