I know I did talk about this already but at the time I hadn’t seen it yet. Now that I have I want to give you my assessment of all the complaints I’ve heard about it.
My assessment is: THE COMPLAINTS ARE STUPID.
I don’t normally just dismiss all the hate a movie gets as ridiculous, but this time, I am.
Okay, okay, to be fair. It was not perfect.
The only part I thought the criticism of the pacing rung true with was the end.
I thought each villain was set up well, but bringing them all together was too rushed, and though it made for an interesting battle, Venom and Sandman’s partnership wasn’t very intimidating or epic. For me it was more about Harry coming through than either of them.
And Harry’s change of heart was…not bad, no, but rushed. Again.
I put all this up to superhero films not being allowed to be longer than 2hrs+. I mean, they aren’t 3 hrs long ever.
I would say this movie was written as well (for what it was) as Braveheart or Titanic. But those movies had more time to wrap up all their plot devices, and character arcs. This one set everything up flawlessly, but it couldn’t deliver slowly enough.
But I have no real complaints. The timing thing made it weird, but by no means un-moving. I actually teared up when Harry died.
And yes, Peter as one weird nerd. As MJ even says.
You don’t like Peter because he’s some dreamboat, hunky, suave playboy…like Tony Stark. (Sorry.) You like Peter for all the opposite reasons. Because he’s dorky and normal-ish. And a good guy despite how many times his heart gets ripped out. And he’s smart of course. (thought hey really down play that in this trilogy.)
It’s a little weird to me to have so much voice-over, with such blatant message giving in a superhero movie. But I don’t think it’s wrong.
IT’s a stylistic choice, and it doesn’t kill the gravity of the moment.
Spiderman 3 is a comic movie and it’s not wrong for it to play out as such. Even the special affects are way more comic book than sci-fi. But that’s why you love it, if you love it.
And at the end of the day, and the movie, it’s not about all that anyway. It’s about the heart.
Aunt May kicks off the message of this film by talking about revenge and how it eats away at you. Which the space mud is a not so subtle representation of. You may not remember in the scene where it latches on to Peter it forms itself first into a goblin shape, and then into a claw-like hand which goes for his heart.
Creepy. And exactly what revenge does.
I actually appreciate that the movie isn’t pretending like this is a new idea. It’s not. We all know (or should) that revenge is bad. But we also know that Peter never truly dealt with his revenge against the man in the first film whom he thought killed Uncle Ben, and it’s been a stain on his character (at least for me,) I like that they went back to it instead of repeating it never happened.
Peter never forgave himself or the killer for what happened. Sot his movie is not pulling this plot out of nowhere, but actually addressing what they’ve built up to for a long time. Yes, it’s shaky because the guy in the first movie pretty much admits to killing Uncle Ben. I don’t like that, but I sympathize with them wishing they could tell a different story, and knowing that movies are kind of set in stone until they are remade. So they didn’t have a real choice in the matter.
Anyway, not only is the mud symbolic of revenge, but revenge has been the driving force of Harry and his father’s characters since the first movie. So it was gong to be a major part of this one anyway.
And the contrast between how Peter, Harry, and that other guy (Eddie?) handle their revengeful wishes is important.
All three are consumed by it for a time, but we see that with people who’s character started off stronger and more loyal in the beginning can easier throw off their anger an hatred.
Harry, even though h’es mostly a wimp, a crybaby, and a jerk; had his moments of being willing to help MJ and not wanting to kill his best friend.
Those moments of humanity and mercy on Harry’s part show he’s better than his father, who didn’t really resist the goblin’s sway. And also show that he truly felt something for Peter and MJ at one time.
Eddie (?) on the other hand was dishonest and cocksure from the start. It’s not exactly fair to say he was evil; and he had less reason for his actions than Peter or Harry. But the mud was influencing his mind, and he clearly did not have the character to resist.
A brilliance of this plot was having Peter’s revenge and jerkish-ness be verbal as well as physical. And show up in other areas of life. We see how vicious he has become in the club scene with MJ, but it’s enough to make him realize what this has done to him.
That he runs to a church is not a coincidence. He did tell Eddie “If you want forgiveness, get religion.” How interesting that you could read that as “if you want forgiveness in yourself.”
It’s never been hidden that Aunt May is a Christian, and that Peter has been raised with some knowledge of that faith. It shows in a lot of the things he says and does at critical moments in all three movies.
This movie was dark. Peter is a lot less nice in it. He’s starting to get a big head. MJ also does a lot of stuff we don’t love.
But as Peter says, when people have problems, they work through them.
There’s times in our lives when we aren’t so pretty, and we aren’t so loving as we might wish. I’ve had them. You’ve had them. The point is not that we are worse people, it’s nothing out of the ordinary, but that we move on and become better for it. That’s the extraordinary thing.
This movie is also about choice. As Peter says at the end in his narration. All three movies were about having a choice. Peter says Harry taught him that.
But really, Harry just capped it off. Peter had seen that already with Norman Osborne, and Dr. Octopus, and Venom, and his own life.
We have a choice. We can choose to forgive. Even ourselves.
That’s the movie’s message in a nutshell.