In the last few months Spider-Man was removed from the MCU after Far From Home’s success due to Sony and Marvel terminating their partnership, which really caused a lot of outrage among fans. It would later be stated that Sony would be rebooting Spider-Man once again. This termination would have made the Sam Rami Spider-Man the only one to have a trilogy so far…. until today where it’s been revealed that Sony and Marvel have struck up a new deal to put him back in which has led to a lot of celebration. In honor of this I’ve decided to do a little thing on the original third Spider-Man movie. While the first two Rami Spider-Man movies have been well regarded, the same cannot be said for the third. Despite being a financial success, critical reaction hasn’t been kind to it with time and I’d be lying if I didn’t see why. This article takes a look at five of the biggest problems of Spider Man 3.
1.The Sandman retcon
I will gladly admit that Thomas Hayden Church’s portrayal of Flint Marko aka Sandman was easily the best of the three villains. And his motivation of turning to a life of crime to help his ailing daughter was also set up decently capped off with a beautiful transformation sequence. So how do we screw it up? Well let’s force a pointless personal connection to Peter by making him be Uncle Ben’s killer instead of that guy from the first movie. Also, how long did the police know about this and why did they only wait to tell Peter and Aunt May at this point? Even Peter points this out. There was no need to make him Uncle Ben’s killer. This whole thing is just drama for drama’s sake.
2. Peter and MJ break-up
At the beginning of the movie following a fierce battle between Harry and Peter the former suffers partial amnesia to the point that he has no idea his friend is Spider-Man and supposedly killed his father. However halfway through his amnesia corrects itself and he visits Mary Jane threatening to hurt Peter unless she breaks up with him. She does this though why she did is beyond me. He’s seen watching from a distance but there’s no evidence that he’s listening in on their conversation. All MJ had to do was tell Peter “Hey Pete, Harry’s got his memory back and he’s threatened to hurt you unless I dump you. You can take him on easily so go get him tiger.” This combined with the rest of the relationship drama did nothing to bring them closer together.
3. Harry learns the truth
Since the end of the first movie Harry Osborn believed that Spider-Man killed his father and vowed revenge. And after learning his best friend was Spider-Man at the end of the second movie (with Peter making little attempt to tell him this wasn’t the case) he utilizes his father’s technology to take down Peter in the third. A fight between the two in the second third resulted in Harry taking his own pumpkin bomb to the face. In the climax Venom and Sandman kidnap MJ to threaten Spider-Man into a challenge. Thus Peter goes to a scarred Harry for help but he refuses. That is until the butler tells Harry the night Norman died he cleaned his wound and that based on the fact that the blade that came from his body was from his own glider and that based on this there’s no question that Norman’s demise was his own doing. Firstly the butler knew this for years, watched Harry obsess over revenge, and only waited until now to tell him this? Also we know the butler is telling the truth since we saw what happened but how did the butler arrive at this conclusion just by cleaning his wound? For all he knows Peter could have easily stabbed Norman with it with his superhuman strength. This whole knowledge makes Harry’s vendetta all throughout the movie pointless.
Remember how I said Sandman was the best of the three villains in this movie? Well Venom is without a doubt the worst. This is one of if not the most iconic villain sin Spider-Man lore and he’s turned into a complete joke here. Topher Grace was horribly miscast as Eddie Brock. The way his motives are portrayed with Peter “stealing” Gwen from him (even though the two went on all of one date) and Peter a getting him fired from a job he only got by committing fraud make him more seem like a whiny jerk more than anything. He only becomes Venom in the last 45 minutes of the movie and honestly it’s a downer. He’s definitely not a good person but he’s in no way a convincing villain. This is just a guy who needs a foot up his ass (10 bonus points if you get that reference).
5. Emo Peter
Whether you like or hate the MCU Spider-Man it’s provided a hero’s journey worth getting invested in and rooting for to the end in both movies. This Spider-Man has had a journey getting invested in at most points but each movie’s campiness while charming does take away from it. And the problems of this movie are not only guilty of jumping the shark in terms of campiness but also really losing investment in its own narrative. The only real upside to this movie is that the action is very nice and the effects had improved vastly from the first movie. And no matter how the third MCU Spider-Man movie turns out it’s definitely sure not to repeat mistakes like these. Are there any other problems with this movie? Any you disagree with? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!