Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Never seen Sun Plaza so crowded before. Must be because today is the opening day for Spider-Man 3, and it's the Labour Day holiday to boot! A blockbuster tends to bring in good business for the mall too.

How was Spidey 3? Well, it was slick with a bunch of amazing CGI effects. Venom came off quite believably, though he didn't have as much screen time as I'd hoped. The Sandman, well, we've seen before, not all that much different visually from the sandstorm in The Mummy Returns, and I think they tested some of that sand-cloud effect in Ghost Rider from a couple of months earlier.

Compared to the previous 2 movies, #3 had a rather patchy storyline. Too many story threads being woven into too short a time frame to tell it all in. There was also a lack of a strong villain character holding the plot together, the way the Goblin in #1 and Doc Ock in #2 brought focus to the earlier 2. The Sandman, I suppose, came closest, but while he had pathos, his psychosis was not really from within himself, but rather as a result of being in wrong place at the wrong time. With Venom and the New Goblin, there are too many villain types sharing the spotlight. That may be a great opportunity for lots of action sequences, but dilutes the characterizations of each.

Speaking of character dilution, poor Gwen Stacey got the short end of the stick. She got an exciting sequence in the movie, but what Peter did to her was unforgivable, black costume notwithstanding. I know allowances have to be made for the film genre, but Gwen was Peter's first love and her character should never have been treated so shabbily. I'll always consider Loeb and Sale's 'Blue' as THE definitive Gwen Stacey story. So there.

Nevertheless, Spidey 3 still manages to play with our emotions (though not up to the intensity of 2). Not often a blockbuster movie ends with grown men shedding tears for each other, and perhaps some of the audience along with them. And JJJ and the Maitre 'd played by Bruce Campbell prove that the funniest scenes belong to those characters that take themselves the most seriously.

The Spidey franchise still thrills visually and charms emotionally, but it is getting a little tired and needs a nice long rest after this episode. In showbiz you always have to leave the audience begging for more.

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