(2007) dir. Sam Raimi
viewed: 05/04/07 at CineArts @ the Empire Theater, SF, CA
Wretched. Awful. Spectacularly ridiculous.
What’s amazing about this Spider-Man, is how director Sam Raimi went from a very solid summer action film in 2004’s Spider-Man 2 to this completely horrid and jumbled pile of junk, masquerading as a good time at the old cineplex.
Well, from my perspective, you can sort of see it coming, what with three villains: the Sandman, the Hobgoblin, and Venom…when marketing a movie, packed with more action figures than narrative takes precedence, it’s no big surprise that the film cannot hang onto any one of its multiple side stories. Actually, this whole film isn’t so much of a film as it is a series of subplots tied together in a big mess.
And Raimi’s ham-fisted schmaltz attempts at emotive moments are even more painful than ever before. I mean, when he goes for the heartstrings, all I can say is: “DUCK!!” because you don’t want any of that stuff hitting you. I came out of this movie completely despising Tobey Maguire, who has parleyed this limpid, innocent sweetness of a single facial expression into a Hollywood career. It worked for him largely up til now. Now you just want to punch the guy.
I really cannot emphasize enough how completely wretched and awful this movie is. The whole mechanism should be stopped. And yet, it will make a ton of money (it probably already has), and will beget yet another of its breed. When these types of films work, and again, I will say that Spider-Man 2 was actually a working version, they can be fun, but when they are completely awful…and it has to take me back to Joel Schumacher’s Batman films to get worse than this…they are among the most loathsome piles of marketing and corporate, soulless crap ever made. And this one has pretensions of greatness sprinkled on top.