MarvelBlog Retro Review: Spider-Man 3 (2007)
In the third movie in the Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy, starring Tobey Maguire and released in 2007, Peter Parker ends up facing one too many villains… but there are still some fun moments in the mix!
Bad Guys Galore
In the third Spider-Man movie in the Maguire-Verse trilogy, Spidey has plenty of villains with whom to contend, and it’s almost too much even for the viewer.
First up, there’s the “New Goblin” (as he’s called in the credits): Harry Osborne (James Franco), who, in Spider-Man 2, discovered that his father Norman (Willem Dafoe) was the Green Goblin in the first Spider-Man. This has caused Harry to go to “the Green side,” and we get to see how he comes out swinging after two movies of setup. This villain makes a lot of sense!
The second villain is Sandman (Thomas Haden Church). This villain sort of makes sense, but he’s a little bit of a retcon, rewriting what you know about the incident that lead to Uncle Ben’s death in the first Spider-Man.
But the third villain, Venom, makes little to no sense!
Sure, we all want to see the infamous symbiote, but in spite of the fact that this movie trilogy already had the setup for an extraterrestrial Spidey-suit – in the second movie, MJ (Kirsten Dunst) is dating an astronaut, after all – they just have the creature fall into the park on a meteorite.
And while Topher Grace is a good choice for Eddie Brock, there’s so many bad guys that you when the story focuses on Sandman or the Goblin, you spend so much time away from Venom that you almost forget what he’s up to.
However, while the third movie in the trilogy may be overstuffed, there are still some very fun moments, especially when Sandman is robbing an armored car (one of the guards is played by one of the movie’s producers, so you know that they had a lot of fun on set that day).
Plus, it is nice to see the conclusion of the story about Peter, MJ, and Harry, which was obviously what Raimi felt was the heart of the story.
No Danny Elfman
One last gripe: Danny Elfman worked on Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2, but he left production part of the way through Spider-Man 3, leaving the music to be completed by another composer… and while I mean no disrespect, there’s just no touching a Raimi/Elfman team-up!
Fortunately, these two creators reunited for Oz the Great and Powerful, and they’re currently hard at work on post-production for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which will feature the talents of director Raimi, composer Elfman, and cameo actor extraordinaire Bruce Campbell. Groovy!