The Patch

May 11, 2007

Friday 11th May – Spider Man 3

Filed under: Music & Film — Free Edinburgh Podcast @ 12:35 am

In my time, I’ve seen a fair few films at various cinemas across the land. And when I do, I usually go with some idea of what film I want to see, and usually this saves me from witnessing anything truly torrid (Blade Trinity aside, that big, awful, awful, tired disaster of a movie, though I was just there as other people wanted to see it mind). Never in my life did I want to see Spider Man 3. Ever. I liked the original. Even the second had its moments. But absolutely everything I’d read or seen of or about this third installment had made this the equivalent of buying a Razorlight album in my head. Just one huge ‘eurgh’.

Unfortunately, in dire need to get out of the flat I am currently residing in, and not wanting to go back until quite late, I needed something to keep me occupied until then. Pubbing was out of the option as I was quite on my own and in no desire to meet and greet anybody I did not know. I made a good start however, reading Crime and Punishment over a cup of tea in The Forest Cafe (go there kids), but that would close far too early for my needs. I made my mind up to go and see a film.

I trekked to the cinema. It wasn’t a far trek. Trek may not even be the appropriate word. Dawdled is perhaps more suitable. Anyway, I got there, with its gaudy fluorescent lighting, and posters of the latest Hollywood ‘magic’ everywhere, and what was on? Well not much. Specifically, just lots of Spider Men. Alas, I couldn’t be bothered walking anymore, so resigned myself to nearly three hours in front of a really big screen with some Irn Bru and a heavy heart.

First off, the opening credits. Just what a mess. Shambolically designed, and hideously tacky as footage of the previous two films is displayed between gaps in a web, just in case there’s the slimmest chance of any viewer forgetting just who or what Spider Man is.

Then there’s the dialogue. It’s main tendency is to be schmaltzy and trite as possible, with blatant disregard for any sense of reality or character, though some moments are just bizarre and confusing. Sand Man’s wife’s concerns over ‘truth’ are as inexplicably incoherent as Rumsfeld’s famous ‘known unknowns’ speech.

As with the previous two films, there seems to be this need to show the ‘human’ side of the villains (I say ‘show’, I mean ‘spell out in huge fuck off capital letters right onto your eyeballs with a welding iron’) to explain their actions and to give Tobey Maguire reasons not to kill them. But characters are neither developed, nor acted, well enough, to actually portray this in any meaningful way.

From what we can gather, Sand Man’s daughter is a bit ill, and for this he needs to steal what seems to be millions of dollars in order to fix. Unfortunately, the actor who plays him (I forget his name, and really don’t think he’s worth IMDBing) is just utterly emotionless throughout, giving the impression that he actually does not care. And as for how he actually became Sand Man is, even in the accepted comic book world of this film, just so tediously unrealistic and contrived that you can’t help but feel cheated. And even more so when he comes to his inevitable fate.

That bloke who plays Foreman in That Seventies Show is woefully miscast as Venom. That weak, geeky voice behind that fearsome face is embarrassing. His character is similarly underdeveloped, with the writers seemingly confused just how to create that balance of sympathy and villainy, and instead just create an unrealistic portrait of a man with no real reason to do what he does, but, you know, he does it anyway, cos it’s necessary for the story.

Being evil in Spider Man 3’s world is having an emo fringe, dressing in black, and wearing an odd bit of eyeliner. Or at least that’s what’s suggested when Peter Parker is infected by the Venom goo. I’ve heard a few people praise the dancing jazz club scene that occurs as a result of this new found personality, but it’s hideously out of place, and the comedy in it just does not work.

What comedy does work though is when we’re introduced to Bruce Campbell’s French waiter. Bruce Campbell is a brilliant man. The Evil Deads are an inspirational and unforgettable series of films for me, and he really could just about anything and I would love him. And it’s no different here, as he does inject some much needed quality into proceedings, even if all he’s doing is ripping off John Cleese. But though this scene in the restaurant works on its own, as part of the film, it just does not fit. But then again nothing really fits.

All this lack of cohesion and nonsensical plot pales in comparision to a mere two seconds of footage that is the most hideous, disgusting, depraved, squeamish piece of pornography that has ever been captured on film. You’ll know it when you see it. It involves a flag.

This is just a very poor, overblown affair that promises a lot and delivers very, very little. Action scenes are confusing, with the camera doing as much maneuvering as the stunt men, and the actual narrative, though maybe good on paper, so poorly constructed and performed that, in the end, you just do not care.

Spider Man 3 is a terrible film. An awful film. A diabolical film. Do not see it. Ever.



Record of the Week

This week, I acquired the greatest collection of songs I have heard since Alligator by The National. People who know me will know just how highly I rate that album, and Fourteen Autumns and Fifteen Winters by The Twilight Sad is almost as majestic and thrilling an LP. I cannot urge you enough to go and visit their My Space and repeatedly listen to all four songs on offer as all four make up the Record of the Week this week. On course to be the greatest Scottish band of all time.



  1. Guh, too late not to see it. Not sure what possessed me, since I’ve not seen the previous 2, but yes, I have suffered Spiderman 3, and you are right. At first, I thought it wasn’t that bad, but then I realised it was an utter pile of bollocks and basically stared at a spot on the wall for the rest of the film. Waste of £4!

    Comment by Claire — May 12, 2007 @ 7:53 pm | Reply

  2. you have simultaneously justified my inherent dislike of spiderman movies – and in fact all superhero movies – and piqued in me a deep morbid curiosity. however i’m not going to blow $8.25 (plus the cost of a drink) to confirm what i already know.

    Comment by Amie — May 21, 2007 @ 6:09 pm | Reply

  3. Just googling for a patch for my Spider-man game and came across this (a year and a half too late). While I agree that number 3 was not nearly as good as the first 2, I really enjoyed the movie. While a bit contrived, the movie was presented in true comic book fashion and kept the feel of the first two movies. IMO, it was a great movie and I loved it.

    Comment by 3nails4you — November 11, 2008 @ 4:08 am | Reply

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