Spider-Man 3 (12A)
Time Out rating:
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Time Out says
Tue May 1 2007It’s an odd response to such a mammoth movie, but ‘Spider-Man 3’ feels a bit like watching a TV season box-set – in a good way. It’s partly the sheer length, partly the well-paced but notably episodic plot, but mostly because it offers the culmination of the cohesive narrative of honesty and betrayal, to oneself and one’s loved ones, that has underscored the whole franchise. It’s an impressive achievement, balancing petty psychological foibles against citywide peril just as the CG mise en scène roves from the molecular to the multi-storey.
We open with Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire), and his girl Mary-Jane (Kirsten Dunst) in the pink, though this of course can’t last. Their schoolfriend Harry (James Franco), embittered son of the first film’s Green Goblin, is nursing Hamlet-lite revenge fantasies against our hero, who must also contend with the Dracula-Frankenstein combo of Venom – a black glob of parasitic alien symbiote that brings out its host’s dark side – and Sandman, the shape-shifting result of fugitive Flint Marko (Thomas Haden Church) being scientifically melded with, er, sand. Needless to say, this all plays havoc with everyone’s private life.
These films’ greatest pleasure is their gleefully swooping exploitation of Manhattan’s vertiginous topography – it’s a good job Spidey wasn’t hatched in, say, Holland – and this one doesn’t disappoint. Dog-fights amid skyscrapers, in the bowels of the subway and, most effectively, in a tight alleyway all exhilarate; impressively, a bare-knuckle punch-up behind closed doors packs as much wallop. Despite such action, some fine comic relief (Bruce Campbell as a French maître d’) and a few cheesy moments, the tone is ultimately more subdued than your average superhero movie. Kudos to Raimi for making it feel justified.
Author: Ben Walters
Fri May 4 2007