I usually get my hopes up. I know you're not supposed to do that, but just like death, taxes, and a Meryl Streep Oscar nomination, it happens. The thing is, my expectations are often met when it counts, when I really, REALLY think I'm going to like a movie. After all, I was right about Bridesmaids and Easy A and Revolutionary Road and Peter Pan (2003) and...you get the picture. Still, we can't always bowl a 300, and some gutter balls hurt more than others.
Spider-Man 3 (2007)
Maybe this is an easy out. Practically EVERYBODY who ever cared about Spider-Man as a character/comic book/TV show/multi-million dollar film franchise was disappointed by the third installment of Sam Raimi's trilogy. But you have to understand how much I love Spider-Man.
The first two movies got me through high school. Literally. I was in love with the Big Man on Campus Prom King Homecoming King Varsity Football Player. And if you've ever seen a teen movie, you know what kind and understanding gentlemen they can be. So, to deal with my unrequited love for him, I turned to movies...movies with nice, nerdy boys stuck in the same romantic shit-uation as me. Nice nerdy boys who could save me from rapists and then kiss me upside down in the rain...sigh.
Plus, I've always had a thing for Tobey Maguire since 1998's Pleasantville, where he also plays a sensitive, trivia obsessed nerd who saves women from rapists.
Anyway, I love Spider-Man. I loved the first movie from the get go. Spider-Man 2 took a little longer. You see, I didn't think Peter and M.J. should have gotten together until the third movie. I think it should've just ended when Norman Osborn tells Harry to AVENGE ME!!! But no...M.J. had to leave that poor astronaut at the altar, which meant her and Peter's relationship would have to be fucked up come the sequel.
And, boy howdy, is it! Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire), nerdy college student by day, and web-slinging superhero by night, has finally reached his life long goal of dating girl next door and burgeoning Broadway star, Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst). But what goes up must come down. Peter's former BFF Harry Osborn (James Franco) still thinks Peter murdered his father and becomes New Goblin to take his vengeance. Then there's Flint Marko (Thomas Haden Church), an escaped convict who falls into a particle accelerator and emerges as Sandman who robs banks to save his poor dying daughter. Then there's Eddie Brock, Jr. (Topher Grace) a rival photographer at the Daily Bugle desperate to out-shoot Peter. THEN there's Peter's cute and bubbly lab partner Gwen Stacy (Bryce Dallas Howard) who may or may not have a crush on him. AND THEN there's this mysterious black goo from space...you get the picture.
The common complaint of Spider-Man 3 is too many villains, too many plot lines, too many love triangles, too much thrusting and too much guy-liner.
All this could be forgiven if only IT WEREN'T THE LAST IN THE TRILOGY. To me, the great tragedy isn't the eager chaos of Spider-Man 3, it's the poor legacy it leaves. It's a sad conclusion to a trilogy that began with a BANG! Gee Whiz awesomeness and improved by an emotionally satisfying, yet still action packed sequel. And this, this is how it ends. [SPOILERS] Harry is dead. The whole Venom story is compressed and wasted. Peter and M.J. basically have to start all over because he hit her...arg. I had high, high, high hopes for a Spider-Man 4. Maybe it could bring it back down earth? Maybe it could bring some honor and respectability back to the franchise?
But, wait a minute. What's that you say? They're rebooting the Spider-Man movies?
I guess now is as good as ever to tell you that we here at Popped Density whole-heartedly support the reboot, The Amazing Spider-Man (2012). We also support Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker due to his stellar acting chops seen in The Social Network and quotes like this:
“I had the wonderful fortune of meeting [Tobey] after we finished shooting, I didn’t seek him out, but he sent a very, very, very nice email I think once it was announced to [the producer] basically giving me his blessing. It meant the world to me because I respect him so much as an actor generally, and especially what he did with the role that I’m now assuming."Plus, he looks like this:
All that being said, I still like Spider-Man 3, even if it is the weakest of the trilogy. I don't love it, mind you...but I could never hate it. I even saw it in theaters 5 times just in case it was the last time I got to see Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man on the big screen. Good for me for having foresight.