May 5, 2007


Spiderman, Spiderman,
Does whatever a spider can
Spins a web, any size,
Catches thieves just like flies
Look Out!
Here comes the Spiderman.

With this theme the adventures of the Amazing Spiderman graced our black and white television set in the mid 80’s…boy I loved those sleepy Sunday afternoons when Spidey entertained us sponsored by Rasna. And I was mega happy when Spiderman-1 hit the screens. I couldn’t wait for Spiderman-2. Once that got over with the entire world waited for Spidey 3!

The prospect of not coming back to haunt and traumatize a screen near you has made director Sam Raimi incorporate a little bit of everything into the narrative of
Spiderman-3. But what he ends up with is a very long and very confused screenplay and the result is the death of a superhero. The film may go on to rake in billions at the box office but don’t be fooled by the collections or the lineage of Spiderman-1 and to some extent Spiderman-2.

The film starts where the second ended (duh!). Peter Parker aka Spiderman and Mary Jane are happily caught in the love web even though they live in dumps. He continues with his Daily Bugle job while she is about to debut on Broadway. Harry Osborne, in the mean time, winces and keeps pondering how to avenge his father’s death, after all papa still speaks to him when he stands in front of his larger than life portrait. Spidey good run is coupled with MJ’s failure on the stage; she is depressed and can’t tell Peter because…I don’t know why!

Harry finally decides to beat the shit out of Spiderman who is really Peter Parker and in the bargain meets with an accident that results in short term memory loss. Meaning he can recall that MJ and Peter are his best friends and his dad has kicked the bucket but he can’t remember anything else. He soon turns into a cute rich teenager flashing his pearly smile to MJ and thus lifting her sagging morale!

Peter decides to pop the question to MJ and aunt May gives him his blessing and her fifty-year-old ring. Spidey screws it up for Peter when he ends up kissing a fan, the MJ Spidey upside down kiss, at a felicitations. MJ is pissed at Spidey who is really Peter! MJ is fired from her play and she decides to cry on Harry’s shoulder rather than Peter’s. Harry makes the rich guy look-I’m-so-smooth move on MJ and kisses her. MJ is suddenly feeling guilty and decided to fly the coop. As Harry laments what went wrong, his father starts speaking to him. Boy the amount this guy’s father’s impressive portrait speaks sure beats the amount his Papa spoke to him in person! His short term memory and long-term plans hitting him back like his father would’ve slapped his face, Harry now, once again, embarks on his character’s mission- destroy Spidey who is actually Peter.

But there are many things that will destroy Peter Parker who is really Spidey. There’s some black crawly thing from outer space that clings on to someone and turns them black- costumes too in addition to persona! So now we have a black Spidey who is cooler but meaner. There’s a bumbling buffoon called Marko Flint who is the real guy who killed Uncle Ben. He is now back as Sandman who is out there to collect money for his daughter’s operation but he just decides to rob banks, something that will invite Spiderman to spoil the party. There is also Eddie Brock, a fast talking photographer whose digitally enhanced Black Spidey photo got him Peter’s job but was later busted by Parker. So he is pissed with Peter Parker, who unknown to him is actually Spidey. That black stuff makes turns Peter into an obnoxious dude who dances while walking, hits on chicks, slaps MJ and kills Harry because he’s tired of explaining things. Finally Peter decides to get rid of the Black costume and throws it away in a church (wow talk about cinematic moment). Some of the black stuff lands on Eddie transforming him into Venom.

Now Venom and Sandman kidnap MJ and hang her in air some sixty-two or three floors high. The entire city of New York awaits Spidey to come save the day and where is he? He is requesting Harry aka New Goblin to join forces. Yeah, Harry is alive! But he refuses only to be convinced by his butler to go and fight! Spidey fights the two villains till New Goblin joins him and saves butt.

My question is why can’t films like Spiderman be just films about ‘comic book’ heroes? The fact that some dude is flying around in his underwear or not being able to reveal his true identity is struggle enough for anyone so why added stupid layers in which he is battling his darker side or his emotional side? The script has all characters going through the motions of all possible emotions; Harry is bad, becomes good, turns bad and finally dies a hero’s death. Sandman is good who turns bad becomes good again to become bad and eventually confesses that he accidentally killed Uncle Ben! Everyone else too has so many layers that film seems like going on forever. The incoherent script makes the film resort to so many fade-to-blacks that when I finally came out of the hall I though I had seen
Spiderman 56! If you think this review is long and boring, be thankful it’s at least good reading, can’t say the same about the film!

But what really got me was the fact that the entire city of New York, considered to be THE city, ends up looking like a bunch of cosmopolitan idiots as they do nothing but stop and cheer for Spidey who flies in front of the American flag. They get pissed at every villain and stand in arms defending their city, country, universe, god knows what! Oh I'm sorry the super hero defends the city and if he is being beaten to a pulp by the villain then the citizens defend him. The seriousness with the subtle message of patriotism is thrown is so stupid that I can’t even talk about it. I think the people who made the film knew that they had a dumb thing going or else why do you think that the poster has Spidey hanging his head in shame! If I had any inclination, I’d have watched the Bhojpuri dubbed version of Spidey! I understand that 9/11 changed a lot of things but they must realize that such things have been happening all across the globe for a long time and maybe it’s time that Americans- filmmakers particularly- moved ahead. Sadly this includes fictional superheroes too!

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