Tuesday, May 08, 2007

REVIEW: Spider-Man 3 - The second half sucks

"Spidey kisses classmate, MJ upset
MJ kisses Harry, Spidey upset"

Reminds you of millions of Bollywood films, doesn't it? If only director Sam Raimi had sought the services of Karan Johar, Spider-Man 3 would have been an emotional rollercoaster.

Alas! Spider-Man 3 suffers from surfeit. Love triangle apart, two new villains, their sob stories and a mysterious symbiote that flies in from outer space (how or why is never explained).

All Raimi can do is desperately try to salvage the different threads. The Spidey-Mary Jane love track stumbles (over MJ's botched debut on Broadway and an upside-down kiss), foe-turned-friend-turned-foe-turns-friend (Goblin junior Harry has selective amnesia), photographer Eddie wants revenge on Spidey for humiliating him and 'stealing' his girlfriend Gwen.

As for the villains (that would be too harsh a word coz all Spider-Man villains are nice at heart and victims of circumstance), the real killer of Ben Parker falls into a radioactive sandpit and turns into a Ruthless Sandman who robs banks to save his daughter's life.

Meanwhile, oozy symbiote turns Spidey into bad guy for a while. His slimy suit falls on Eddie transforming the latter into Venom. No more spoilers. Go watch the movie.

The big winner (and of course the reason why the third instalment in the series is breaking box-office records) are the special effects. They are good. Seriously. The chase sequences, how Franco turns Sandman, Harry vs Spidey are all top-notch edge-of-your-seat stuff.

The problem is the second half. The emotions are there but the emote-ing ones are not. Some bad acting by Tobey (can't really cry), Kirsten does her falling-from-skyscraper bit (again!), the symbiote can't really stand the sound of bells (blasted ear-drums I presume) and some bad attempts at Travoltaesque dancing (Tobey again)

You desperately wait for the film to end and on at least two occasions, I guarantee you will make the mistake of thinking it's over.

If not for the special effects and a certain scene in a French restaurant, the movie would have been a dud. I hear they will be making Spider-Man 4. Mr Raimi, please hire Karan Johar for that one. He'll teach you a thing or two about emotions.

Rating: ***

P.S. If you haven't watched Spider-Man or Spider-Man 2 before reading this review, am sorry you won't understand a thing

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