Spider-Man 3 Review
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You donít have to be a film critic to know that threeís a crowd. When it comes to movies, two is often bad, and three is often disastrous. So with an upcoming Summer Blockbuster Season full of Big Threes (like Shrek 3, Pirates 3, Rush Hour 3, Ocean's 13, and, of course, the first of the threes, Spider-Man 3), this summer could be filled with action-packed third-movie fun. Or it could be filled with old, overdone franchises that should have just quit while they were ahead. Itís anybodyís guess. But if Spider-Man 3 is any indicator, The Summer of Threes will beÖokay.

The third installment of director Sam Raimiís Spider-Man franchise (see reviews of Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2) finds Spidey at the top of his game. The people of New York love himóand Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) is basking in the fame. A battle with Harry Osborn (James Franco) knocks some sense into Peterís best-friend-turned-arch-enemy, and it looks like Peter may have his best friend back. Not only that, but Peterís in loveóand heís about to ask Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) to marry him. Peterís on top of the world.

But that, of course, is when things start to fall apart. All that fame goes to Peterís headóand, as a result, his relationship with struggling Broadway performer MJ begins to collapse. Flint Marko (Thomas Haden Church), the man who killed Peterís beloved uncle, breaks out of prisonóand, during his escape, he accidentally stumbles into an experiment that turns him into the Sandman, a monster that can terrorize the city King-Kong-style before disappearing in a sandstorm. And new guy Eddie Brock (Topher Grace) bettles Peter for a staff position at the Daily Bugle. Everything Peter feelsóall the pride and anger and fearóare only multiplied when he comes into contact with a strange black substance that turns him into a completely different personÖand a completely different Spider-Man.

Iíve had a love-hate relationship with the Spider-Man movies in the pastóbut the third one failed to evoke much of an emotional response out of me at all. On one hand, there were definitely things that I didnít like about it. For starters, itís really long. If you pick up a soda on your way in, youíll be racing for the bathroom as soon as the credits roll. And itís unnecessarily long. There are plenty of scenesóand even storylinesóthat could have been cut, in order to keep the action moving. The scenes in which a new smooth, arrogant, womanizing (yet still, to me, totally nerdy) Peter goes out on the town, for instance, come off looking like a bad TV commercial for menís deodorant. And thereís so much going on that itíll make your head spin. It seems like anyone can get super powers these daysójunior scientists, escaped cons, and even geeky newspaper photographers (Where do I get in line for mine?)óand the plethora of villains complicates the story. It just tries to take on way too much.

On the other hand, though, despite its flaws and its silliness and its complicated story and everything else, itís still Spider-Man. The fight scenes are exciting, and the graphics are often stunning. And, when it comes down to it, thatís what makes it fun to watch. The story, really, is just filler (even though thereís an awful lot of it). If youíre a Spider-Man fan, the coolness of the fight scenes and the costumes and the villains alone will be enough to make you love this movie. For everyone else, itís nothing special, but itís still good for a little superhero fun.

For the sake of moviegoers everywhere, however, Iím hoping for a little more excitement and a little less filler from the rest of this summerís Big Threes.

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