Friday, May 25, 2007
Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man (2002) is arguably the finest comic book movie so far, managing to hold tight to the actual comic’s origins and intentions, executed with a cinematic flair for texture and misc-en-scene, and packed to the gills with a giddy, humorous brio. His Spider-Man 2 (2004) arrived equally enticing, although it suffered a bit from it’s over reliance on doomy-gloomy love and souped-up comic style danger, by and large it satisfied both the fanboys and the movie masses. Raimi’s latest, Spider-Man 3 sports much more of the same delicious eye-candy and and jolts of celluloid rushes, but it winds down as something of a mish-mash, peopled with an over excess of villains, a weirdly jokey hero-goes-to-the-darkside sidebar, and enough plot contrivances to send you back to Comic Book History 101. Sure, Raimi’s too damn talented drive his franchise into that pure popcorn niche (Spidey 3 has more than it’s share of bravura sequences and indelible pop imagery), but this third installment feels more than a little rote, a touch too designer, more pandering than stimulating. It’s not exactly soulless, much of it is indeed rousingly good diversion, but its blockbuster-for blockbuster elements soak up far too much of the Spidey mojo. For the first time you can see and feel Raimi generating some good old -fashioned flop sweat.