Dad: Not enough Venom; Lad: Just enough action

Friday, May 4, 2007
"Spider-Man 3" opens nationwide today. (Provided photo)


Grade: B+

What's Good: The action is top notch, as you truly see Spidey doing everything you wanted to see him do in the first two films. Great Fun.

What's Not: Not enough Venom. As, in my opinion, the coolest villain Spider-Man faces, he did not have nearly enough screen time.


Grade: A

What's Good: The thing I thought was good was Venom because he looked cool. I liked Harry the best because of all of his cool weapons.

What's Not: I didn't like, well, I pretty much liked the whole movie. There really wasn't anything I didn't like.

Let's not kid ourselves. "Spider-Man 3" is going to have a tough time living up to all of the hype. The second film set box office records and was an improvement on a terrific first film. What more could we have to look forward to in the third entry?

While the story is not nearly as good, nor is the film as complete as the second, "Spider-Man 3" is definitely the most entertaining of the trilogy.

The film finds our hero, Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire), having found balance in his life between being a student and a superhero, and his true love, Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst). But, as you might expect, there is trouble on the horizon.

Former best friend Harry Osborn (James Franco) has become obsessed with destroying Spider-Man, having found the green goblin formula and used it on himself.

In addition, the true killer of Peter's uncle, Ben Parker, is revealed to be Flint Marko (Thomas Haden Church), an escaped convict with a history of bad luck. Marko, in a true highlight of the film, finds himself in the wrong place at the wrong time and is transformed into the Sandman, changing his molecular structure to that of sand, giving him unbelievable powers.

To top that off, mysterious black ooze has attached itself to Peter's spidey suit giving him new powers and a new, more enraged personality. As his arrogance increases, Peter distances himself from the people he loves and soon learns the powers his new suit is giving him, are also changing him.

This results is Peter freeing himself from this black ooze in a climatic scene. As luck would have it, the ooze attaches itself to a new-found enemy of Peter, Eddy Brock (Topher Grace), thus creating the strongest enemy spider-man has ever faced, Venom.

Lots of enemies and many plot twists are at the heart of this movie. Not to mention more action than both of the first two films combined. There were almost too many things going on, making both Lad and I wonder how they would tie everything together in the end.

So why the "B+" grade from Dad? Well, the thing I was looking forward to the most in this film was Venom. He is, by far, my favorite bad guy in the Marvel Universe and seeing him and Spider-Man square off in live action on the big screen -- well, it is the things dreams are made of.

Sadly, he is limited to less than 30 minutes of screen time, and the pure evil we see from him in the comics is lost with too much Topher Grace.

That being said, this movie is as entertaining as they come. From the opening credits, we were glued to our seats waiting for the next action sequence. The movie is predictable and not nearly as well written as number two, but remains a must-see this summer.

And for all the talk about this being the last film, forget it. Whether director Sam Raimi or the rest of the cast return, we will see many more Spider-Man films. In fact, Sony has already slated the fourth entry for 2009.

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