I took the time to rewatch Spiderman 1 and 2 over the weekend in preparation but Raimi kindly recaps the most important events of these two films in the opening credits of the 3rd.
True to Raimi’s last features our hero continues fighting those who have also turned creature-like in some way (eg, the Sandman) whilst retaining his charmingly naive and coy outlook on life. Perhaps the strength of this naivety is that it allows us to sympathise with Peter Parker more. He is not cool Mr. Perfect alien, like Superman (whose awkward Clark Kent can be seen as a mere guise for the “True hero” that lies within). Nor is he led by a butler named Alfred, or an all-knowing experienced Professor Xavier. That means like the rest of us Peter Parker must learn from his mistakes and experiences.
Such naivety, however, acts as a double-edged sword. While we can continually forgive lines like “just your friendly neighbourhood spiderman!” and “go get ’em, tiger!” because they hark back to the cheese of the original comics some lines are inexcusable and cringeworthy. Cringeworthy to the point where I wonder if they even need such cliched and redundant lines in the first place. Not all lines need be replaced with more original dialogue, some simply could have gone unsaid.
Oddly enough at one point Peter Parker is giving his girlfriend, Mary-Jane, some advice and even she interrupts him to avoid hearing a condescending speech (thankfully saving us from the same fate).
Compared to the first two films the cliche-riddled dialogue should not really be surprising. It is perhaps more noticable this time round because finally Raimi pulls out the stops and focuses more on the tension of the relationships. Of particular interest is the way Raimi addresses the conflict between Peter and Harry, which takes some interesting turns.
Unfortunately it seemed to take Raimi three films to acknowledge that this is what keeps the audience coming back. The first two films spent so much time setting up the relationship conflicts in the third that little time is left for Raimi to fully examine the complexities involved. Nonetheless it is rewarding to see the payoff.
It goes without saying that the action is phenomenal in this instalment. Just like the second film Raimi comes up with some nice elaborate settings and moves. This is what makes the two and a half hours fly by. The special effects are slickly and smoothly laid out for us too!
Though it explores a little more territory than its predecessors this film is no better but certainly no worse than Spiderman 1 and 2.
Margaret Pomeranz and David Stratton (of ABC’s “At the Movies”) give an interesting mixed review which you can view here: http://www.abc.net.au/atthemovies/txt/s1900240.htm
If you’ve seen the first two films you shouldn’t second guess seeing the third in the series. Spidey 3 is not the best film I’ve seen but it’s worthy of Raimi’s trilogy.