The problem with Spider-man

So apparently the third movie is the last of the trilogy, at least with this cast. It’s grand, emotional, spectacular, and very, very big. It’s too much.

You could say the same about the whole trilogy, in fact. In trying to make the film accessible to all, it touches on every known topic in movies – personal struggle, love, friendship, family, society…some with more emphasis than others. It’s quite a vision and achievement, but unfortunately, it tried too hard.

1. MJ alert

My main complaint with the Spider-man films is: There is too much focus on the relationship between Peter and MJ. Firstly, it’s not interesting. MJ is not a real person, but a very vaguely-interpreted character. She is boring. Her problems are boring. It’s not real, not for one second. And if one of the people involved is so uninteresting, so is the relationship. Yet there is so much screen-time devoted to this terrible “story” that it makes the film almost unbearable. Which brings me to the second point about this relationship: It is cheesy. The dialogue is quite possibly the worst I’ve ever seen, read, felt or imagined in the most abstract manner. I remember watching the scene where Peter and MJ are in the hospital in the first film and feeling embarrassed…I don’t know why but I felt sorry for someone, maybe it was the people who wrote the lines, or the actors for having to say it, but I think mainly for myself because I actually had to sit through it. Mind you, I had been anticipating the movie for so long that I was subconsciously trying in every way possible to like it, but that scene really got me. I couldn’t take anything seriously after that. The second film was better, because maybe they took someone’s advice and didn’t dwell on MJ, but in the third film they went right back there again. Fortunately this time round I had expected it, and was able to block out most of the experience whenever MJ was on screen.

2. “I’m dating your daughter”

Lame and unbelievable unfolding of events. I know it’s probably not sensible to expect “believable” situations in a story about a guy dressed in tights swinging around the city fighting mad scientists with robot hands and bowl haircuts and weird-looking lunatics wearing power-ranger suits calling themselves Goblins when clearly they are rejects of the masked-rider lineup, but come on, the reactions from people have to at least be somewhat realistic. There is a scene in Spider-man 3 where Eddie looks in his binoculars and sees that Gwen is hanging on a roof top. Her father is also looking up at her. So, Eddie starts taking photos of her, as any loving boyfriend would do when their girlfriend is hanging onto dear life. Her father asks Eddie who he is. He answers, “I work for the Daily Bugle. Oh, and I’m dating your daughter.” What a witty guy. So while these two get to know each other and bond, Gwen is falling fifteen stories to her death. It all makes so much sense.

The unfolding of events is very original also. Consider the scene where Harry has just refused to help Peter fight Venom and Sandman. While he’s looking all torn and angry, his butler comes in and tells him that his father had killed himself, and Peter had nothing to do with it. Thanks, Hal! (his name’s probably not Hal, but let’s say it is) Wow, at the nick of time too! So now I can put my vengeance aside and be friends with Peter again. How convenient! But Hal, where were you the past year? I guess you wanted to wait for the right time to tell it, and what better time than toward the end of the last movie, just before the big fight? You must’ve been at the edge of your seat with anticipation Hal.

3. EMO

I think they forgot that Spider-man, unlike Batman, is supposed to be a funny guy. He’s supposed to crack witty jokes when he fights. Here, he’s become this annoying emo kid. Angry, depressed, arrogant, feeling sorry for himself. And what’s with the crying? It’s like tears are the solution to everything. When in loss for words, cry. Maybe they’re trying to make him into a more realistic person, but they also forgot to make him likeable. One of the biggest mistakes is trying to blur the lines between Peter and Spider-man. One of the interesting points about the original story is that Peter is another person almost completely when he is Spider-man. Here, he’s the same person. Which is not cool because Peter, as nice as he may be, is not cool. He’s a nerd. Spider-man is witty, heroic, and awesome. Having Spider-man take his mask off or have it ripped off to try and remind us who is underneath is a clever move for their intentions, but it’s also a very, very big mistake.

4. Too much bad

This is specifically for the third movie: villain overload. Having 3 bad guys in one movie is 2 villains too many. Venom is tragically wasted.

Well, that’s pretty much all I have to say. On the positive side, the films look extremely good. They have captured the look and feel of Spider-man, there’s no doubt about that. But the soul got lost somewhere, and that’s a shame.

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