I went to see Spiderman 3 last night, and as I appear to the best first person on my Friends list to post a review, I’ll be the first person on my Friends list to post a review.

Overall, I thought it was good. My general opinion on superhero movies, especially Marvel ones, is that the movie shouldn’t focus on the superhero aspect, so much as the secret identity of the hero in question. For example: Ghost Rider was less about a guy with kewl powers (the actually Ghost Rider sequences were sort of throw-away), but more about a guy who doesn’t know if he deserves to even ask for forgiveness.

In the case of Spiderman, I feel that they managed to do that admirably. In fact, you don’t see Spidey in his suit for the first half hour of the film. Granted, there’s one fight sequence with Peter in street clothes, but you get the idea.

Honestly, if this film suffered, it was largely because they tried to fit so much into the film that, while they pulled it together at the end, caused the viewer to spend the rest of the movie trying to follow four disparate, episodic, and only vaguely related plotlines. Basically, you’d spend 15 minutes watching him deal with the Sandman, then that plot would go to bed for a while while we spend 15 minutes catching up on Peter’s love life, then 15 watching Harry, then 15 dealing with Eddie Brock, and repeat. Like I said, they pulled it all together at the end, but getting through the drastic story shifts throughout was a little disconcerting.

I liked how they dealt with the symbiont. They introduced it easily and almost seamlessly slid it into the plot. The use of Doc Conners throughout bodes well for an appearance of the Lizard in the fourth film, making it easier to sympathize with the villain without having to fabricate a dying child in order to do it. It seems, however, that Sam and Ivan Raimi added an extra power to the symbiont: extended exposure to it causes a person to be involved in their own personal musical in various settings throughout New York City. Basically, the way the writer/director decided to show Peter’s newfound freedom as a result of the black suit and it’s mood-altering properties is to have him dancing everywhere he goes, culminating with a Spidey-style routine at a jazz club in the second half of the film. It was entertaining as hell, but seemed so nonsequiter.

Overall, I thought it was at least on par with the previous two films. It set up some excellent character issues that it worked with, it tied up the Goblin plot that was getting a little old (Mary actually brought that one up), it introduced Venom (like to see him return in the next film), and generally kept people’s attention throughout. It mixed and matched characters and events from the comics (Eddie Brock has a thing for Gwen Stacy, for example), but it did it well and within the continuity of the franchise, so I was quite happy with that. Stan Lee and Bruce Campbell cameos were fantastic. I knew Bruce’s was coming up as soon as I saw the snapping fingers. There were five, count them, five, Raimis involved in this picture: Sam to direct, Ivan to write, Ted in a small acting roll, and two Raimi children at the final fight sequence. How’s that for family togetherness?

Major props to James Franco and Topher Grace for their excellent jobs in supporting rolls for this film. In many respects, I think they at points were more believable than Tobey McGuire and played on my emotions well. Also, love the shot toward the end just before the Sandman shows up to apologize and leaves.

Overall, four out of five Kaorus (I needed some sort of ranking system, and who’s more awesome than me, who gets six out of five Kaorus?)

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