This is a new feature that I’d like to bring to the Dupe World. My goal with these little discussions is to look at movies that came so close to being awesome but somewhere along the way they fell short and wound up being just terrible. I feel that these are the worst type of movies to see. The ones that get your hopes up and then crush them. That show you the realms of being awesome but then just fall flat and turn out to be horrible. You’d think Hollywood would figure it out but time and time again we see these tragedies occur.
So, here we go:
The other day I had the displeasure of catching a portion of 2007’s “Spider-Man 3″ on the FX Channel. I remember the build up to this movie like it was yesterday. After a fantastic “Spider-Man 2″, everyone’s hopes were high for a solid third outing of Spider-Man. Finally we were going to see the most iconic Spider-Man villain on the silver screen – Venom. The possibilities were endless. The previews looked amazing. The buzz was loud and exciting. I had the pleasure of going with a large group of people to the midnight show to see this movie. We literally fed of each other’s excitement all night. Then the movie began. It was a tragedy of a film. I laughed at parts I should not have laughed at. I cared about none of the characters’ conflicts. I hated all the villains. It was just a sad movie.
So where did the movie go wrong? Let’s break down the film:
1). Acting. Acting was never an issue with this series (except James Franco who I appreciate but have never found to be all that interesting). They always took the material seriously and brought much needed depth to the characters.
2) Action. This sequel was not short on incredible action sequences. From Peter Parker’s first romp with the New Goblin, to Spider-Man’s final (and only) fight with Venom, everything was directed and edited perfectly and in such a way that it was able to put you on the edge of your seat and keep you there throughout most of the movie (except the dancing scenes – I went to the bathroom). I will give it to Sam Raimi, the man knows how to give the audience some amazing eye candy when it came to his action pieces. He up’d it in this movie and did an fantastic job.
3) Plot. Some would say there was too much plot here. I tend to agree but I loved the progression of the Spider-Man character throughout the course of the trilogy. The first movie focused on him learning to be Spider-Man. The second one focused on him accepting his role as Spider-Man. The third one showed us the dark side of a superhero. It allowed the audience the chance to see what would happen if ego got in the way and the desire to avenge someone’s death overshadowed finding justice for them. It could have been the most in-depth look at the psyche of a superhero.
1. Villains. Too many villains! Why can’t sequels be one on one like the first movie? Why do you have to jam it full of villains? Also, how can you screw up Venom? Simple: Topher Grace. He was fantastic in “That 70s Show” but he is NOT Eddie Brock (even Jr.). He was not intimidated enough. I get that he was meant to be a doppelganger to Peter Parker, but that is not Eddie Brock. And would it kill those making a Spider-Man movie to make a villain who was actually a villain? I am tired of seeing Spider-Man’s foes being individuals who have good hearts but other circumstances get in the way. In the first Spider-Man Norman Osborn became evil when he took the Goblin serum. Okay, I’ll take it. Doc Oc was only bad because his tentacles messed with his mind. Eh, okay. Now Sandman is not really evil, he’s just trying to get money for his sick daughter? Come on, already. Yeah, you had Venom who could have been considered evil, but he was done so poorly and revealed so late in the movie that it didn’t matter by that point because I had already checked out. I want a villain I can hate, not one I understand.
2. Emo Peter Parker. Okay, I get it. We needed to see the duality of Peter Parker. We needed to see the difference between him with and without the symbiote. Did he really need to be emo? Wait, why is his hair dangling in front of his eyes and why is he now wearing skinny jeans and a black jacket? Oh, he must be wearing the black suit underneath his clothes! Makes sense? No. Stupid. Also, Emo Spider-Man likes to dance. I got nothing more to say about that because it nauseated me.
3. Venom. Yes, I discussed villains earlier and while Venom falls under that category, he get’s his own as well. Why? Because he is Venom! He was the villain that we had been waiting for since the series began. He’s the one everyone wants to see. He’s the reason most went to go see this movie. What did we get? He shows up with twenty minutes left in the movie. No lie. The lead villain, the one everyone would have rather saw doesn’t show up until the very end of the movie. He is in it for the final big action sequence and then that was it. False advertising in my opinion. Don’t show me Venom and then not really use him. This is not a video game. He is not a big boss. He is Venom. I wanted more of him. The worst part about it (look away if you’ve never seen) THEY KILL HIM OFF! Well, that really doesn’t entirely bother me. If they killed off that version of Eddie Brock I would have been fine with but they kill both. I guess at least he looked like Venom even if he was a lot smaller then he should have been.
With so much going for it, it just seemed like Sam Raimi had this movie set up in his head with Sandman as the main villain and then was told to add Venom to the mix, which made this cake taste like shit. I remember hearing rumors that Raimi was not a fan of Venom and really didn’t want him in the feature. Well, it showed. They could have salvaged it if they broke it down into two movies – the first focusing on Sandman and the second being about Venom but they didn’t do that. They crammed a 139 minute movie with so much (3 villains and a new love interest) that it just didn’t work . I am still sad when I think of this movie and the possibilities it offered.