Why “Spider-Man 3” is actually the best in the series

Today’s April. Eight years ago this month, Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3 (2007) had its Tokyo premiere (though not its wide release). It was Sony Pictures Entertainment’s highest-grossing film of all time (before Sam Mendes’s Skyfall (2012)), and it was the most expensive movie ever made… until Gore Verbinski’s Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007) broke the record three weeks later.

The threequel to Raimi’s Spider-Man (2002) has gained such a poor reputation that even the director himself now pans the grand finale to his (unintentional) trilogy. Arguably Marvel’s answer to Joel Schumacher’s series-killing Batman & Robin (1997), Raimi was supposed to direct Spider-Man 4, 5, and even 6, but walked away because of 3. As a result, Sony, proving that the American ticket-buying public suffers from amnesia, rebooted their not-yet ten-years-old web-slinging saga with Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man (2012), a series which died after its first sequel, the imaginatively titled The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014), paving the way for LITERALLY YET ANOTHER REBOOT.

But does Spider-Man 3 deserve this reputation? I don’t think so. It’s not surprising, however – Sony has made a bad habit out of disastrous releases.

February 24, 2015
(Image Source: Hannah Means Shannon, “Bleeding Cool”).

Notwithstanding, Spider-Man 3 achieves the daunting task of fully developing not one, not two, but three villains in one flick… four, when you count MySpace Spidey. Even the love interests multiply for Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker, who finds himself romantically involved not only with Kirsten Dunst’s Mary Jane Watson, but also with Bryce Dallas Howard’s Gwen Stacy. Whoever said “less is more” is clearly a liar, because, rather than leave the original alone, Raimi chooses to graft in a “just-kidding-the-man-who-killed-your-uncle-didn’t-actually-kill-your-uncle-but-the-guy-who-did-it-did-it-accidentally-and-he’s-really-really-sorry-so…” plot twist to tack onto Spider-Man’s revenge backstory, but doesn’t go too overboard when James Franco’s New Goblin, hyped up by the end of the second movie, makes a five-minute appearance before falling off his hovercraft and suffering a blow to the head straight out of a soap opera.

Happy April Fools’ Day!

I was totes magotes just kidding (in case you couldn’t tell, with my katana-sharp sarcasm). Spider-Man 3 is absolute trash. There hasn’t been a good Spider-Man movie since 2 came out in 2004, and, yes, that includes the reboot.

Sorry, Not Sorry

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Hunter Goddard

I am a journalism graduate from Colorado State University as well as a film studies minor. Lady Gaga inspires me in everything I do.

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