Spider-Man 3

Spider-Man 3 ★★★½

Spider-Man 3 is basically the black sheep of the Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy. It’s divisive to say the least, yet more and more people seem to be admitting a soft spot for it. I think I’m one of those people, because I’m not about to pretend this movie isn’t a total blast! 

When you break it down from a critic’s standpoint, this is easily the worst film in the trilogy. That’s a given. But from an audience’s perspective, the inner 8-year-old in me defends the hell out of this one. The action is sooo wide-scale, the comedy is extremely goofy (sometimes on purpose?), and the resulting entertainment value from both is through the roof. How could you not have a good time watching this? 

Not to backtrack, but I can’t go on without mentioning some of the film’s flaws… and yes, there’s kind of a lot. Most prominently, the writing ranges from semi-cheesy to all-out atrocious. So many lines just stick out like a sore thumb, with distractingly bad deliveries. There was one that I had to write down; “I like being bad. It makes me happy.” Obviously that’s not even accounting for everything that memes have already exposed about the film. It’s endlessly quotable for all the wrong reasons! 

It’s really evident that for better or for worse, the movie doesn’t take itself too seriously. On one hand, I like that it has high-stakes without ever really feeling too dark. However, there’s also points in it where you wish it didn’t rely off of humor to progress the story. For instance, you’ve got the infamous emo - Peter Parker dance sequence, which would feel ridiculously out of place if it weren’t for all those memes. 

And yet I digress; I still love this movie. While it’s nowhere near as good as its predecessor, the things that made Spider-Man 2 so good are still mostly relevant in this film, too. For example, I love seeing Peter Parker as a person rather than a superhero all the time, who has to deal with things like his own love life while also fighting crime. 

In addition, the action is bigger than ever. Yeah, sure, you can talk about how the CGI looks really dated now, but I just accept it at face-value and move on because of how creative the sequences really are. There’s a lot of memorable ones, but for me it’s the climax of the film that I have the most fun watching. You feel the weight of everything that’s happened to each of the characters throughout the film leading up to the moment, and honestly it comes across in a really satisfying if not cathartic way. 

I feel weird defending Spider-Man 3 because it truly is riddled with flaws; many of which I didn’t even get to; and yet I’d feel even worse trashing it because of how much joy I get from watching it. Is it a good movie? Not really. But you can bet it’s a major guilty pleasure of mine that I honestly wish I watched more often.

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