SPIDER-BAN - WHERE SPIDER-MAN 3 WENT WRONG

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Spiderman 3 I have a 6-year-old son and a comic-mad husband, so it’s safe to say my household is pretty much superhero central most of the time. Our DVD shelves are resplendent with Avengers, Batmen, Supermen, and, more importantly, Spider-Men. But there’s one Spidey film that is not only NEVER shown in our house, but we’ve actually had to impose a ban on even discussing it because it makes us so incredibly ANGRY. And, much like the Hulk, you wouldn’t like us when we’re angry…


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But, it being #Spidertember and all, I’ve decided to undergo my own kind of therapy and set down once and for all the five main reasons why WE HATE SAM RAIMI’S SPIDERMAN 3.*

*For clarity, I should explain that whenever you see capital letters in this article, it’s because I’m trying not to swear (much). So if you see something written in capitals, please feel free to imagine me swearing, ranting, and chewing chunks out of my keyboard in impotent rage.

Spiderman 3 - Toby
1) Dances with Emos

I don’t know anyone who didn’t inwardly cringe at the sight of Tobey Maguire with his new ‘evil fringe’ doing a Gene Kelly down the sidewalk to the tune of James Brown. OK, we get that he’s gone over to the Marvel version of the dark side due to the influence of the alien goo, but really? You couldn’t think of a subtler and less ridiculous way to do this than with a fringe and some dad-dancing? I’m going to give Sam Raimi the benefit of the doubt here, and assume that the idea behind this was to piss off the movie execs who forced him to shove Venom into his movie.


2) Sandman Overboard

I loved Sandman as a villain: the sequence where he first tries to piece himself together after the accident is stunning, and Thomas Hayden Church made for a compelling and sympathetic bad guy. So why, dear lord why, did they feel the need to rewrite comic-book lore (and the previous Spider-Man movies) and have Sandman be the guy who offed Peter’s uncle? It made NO SENSE WHATSOEVER. Not only that, but it also undermined Spidey’s motivation in both previous films, rendering them essentially pointless.


Mary-Jane-Watson
3) No-Brain Mary-Jane

Now I know that, technically, Kirsten Dunst as Mary-Jane Watson is incredibly irritating in all three Spider-Man films, but she really knocks it out of the park in this one. I’m not even remotely a feminist, and I’m not one to bang on about the need for strong female characters, especially in comic book movies. But if ever there was a character that needed an actual plot other than pouting and getting kidnapped / rescued, it’s this woman. I can’t think of a single other character whose seeming sole purpose for existing is to be placed in extreme peril, scream loudly, and flail her arms about like a moron while waiting for her boyfriend to save her. Sigh.


4) Anti-Venom

I can only assume that, when this movie was in pre-production, some wise-ass movie producer said something along the lines of ‘hey, the fans really want to see Venom in a Spider-Man movie, why not shoe-horn him unnecessarily into this one and screw over the whole narrative structure... that’ll work, right?’. WRONG. Of all the trespasses committed by this film, this is probably the worst. You do NOT take one of the most recognizable, kick-ass villains in the epic Spider-Man baddie back-catalog, and lump him in in the last twenty minutes with some dodgy CGI, and then expect to get away with it. You either have the balls to make a Venom-centric movie in the first place or you set him up for the next movie as the end-credits roll. We were not happy at all.


Harry Osbourne
5) Harry-Kari

Now I have no problems with James Franco’s Harry Osbourn taking on his doolally daddy’s green getup in this film. It works after a fashion (the fashion being that everything else is so breathtakingly horrendous anyway so who the hell cares anymore?) but his death at the end of the film instigated some of the worst (and most nauseating) on-screen crying ever committed to celluloid. I can’t help feeling that no one ever thought to ask Tobey Maguire to cry in any of his Spider-Man auditions, if they had, then Spidey history might have been much different (although, I hasten to add that this film would have sucked mightily even in an alternative universe). A tip for any aspiring actors out there: if your waterworks over the death of your best friend leaves half the audience giggling and the other half vomiting spontaneously into their popcorn in revulsion – you’re probably not doing it right.

Now if I had a sixth point to conclude on, it would be that the main, and irrefutable reason that this film makes me so unbearably angry is that the previous one, Spider-Man 2, was tantamount to superhero perfection. How can the same team get it so right in one sequel, then so unforgivably wrong in the next? It’s simple. They committed the cardinal sin of movie makers everywhere -- they gave the fans what they wanted. Idiots.



This article was brought to you by the one and only, Zoe Butcher.

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