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How One Film Changed a Franchise Forever

Spiderman 3 is a masterpiece

Alejandro Gonzales

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Spiderman 3 is not only the best film of the original trilogy, but of all six Spiderman man films released in the past sixteen years, spanning three incarnations of the webslinger. It is widely viewed as the as the worst  film of all the incarnations. However, considering this is the highest grossing film of the original trilogy, this is a strange reputation to have.

The film takes place soon after the second film, where Peter Parker, the protagonist of the series began dating Mary Jane after she leaves her fiance at the altar for him. Spiderman 3 changed things up by having three villains instead of one. Sandman, Green Goblin (Harry Osborn), and Venom (Eddie Brock).

Although the movie was released in 2007, it is available for viewing on DVD and streaming services.

Throughout the movie, the characters are developed in alternate scenes, beginning with Peter and MJ lying on a giant web. A pile of black sludge lands on his vehicle as he leaves. This is later revealed to be the venom symbiote. Much of the movie centers around Peter allowing the symbiote to corrupt him and acts as a sort of character study.

Until later in the film, when he rids himself of the parasite and it finds a new host. At that point, the film has reached its climax and the rest is well crafted fight scenes and the like.

It would be easy to attribute its success due to Venom, a parasitic creature referred to as a symbiote within the story’s world, being promised to be one of three antagonists. If such is the case, this may explain why the film is not recognized as the artistic expression it is.  Viewers expecting too see him in the film were disappointed that his appearance is best described as a glorified cameo.

Eddie Brock takes on the symbiote after Peter Parker rips it off and throws it away. Here is where the first of multiple issues with Venom begin for movie goers. Eddie is depicted as a sarcastic bodybuilder in the comics, but the film portrayed him as a skinny sarcastic journalist, an important distinction.

Venom is an iconic antagonist, who stands at a staggering ten feet tall. Much of his height and build come from his second host, Eddie. In the film, he looks as though he is wearing a cheap suit (as opposed to wearing a sentient creature), which was off putting to many.  On top of all that, he only appears with the symbiote attached to him for thirty minutes.

These are valid complaints, but they miss the allure of the movie by focusing on the wrong aspect. Watching Peter interact with the characters is a real treat, as we begin to understand how he is being affected by the black suit, which is how he comes into contact with Venom. Only once they ignore Venom altogether, can they truly appreciate this masterpiece.

Much of the movie focuses on Peter’s changing personality after bonding with Venom and his crumbling relationship with his best friend, Harry Osborn, whose father killed himself unintentionally while in the presence of Spiderman. Harry believes Spiderman was the one  responsible and spends his time plotting his revenge.

At the beginning of the movie, Harry discovers Peter is Spiderman and chases him through the city on a hoverboard until he hits his head on a pipe and develops amnesia. We are treated to a number of awkward scenes in which Peter must act as though he didn’t attempt to murder him earlier. These scenes come to a head when Harry suddenly   remembers everything that happened and forces Mary Jane, Peter’s girlfriend to break up, by kidnapping her.

He then meets Peter at a restaurant to discuss what happened. He lies to Peter, claiming he is the one now dating MJ. After Peter leaves, a waitress asks Harry how the pie is tonight and he goofily responds, telling her it’s “so good” while grinning.

We see two friends whose relationship has been strong for long come to an abrupt end. It is a difficult thing to endure. Sam Raimi, the director, did an amazing job of emotionally connecting us to his characters in that scene. As a viewer, you truly hope they reconnect.

Peter’s transformation into an edgelord is the most iconic montage in cinematic history. In one part, he is on the phone in his landlord’s house while the landlord’s daughter feeds him cookies. He asks for some that have nuts in them.

The significance of this line is not easily accessible to the average viewer, initially. After using critical thinking skills, it becomes clear the line is subtly referring to Peter’s declining mental health. He is going nuts, Sam Raimi is trying to communicate to us. It is a clever way of stating something which might otherwise not have been made clear otherwise.

Sam’s genius is demonstrated in yet another beautiful scene, in which MJ and Peter have a tense moment discussing a play she had been kicked out of. At one point she condescendingly says, “This isn’t about you.” In the last film, she promised to stay by his side and understand being Spiderman meant not always being there among other potential issues.

This scene teaches the viewer a valuable life lesson. Sometimes people change their mind, sometimes they commit to things without fully understanding the consequences, sometimes writers throw continuity out the window. It’s a complex scene with a difficult to accept message.

Overall, this film is a piece of art with every Venom scene, every Sandman scene, and most Harry Osborn scene  excluded. It offers nuanced social commentary on current social issues, teaches valuable lessons, and offers many unintentionally hilarious moments, while also being the best dramatic motion picture ever filmed.

4 Comments

4 Responses to “How One Film Changed a Franchise Forever”

  1. Ryan Barbieri on September 4th, 2018 11:20 am

    I noticed that almost no counter arguments were brought up.

  2. RJ Raffs on September 4th, 2018 11:22 am

    I don’ really think its the worse spiderman in the past 16 years, because I like the character change in sandman at the end and i like how there are multiple villains.

  3. Jaina Van Horn on September 4th, 2018 11:30 am

    In the movie, we didn’t understand how Sandman became who he is, but we know how Venom became Venom and how Harry became the Green Goblin, but the fact that Harry decided to take MJ away from Peter simply out of revenge is very wrong and shows that taking someone else’s friend and/or significant other out of revenge or jealousy is wrong. Revenge is not always the answer, but it’s an exception when you and the other person hate each other mutually.

  4. Joshua on September 4th, 2018 12:03 pm

    I feel like this is a little over the top but it was well written

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