Spider-Man 3 is not as bad as you remember it. Somehow, in the seven years since its release, Spidey 3 has become the Batman & Robin of modern comic movies. I saw Batman & Robin in the theatre. I left in a homicidal rage. I also saw Spider-Man 3 in the theatre and it’s not responsible for any cold cases.
Spidey 3 made the classic blunder and violated the first rule of super hero movies: do not go nuts with the villains! Sometimes this can just be having more than one, but when you have FOUR principal villains, plus a hero struggling to not become number five, you have a mess.
The sad thing is: they had one of the villains down cold with an Oscar-nominated actor. Thomas Haden Church brought a depth and a pathos to Sandman that I’d never seen in that character before in any incarnation – ever. I think he easily could have carried the film. The scene where he’s born, when he pulls himself together grain-by-grain, is one of the more impressive F/X shots of the decade and my favorite scene of the film.
Spidey 3 is the least of the Raimi trilogy, but it’s not a horrible movie. We’re getting spoiled when we call a film like this “horrible”. Remember where we were just 15 years ago? Spidey 3 is not by any means an upper echelon film, but people need to lay-off just a little bit.