March 31 2012
Review #5: The Spiderman Trilogy
This is a special kind of review. For this one I will explain all of the films separate and then again as a whole. THIS WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS!
I will review them in the order of their release: SPIDERMAN (2002), SPIDERMAN 2 (2004), and SPIDERMAN 3 (2007)
SPIDERMAN: When this first came out there could not have been enough hype about it. Everywhere people were excited because there had never been a movie about MARVEL’S #1 superhero before. I remember as a kid 10 years ago standing in line to see this movie that was around the building of the movie theater in order to get in to see it. It was crazy. When I saw the movie on the screen for the first time it was incredible: action scenes were kick ass, story was good, villain was great, and spiderman was just as cool as always. Looking back on it now it just seems… ok.
Plot: Peter Parker (Toby McGuire), a normal teenager in high school gets bitten by a radioactive spider whilst on a field trip with his class mates that gives him superpowers. He is best friends with Harry Osborn (James Franco) and has a crush on Marry Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) and lives with his Aunt May (Rosemarry Harris) and Uncle Ben (Cliff Robertson). In order to get money, Peter becomes a photographer for The Daily Bugle and takes orders from his boss J. Jonah Jameson (J.K. Simmons). Harry’s father, Norman Osborn (Willem Dafoe), is the head of Oscorp developing a new kind of super strength formula that backfires and turns him into Spiderman’s legendary nemesis: The Green Goblin. Norman then uses his new powers to destroy his enemies and Spiderman must stop him in order to save NYC.
Positive Things: While this movie is not the greatest in terms of acting, or plot line for that matter, it does have some amazing special effects and great fight scenes between The Green Goblin and Spiderman.
Negative Things: The acting here is below the line of average (mainly that from Toby McGuire which is a shame since he is the main character), plot line seems crazy at some points and does not really make sense in some areas, cast doesn’t really feel like there is any chemistry between them, and honestly looking back Raimi got things wrong here in terms of origins and how the characters got their powers. Yes I know that directors can change up the plot line in order to say that this happened this way but honestly I like superhero movies that tend to focus on what was already written instead of what has not happened before.
Cameos: Bruce Campbell appears as the fighting announcer that gives Peter Parker the name of “Spiderman”, Macy Gray appears as herself performing in NY, and Stan Lee is saved by Spiderman before part of a building falls on him.
IMDB Score: 7.4
My Score: 6.9
SPIDERMAN 2: Before The Dark Knight came out into theaters I honestly thought that this was the best superhero movie ever made. OK so there were still some things to fix (like Toby McGuire for example) but hoenstly I liked SPIDERMAN 2 the best out of all the SPIDERMAN films thus far.
Plot: Peter Parker (Toby McGuire) is now a college student with a hectic life and cannot seem to find a break. He is constantly forced to choose being Spiderman or being Peter Parker and the stress is getting to him immensly, even though his Aunt May (Rosemarry Harris) tries to help him whenever she can. As the pressure becomes too great, Peter starts to lose control over his powers and decides never to be Spiderman again in order to have a normal life. After the death of his father, Harry Osborn (James Franco) becomes obsessed with trying to find out who Spiderman is in order to get his revenge and kill him once and for all. After discovering who Spiderman is, Harry finds the strengh enhancing gas that turned his father into the Green Goblin as well as a personal armory full of Goblin weapons. After Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) was rejected by Peter after SPIDERMAN 1, she has begun dating astronaut John Jameson (Daniel Gillies), the son of J. Jonah Jameson (J.K. Simmons) which leaves Peter trying to win over Mary Jane in the process. Mary Jane is also a successful actress now and appears as the star in a production of “The Importance of Being Earnest”. Dr. Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina) becomes the villain Doctor Octopus after an experiment to try and create fusion energy fails and he becomes melded to four metal cybernetic arms. Peter must try and stop Doctor Octopus from destroying NY after his experiment proves to be too powerful to control.
Positive Things: Raimi redeemed himself here with this one because he paid more attention to the details that were in the comics for SPIDERMAN 2 to work. I mean it is all there: Peter stops being Spiderman, Doctor Octopus becomes a villain after his experiment is a failure, and the battle between them at the end that proves that Doc Ock is not really a monster but really just a man trying to save his life’s work. Something else that is improved is the plot. While there are some loop holes, the story just keeps you focused on what is going on and really just makes you want to stay throughout the movie till the very end and see how it leads into SPIDERMAN 3. Also the special effects are still awesome and the fight sequences are fantastic.
