Spider-Man 3 is the third and final film in the original Spider-Man trilogy directed by Sam Raimi. Like the past two movies, this third flick focuses on the young photographer Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) and his crime-fighting alter-ego Spider-Man. Although the film builds upon story-arcs from previous films and closes most of the existing plot-holes, it also introduces a bevy of new characters and villains.
Once again, Spider-Man must fight to maintain a balance between his dual life, especially as an otherworldly threat begins to influence his decisions. Full of flashy special effects, wild tonal shifts, and a surplus of subplots, Spider-Man 3 has been the subject of much fan criticism. Let’s find out if Spider-Man 3 is a satisfying finale to an epic three-part story, or it’s simply too messy to be enjoyed.
How to Stream or Download Spider-Man 3
The Movie Review
Spider-Man 3 takes place a few months after Spider-Man 2, with Peter Parker finally enjoying a life of success and happiness. His relationship with Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) continues to flourish, as Peter starts to think about a marriage in the near future. After ridding New York City of the menacing scientist known as “Doc Ock” Spider-Man is back in the city’s good graces as well.
Generally speaking, things are relatively good for Peter/Spider-Man, but good things can only last so long. Peter’s best friend Harry Osborn (James Franco) continues to resent him for his father’s death, furthering pushing Harry towards his destiny as the second Green Goblin. To make matter’s worse, an alien symbiote from outer space crash lands on Earth, infecting Peter and altering his state-of-mind.
While Spider-Man 3 does a decent job continuing and wrapping up the story-arc that was started in the first two Spider-Man films, it spends far too much time introducing new characters. In addition to Peter’s problems with Harry, there a handful of extra villains thrown into the mix, including the Sandman (Thomas Haden Church) and Venom (Topher Grace).
Spider-Man 3 often shoves its main story to the sideline and dedicates more screen-time to these new characters, which is exceptionally disappointing. The movie can’t help but add another love interest as well in the form of Gwen Stacy (Bryce Dallas Howard), needlessly complicating the existing romantic sub-plots in the process.
In most other big-budget movies, story problems like this can be somewhat forgiven if the action is good. A lot of money went into the special effects of Spider-Man 3, resulting in excessive use of then-cutting edge CGI. While this might’ve worked in 2007 when the movie was initially released, the visual effects are distracting and mediocre by modern standards. Instead of including a mixture of practical and computer-generated effects as in previous Spider-Man films, Spider-Man 3 is almost entirely CGI, sucking the life and impact out of most of the action scenes.
That said, there are still a few fleeting moments of impressive imagery and fun, superhero action, but it’s simply not enough.
The Bottom Line
Overall, Spider-Man 3 drops the ball in a lot of ways, leaving fans disappointed and underwhelmed. If you’re not incredibly invested in the original Spider-Man movie trilogy, Spider-Man 3 will probably still manage to entertain you. The movie may be laughable at times, but it’s not entirely bad. The biggest issues come from the movie’s scattered and unfocused storytelling, the abundance of CGI, and lackluster script. Disregarding the infamously cringe-worthy dance sequence and mishandling of Venom’s character, there’s still some fun to be had with Spider-Man 3. As long as you keep your expectations relatively low, it’s not a complete waste of time.
- Good performances from main characters
- Lots of fun references
- Conflicting tones
- Bloated plot