The Players: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Thomas Haden Church as Sandman, and Topher Grace as Venom, plus Bryce Dallas Howard as Gwen Stacy, Mageina Tovah as Chocolate Cake Girl, and Bruce Campbell as a Maitre'd. Oh yeah, and Norman Osborn and Uncle Ben return. And Aunt May gave a couple life lessons.
The Take: $330 Million and counting
Part 3? How does it compare to Superman 3 or Batman Forever?: There is a surprising parallel between the Spider-Man and Superman films. In part 1 both presented an epic origin story. Part 2 not only had both heroes temporarily losing their powers, but for love (of fairly unattractive chicas). In part 3 both heroes had to overcome their dark side. Other similarities between Superman 3 and Spider-Man 3, new love interest (Lana Lang / Gwen Stacy), celebration parade to honor the heroes, showdown between good and evil versions (Clark Kent vs Dark Superman and Spider-Man vs Venom). Having said that, Spider-Man 3 was way better than Superman 3. It had less camp, and cool villains. Sandman, Green Goblin 2, and Venom are far cooler than Richard Pryor, Mr Webster's computer or Robo-Vera.
As for comparisons to Batman Forever, Spider-Man seems to have also made the mistake of trying to squeeze in everyone and the kitchen sink. If they are serious about Spider-Man 4, 5, 6, and beyond, they need to take their time and not force in extra characters. At this rate by Spider-Man 5, all the villains will be dead except the Beetle and the Kangaroo. But again, Spider-Man 3 was better than Batman Forever which "Jokerfied" both Riddler and Two-Face, and put Jim Carrey in pink hair and tights. There was a bit of neon in Harry's glider, er I mean flying snowboard, but not to the extent that it was used in Batman Forever.
Why you should see it: Everyone who is anyone has ALREADY seen it. So if you haven't, what are you waiting for? My main complaint about this movie was the overabundance of coincidences. Particularly with the arrival of the symbiote and the demolecularization of Sandy. Also, why was Gwen Peter's lab partner, Eddie's girlfriend, the police chiefs daughter, accident victim, AND wedding proposal crasher? But aside from those lazy plot points, there were several fantastic action scenes. Harry vs Peter, Spider-Man vs Sandman, Black Spider-Man vs Sandman, Dark Peter vs Harry, and a team-up at the end vs Sandman and Venom.
Harry Osborn stole the show with a great performance and a completion of his arc which began 2 films ago. While there were too many characters, they were all pretty good, and all added to the film. Even chocolate cake girl's return was a nice touch. I also enjoyed "Dark Peter." Sure he was still a geek, and thats the point. The symbiote made geeky Peter super-geeky. In all, Spider-Man 3 was pretty good. It was probably the sloppiest of the 3 films as far as story telling, but the strongest in action and effects. Its a worthy member of the Spider-Man trilogy.