SPOILER ALERT! THAR BE SPOILERS HERE!!!
In my review for the new Buffy comics, I compared the series and characters' return to an old friend that moved away, or a long lost pet suddenly returning and being just as good, or better, as before. I was hoping to have the same nostalgia meets fanboy meets utter glee feeling from Spider-Man 3, but instead I am left wishing that damn dog stayed dead. Nostalgia is both a welcome friend and a wish that things would return to the way they were. The fanboy in me is not loving this film. The utter glee only stopped by for about 2 minutes, then passed out and had to be dragged out the door. Just like the damn dog should have been....
So what went wrong? What went right (must shorter list)? Should the series have stopped at 2? Does Toby Maguire still encompass the character better than anyone else? Has the worlds biggest deus ex machina been created trying to fill the worlds biggest plot hole? Can a man go to the bathroom 3 times during a movie and not miss anything important? The answer to all these questions is "yes" but with a little asterisk after the "should they have stopped at 2" question. And also the "what went wrong" question, because "yes" is a bad answer to that...
Ok, so, first the good. Bruce Campbell should be in every movie. No, not every Spider-Man or Sam Raimi movie, but EVERY MOVIE. I heard the "monsieur!" and knew it was Bruce. I am glad that he had a larger role, even if it was just 5 minutes and a single scene. Stan Lee's cameo is also a hoot: two lines, but a big memory, 'nuff said! Yes, those are both fanboy moments, I admit. So what about "the good" that people who don't have OCD personalities will like? Not as much, but still some.
I really enjoyed the last 30 minutes, with Venom and Sandman and the big fight scenes. Yes, Mary Jane got abducted AGAIN, and Peter got his ass handed to him at first AGAIN, but the whole scene at the tower was fun. I almost wish the ENTIRE movie was based at that damn tower. It ALMOST made the other 110 minutes worth watching.... almost.... that almost was NOT a capital almost.... but it ALMOST was.... almost. I also liked evil Peter. Toby Maguire can play anything in my opinion.
My other big "good" from the movie was Topher Grace. I saw the movie with roughly 10 other people, and NONE of them liked the way Topher played Brock/Venom. I loved it. I hate the meathead, muscle building, dumb as a brick Brock. Eddie Brock to me, is a person who is a failure at everything he does in life. His competition in life is Peter Parker, from work, to women. Peter Parker is a loser, not a cool guy, and Brock is LESS cool than trip-over-his-own-feet Peter, LESS talented than wanna-snap-a-picture Peter, and LESS suave than never-had-a-date-til-college Peter. To be 2nd best to Peter Parker is a crap slot in life, and the way that Topher's part was played and written was EXACTLY how I want to see it. Whoever decided to write the part this way and have Topher play the part gets an A+ in my book.
The good ends there though. Lets start at the beginning, shall we? We shall. The beginning sucked. I was bored stiff for roughly the first hour of the movie. I like that the movie took place immediately after the last one, that part I liked. Aunt May pouring tea for 20 minutes is NOT how I want to spend my time. Also, May is a liar, because I have never been to an east coast beach that had an island in the ocean... The Sandman getting his powers scenes were pretty descent (except all of the weird 80s action movie music), but the rest of the Sandman story was crap. Cain Marko, oops, sorry, wrong comic, FLINT Marko did NOT kill Uncle Ben. Shut up. Yes, that is all fanboy talking. Well, mostly. The entire Sandman story after his origin scenes was a waste of time, nothing good doing, fanboy NOT talking. Less said about that the better, especially Sandman's ending. Also, Sandman cannot fly. Even if he was created just for this movie, the Sandman could not fly, and if he could, he couldn't control that flight.
Plot holes. Just going to say those two words again. Plot holes. Or things to fill the story that sucked might be a better name. Marko didn't kill Ben, NYC would never hold a "THANK YOU SPIDEY" day because Spider-Man has never been loved that widely, Spider-Man does not take off his mask all the time, even if he has sand in his mask, and sorry butler dude, but you exist only to say the single dumbest thing I have ever heard ANYONE say. Harry Osbourne is a freakin moron for listening to your words, and having it change his mind. I believe you cleaned the wounds... I believe you have seen the glider before... but there is literally no way in the universe, short of you being a top CSI investigator with the world's best lab that you could know that Norman's wounds were caused by the glider blades. And yes, I know what he could have said instead to convince Harry to do what needed to be done. "Harry, think for a moment... would Spider-Man, or PETER, your best friend, stab someone, stab your father? Would he bring the body back? Would he have the courage to be your friend afterwards? No, Harry.... Peter did not kill your father, and you know it!" That would have worked a LITTLE better... JUST A LITTLE!!!!!!
My biggest complaint, though, is that this movie felt NOTHING like the other movies. The original Spider-Man had a feeling to, a real emotion, one like most movies can't even hope to have a fraction of. This movie had no emotion. I never felt bad for Mary Jane, because she never even tried to talk to Peter. Almost all of my other complaints could have been overlooked if they had found that magic feeling from the first film, but it was simply not there.
Yes, many of my complaints are about the difference between the comic and the movie storyline, but usually they don't bother me because they don't change who the character is. These changes made Spider-Man a different character, and his universe a different and strange universe. Needless to say, I was very disappointed. Taking the fanboy completely out of the equation, I still did not enjoy this movie other than the big action sequence at the end. It had no soul, it was just another mediocre big budget movie. I could go on for another 10 paragraphs about my opinions on this movie, but I will leave it there.
Sony has announced there will be 3 more Spider-Man movies produced. The Lizard had better be the villain, because Connor has been in all 3 movies, and I can see it making such an amazing dynamic for the character. Or Mysterio, played by Bruce! Let's hope they can clean this up for the next one... please... please?
(pictures courtesy Columbia Pictures)