Opening 3 May 2007
Once again, Sam Raimi directs Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst and James Franco in the on-going adventures of one of Marvel's most popular comic heroes. The story and script are credited to Sam Raimi, Ivan Raimi and Alvin Sargent.
Peter Parker's (Maguire) life as a newspaper photographer and superhero has reached a certain balance. Mary Jane (Dunst) loves both alter-egos, and former college friend, Harry Osborn, has lost his memory and forgotten that he ever held a grudge against Peter. Unfortunately, life can not be that simple. In episode 3, Spider-Man has to fight the Sandman (Thomas Haden Church), a reluctant criminal turned into a sandy monster as the result of falling into a scientific experiment, and Venom (Topher Grace), a disgraced photojournalist, while also struggling against the darker side of his own nature, enhanced by a black version of his traditional Spider-Man costume. As though that were not enough, Harry recovers his memory and the grudge.
That is the very simplest way to present the story behind Spider Man 3. The full version is much more convoluted, pasted together like pieces of a puzzle that do not quite fit. The effects, however, are as stunning as ever and the Sandman, in particular, is very impressive. Maguire's gradual metamorphosis into an arrogant, swaggering macho-man is quite entertaining, but the other characters remain rather predictable and uninteresting.
With such a weak storyline, I would say the movie is only for action, special effects, and, possibly, Tobey Maguire fans. (Osanna Vaughn)