Recently I watched Spider-man 3 for the first time since it came out. This is a movie that is credited with the death of the Spider-man trilogy and the need to reboot the series into it's current incarnation. Strangely enough once it started I was instantly entertained by what I was watching, for me one of my biggest problems with the first spiderman movie was that there was no journey for anyone let alone the big three. For the first time in a movie we see Peter Parker finally starting to get his life into a normal routine, He is in school and has a brilliant codependent relationship with his dear Aunt May and is finally happy and is getting ready to ask Mary Jane to marry him. Mary Jane has landed on the great White way starring in a broadway musical with her name up in lights. Harry Osbourne after finding out that Peter is Spider-man blames him for the death of his father and for the first time in the series we get to see James Franco act using a range of emotions and seeing him get barely restraining his urge to kill him when they go to opening night of the play is brilliant.
A superhero movie is nothing without the villains and the unveiling of the Harry Osborn Green Goblin and what a shockingly awesome costume, unlike with the power rangers like costume from the first movie instead we get an awesome melding of a tactical armored suit combined with the best in top of the line goblin weapons making for a surprisingly intense fight that does more to show how much history they really have that leads to the oldest mcguffin in all of media temporary amnesia. Leading to a second chance and wiping away the past couple of years and the knowledge that his best friend is the man who "killed" his father. I was surprisingly ok with how it was portrayed and how realistic it was almost too real.
Through little things the Pete and Mary Jane relationship is shown to be growing closer and closer and for once they both act like they are really in love and there is even the cute puppy dog like affection that In the movie universe he had for her on display everywhere including a cute scene where he builds a web up in the trees for a romantic night in the stars. In the background of which we see an asteroid land bringing down a black goo that attaches itself to peter on his way out of the park. The original symbiote storyline is one of my favorite parts of spider-man lore and I was curious to see an alternate take on it. Spider-man first donned the black suit towards the end of the Secret war storyline after his red and blue one was too beat up and he just happened to find this nifty new black and white one and it was in his size to boot. I liked the idea of it all starting as a sentient black goo that attaches itself to him.
Next villain that we see now that that the goblin is out of commision is a Cain Marko aka The soon to be Sandman escaping from prison, The first place we see he goes it to get a change of clothes and check in on his ex-wife and daughter. Thomas Hayden Church does an amazing job showing the pain of the choices that he had to make that he felt were the best for his family all over his face. He is weathered and worn but still cares more about the family he left behind then for his own life and getting the money necessary to pay for the care of his sick child. Despite how silly it looks when he is chased by the police into a giant sand pit before they do a random test because science. The fun part is watching him using the force of his will to pull himself back together and get back to his mission.
And now for the last eventual villain Eddie Brock, we are introduced to him as an annoying rival photographer who is after Peter Parker's job and is even obsessed with Gwen Stacy. They do a great job of showing why they should hate each other and why he doesn't like Peter Parker that fuels the fire that turns the symbiote into venom. Topher grace gets a lot of crap for how physically unimposing he is when he is just Eddie but I love just how smarmy he acts and when he bounces off of J. Jonah it is genuinely hilarious. Once he becomes Venom he is frightening. By it's nature the symbiote has it's own intelligence that when it finds the right person latches onto any negative aspects, Eddie Brock hates Spider-man and Peter Parker and that is why the violence that comes from Venom is centered around attacking anyone related to him. The other well known Symbiote is Carnage that attached itself to serial killer Cletus Cassidy and ended up being a perfect union of mass murdering and destruction.
The most hated part and the easiest joke that can be made is what happens when Peter Parker discovers the symbiote, we see it latches onto his original suit until it is grown enough to grow to full size. We even see another cameo by Dylan Baker as Curt Connors Peter's Physics/biology professor who tries to analyze it. Once he goes all the way to the black suit we quickly see how much it changes him from easygoing to dark and yes that includes the Emo Pete montage. It's not the best but it is a way to quickly relay a message that is can changed him for the worse.
I have decided that even though it is a decade old movie I am not going to get into too many spoilers for the endings instead I am going to get into my favorite part that flipped it from a meh movie for me to one of the better ones I have seen in a long time. I think that the message of the movie is on of redemption not just for the good guys but for everyone. I will say that towards the end of the movie something happens and Harry Osborne gets his memory back and is about to go back on the attack when his wise old butler helps him understand that his father wasn't the great man he thought he was and that there was no need for the righteous vengeance that was his mission leading to him switching sides. Sandman and Peter Parker eventually have a heart to heart while fighting and even though he is part of how Uncle ben dies he shows remorse and shows that he didn't have any other choice in his mind but comes to peace in the end. Venom in the movie has no where to go but deeper into hate and pays the price for his deeds. Will I say is the best superhero movie of all time no but it is far far from the worst one and up until talks broke down between Sam Raimi he was all set to make Spider-man 4 with The Vulture and finally the lizard after a three movie set up.