Negative Things: OK. Acting is still a problem here. I honestly don’t know how Raimi could have gotten away with this a second time with really bad acting from McGuire and now a little from Franco here. The cast again does not feel like there is any connection to them except that they are all in the same movie together, and there are points in the movie that really are just stupid, corny, and just steers you away from what is going on instead of including the main story.
Cameos: Bruce Campbell returns again in this movie but this time as an usher for the play that Mary Jane Watson is starring in, Donna Murphy plays Octavius’ wife, Stan Lee is seen at the bank where Doctor Octopus is, and Willem Dafoe returns as the Green Goblin/Norman Osborn at the very end of the movie as a hallucination of his son Harry.
IMDB Score: 7.5
My Score: 7.9
SPIDERMAN 3: Last one of the SPIDERMAN movie trilogy and they saved the worst for last. They didn’t improve on any of the problems from the other 2 films… all this one did was just add flame to the burning fire of failure.
Plot: The final story is about Peter Parker (Toby McGuire) finally asking Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst) to marry him but things happen along the way that cause the marriage proposal to be hindered. An alien symbiote comes to NY and finds its way to Peter which causes him to have an increase in his powers but at the same time turns him into a huge jerk. Meanwhile, Harry Osborn (James Franco) plans an attack on Peter and becomes the new “green goblin” which results in him losing his memory for a short while about who Spiderman is. When he remembers who Spiderman is, Harry forces Mary Jane to leave Peter or else he will die. Mary Jane breaks up with Peter and he is devastated. Peter learns that Flint Marko (Thomas Haden Church) is actually the guy who killed his Uncle Ben and sets out to get revenge on what he has done. What Peter doesn’t know is that Marko was recently part of a freak accident that caused him to turn into the Sandman giving him sand like powers. During this time, Eddie Brock (Topher Grace), an upstart reporter for the Daily Bugle, frames Spiderman for a crime using photoshop on his pictures. Peter exposes him and Brock swears revenge on Peter. Peter catches up to Marko and nearly kills him in an underground train station. Peter then goes to the bell tower to get rid of the symbiote once and for all and the symbiote goes to Brock instead transforming him into Venom. Venom and the Sandman team up to kill Spiderman. Harry comes to the rescue and helps Peter beat them both resulting in Brock being destroyed and Marko fleeing off after him and Peter talk. The movie ends with Peter and Mary Jane wondering where their relationship will go next (Rosemarry Harris, J.K. Simmons, and Bryce Dallas Howard star as Aunt May, J. Jonah Jameson, and Gwen Stacey in the movie as well).
Positive Things: While the movie is very flawed, again the action scenes are great, the special effects are incredible and while the story is confusing sometimes, the fight sequences in them won’t keep you bored.
Negative Things: OK. Where to begin? Well the first thing is the plot. THERE ARE TONS of things going on in this movie that did not need to either happen and/or were left out. It was hard to keep track to be honest. You got something here, another there, yada yada yada… Also Venom and the Sandman were.. terrible. YES they were terrible. I think the weaker of the two was Thomas Hayden Church cause we know Flint Marko as just a thug for hire who doesn’t have a conscience. But in here… he has a family and a daughter and he just appears really weak the entire time through and, to be quite honest, worthless. Venom is just as bad but should have been the only villain. I mean he is only really Venom at the very end and … well he dies so he is not coming back! F! Also there were rediculous dialogue moments, the cast, once again, feels out of place with each other, and it just felt like this movie was thrown together without thought about what the hell all these characters got to do with each other.
Cameos: Bruce Campbell returns again but this time as a waiter, Stan Lee talks to Peter in one scene where he talks about Spiderman, and Willem Dafoe returns again as the Green Goblin/Norman Osborn as a halucination of Harry’s mind.
IMDB Score: 6.3
My Score: 6.3
So overall I think the three movies together are ranging within the 7’s or C – C+ area. While they are not the best superhero movies ever made I would still give them a look. I would recommend doing it before this June because the new one (The Amazing Spiderman) is going to come out and hopefully give us something new that we have not seen before with Spiderman in general. Plus it’ll be nice to see a new director on hands for a change.