Surfin' the Web
Spider-Man 3
Review by Ross Anthony

With great anticipation, this film had theaters opening hours earlier than normal. I caught the 9:45 AM showing at my local Edwards Theatre (and that was the 3rd screening of the day!).

Swinging from scene to scene with the agility of the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man himself, the film ascends far above the standard action film. Each scene is carefully directed, scripted, shot. The characters are real, well-rounded and each involved in a particular unique real-ish circumstance. And what with a complicated web of romantic entanglement its even almost soapy. The first act is beautiful, absolutely beautiful, and all of this before the plethora of special effects kick in.

Then, for comic relief, to lighten the emotional edge J.K Simmons cracks up the audience with his over-the-top caricature of the Daily Bugle Boss. Carrying the light-heartedness further scurries in Topher Grace whos Peter Parker's photographer competition. Along the way seeds are planted creating curiosity, but its not until they sprout in the second hour that this whole magnificent orchestration comes tumbling down.

And what a mess it becomes. Ill take a guess that producers felt that just one super-villain wasnt enough because they worked in two more (perhaps citing the 3 in the title of the film). Thomas Haden Church is a strong actor he was great in Sideways, but the scripting here fails him. Further, the second surprise villain (who I wont reveal here), takes an absurd turn for the worst which could have been handled so much better in the scripting. The most valid villain at the center of this story is obviously Harry. Hes the only one of the three with any depth of character. The only one working. Its his struggle with his dark side that is so interesting. But, the script gets confused further when Peter takes a walk on the dark side as well. Unfortunately, the prelude to that walk is disproportionally underdeveloped. It could have been powerful, but it feels like a different film from the romantic open and a feeble second to Harrys choices.

For all of these reasons the film flounders substantially for almost an entire hour. Loose ends begin to meet in the last twenty minutes culminating in a rather formulaic tie up and then an oddly off-mood resolution. All told, that first hour is something special and even amidst the mess of the second half, there is some great action to watch so Ill average the film out at a B. (Both Spider-Man and Spider-Man2 scored higher.)

This film screened at an Edwards/Regal Cinema.

-- Book Contest --

  • Spider-Man 3. Copyright © 2007.
  • Starring Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, Thomas Haden Church, James Franco, Topher Grace, Bryce Dallas Howard, Theresa Russell, James Cromwell, J.K Simmons, Dylan Baker, Rosemary Harris.
  • Directed by Sam Raimi.
  • Screenplay by Alvin Sargent, Ivan Raimi.
  • Produced by Laura Ziskin, Avi Arad, Grant Curtis at Columbia.

Grade..........................B (2/4)

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Copyright © 1998-2023 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

Last Modified: Friday, 04-May-2007 16:16:26 PDT