Poor old Peter Parker (Maguire) really has his hands full in this third adventure based on the Marvel comic character. The young guy who has never been the same since he was bitten by a spider is not spending enough time with girlfriend Mary Jane (Dunst), his best friend (James Franco) hates him and has an evil Goblin alter ego, and there are another two new bad guys in town for him to battle: an ex-con who is zapped by a ray that turns him into Sandman (Thomas Haden Church), and an annoying photographer, Eddie Brock, (Grace) who is after Peter’s job by day and is a nasty dude named Venom by night. And if that wasn’t enough, Peter has absorbed some black goo that’s affecting him, creating a funky new black Spidey costume that makes our hero sulky, vengeful and arrogant, too.
While the movie is interesting when it explores Peter’s dark side (and Maguire looks much cooler in the black costume), this suffers from Batman Forever-syndrome (otherwise known as one too many bad guys). It all looks great – especially when the alien black goo is in play – but with three bad guys running around it’s hard to care about any of them, especially as best pal Harry is the only one with any back story. (We do learn more about Sandman, but not until the end when it’s a bit late to care, while Brock’s appearances are pretty fleeting). There are funny bits to enjoy however (any movie costarring Bruce Campbell has to be a hoot – it’s a known cinematic fact) and the action sequences are fun, fast and impressive to look at. It’s not a disaster by any means, just a disappointing final instalment of Maguire and director Sam Raimi’s trilogy.
Is Spider-Man 3 suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Note this film is aimed at teenagers (it is a 12A certificate), not younger children. There are some intense fight scenes, and younger viewers may find the Goblin, Venom and Sandman scary. The final scenes (involving more than one death) may be upsetting for younger viewers, too.