Spider-Man 3

Spider-Man 3 ★★★★

“Whatever comes our way, whatever battle we have raging inside us, we always have a choice. My friend Harry taught me that. He chose to be the best of himself. It's the choices that make us who we are, and we can always choose to do what's right.“

A great film that never fails to make me cry by the time Sandman’s monologue comes around in the final, last moments of the climax. Initially exploring the various fallibilities and deterrents of ego and how it causes a loss of self, loss of consciousness over one’s actions and morality, and loss of conscience, it later becomes a connecting thematic story about forgiveness and the humanity and justice in letting go of vengeance, hate and revenge; human at its core.

I know Spider-Man 3 is often highlighted for its comedic sensibilities, which often overshadow its more sincere dramatic and emotional sensibilities, but it’s as vulnerable as its two predecessors, perhaps even more so in its constantly displayed sentimentality and its openness to emotional conventions that are rarely explored in films in the same genre or of the same calibre, which is what makes Raimi’s trilogy such a unique exploration of the superhero, diving further into what actually makes a hero in the person behind the mask and how their own experiences play into that strive for justice through heroism.

And whilst I’m at it, Spider-Man 3 does also excel with its comedic features, it all works in Peter’s arc through the film and his development as a character, showing the laughable qualities of ego and overconfidence, as well as the utterly douchey pretentiousness of it at the same time. Laughable scenes, that are in fact very well coordinated from a comedic standpoint, such as the iconic street scene and the jazz club scene, play well in demonstrating Parker’s change of character, the very laughable quality of that newfound dependence and overestimation on pride and ego, and his willingness to change because of his realisation of those flaws and his sudden grown consciousness over his mistakes with the black suit on, not just as a hero who is meant to be an example to his city, but also as Peter Parker, in who he is to those closest to him.

It’s a moment of reflection that bodes well on-screen in the cinematic church scene that fares colossally on the rest of the film and on the lasting impression of who Peter is through the trilogy, as well as on the heart and soul at the core of the Raimi trilogy that makes it such a deplorable exhibition of emotional vulnerability and openness in a comic-book film. The trilogy - a time-capsule into a past era of superhero filmmaking with raw empathy and unique eccentricity that has simply changed now, and a canvas into the comic-book world - isn't just a superhero story, but a story about love, about friendship, about justice, about responsibility, about forgiveness, about humanity. That’s why it will always be one of the best.

“Well, you start by doing the hardest thing: You forgive yourself. I believe in you, Peter. You're a good person. And I know you'll find a way to put it right.“

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