Spiderman 3
Co-Written and directed by Sam Raimi

Written by Mr. Raimi, Ivan Raimi, and Alvin Sargent

Starring Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst


Spiderman 3

Spiderman 3 is an example of when you don't have anything interesting to say, don't say it. It's another instance of just what the traditional limits of the comic book are - everything is so flat, so cliched, so hackneyed, so unoriginal that everybody just gives the next plot line instead of being a human being. This time Spidey has not one, not two but three antagonists, all of them out to get him. There's Thomas Haden Church, who gets trapped in something called I believe a de-materializing molecule that makes him into, well, the sandman - don't ask. And then there's our old friend James Franco, who used to be Spidey's best friend but now thinks that Spidey has killed his father and has to be killed to even things up; and then there's Topher Grace, who wants Spidey's job as the photographer at the paper - and when was that a reason to want to kill, but it is. Newspaper photographers, look out for your jobs.

And then of course there's Kirsten Dunst, as Mary Jane, whom we see at the beginning losing her job on Broadway, just because of a bad review, hey, get over it, and her replacement can't even hold a tune; and now Dunst is a singing waitress at a jazz club - I didn't know they had them. Anyway, where was I - Spidey gets bitten, or something, by an unearthly thing from outer space, no, it was from that dematerializer thing, and gets turned into a black-suited, obnoxious asshole who looks like what my colleague Anthony Lane describes as a winner of the teenage hitler look-alike contest, with his hair combed over one ear. And what that means is he's so obnoxious that he's thrown away his chance with Kirsten, of course only until the end of the film, when naturally they get back together until at least Spiderman 4.

What have I missed here? Well, the rumor is that the film cost $250, maybe even $300 million dollars, which makes it the most expensive film of all time, and all I can say is that it does not show on the screen, which if it were a better film might actually be a good idea. Though I think they could have done a little title at the end of each episode, you know: This fight cost $25 million, This one cost $50 million, and so on. At least we'd know where the money went. The problem isn't the money, which is obscene anyway, but the fact that the script, by director Sam Raimy and his brother Ivan, is just so lame - you'd think that $300 million would buy a good script, and maybe, knowing Hollywood, it did, but the studios threw it out and went with this one. Trying to shoehorn in three villains against one Spidey, plus obnoxious Spidey, is more than anyone should be required to do.