Friday, May 04, 2007

Spider-Man 3 over the top

Spider-Man 3...It has everything I expected and more. Too much more. More bad guys, more fights in mid-air, more tears, more sub-plots, and more sad shots of Spidey and MJ than the first two Spider-Man movies put together.

I think this movie suffers from the same things that bother me about most movies of this genre: the story serves the technical effects (rather than the other way around), and the actors are there mostly to fill the space between computer-animated action sequences. I thought Spider-Man I and II were less that way than this one, and I loved them. I was glad when this one was over. Except for Kirsten Dunst and Tobey Maguire, who were very good, the acting was ho-hum and at times really bad.

Nevertheless, there were some interesting moments from a theological perspective. Peter Parker gets taken over by Venom, a weird alien parasite that, a la Star Wars, pulls him over to the "dark side." To rid himself of it he goes to a church, and there's a neat shot of the steeple with a cross at the top that suggests his only recourse is to cry out with Paul, "What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?!" (Romans 7:24) This black, slimy creature moves from person to person and place to place with subtlety and strength -- a perfect illustration of Satan, who delights in destroying people and relationships and turning that which is good into evil.

Rather than give away more of the plot, I'll just say I give Spider-Man 3 a B-. Maybe you'll like it more than I did.

3 comments:

David said...

Spiderman 3, No See?

James said...

Mike,

I thought 3 was as good as the other two. Which is to say that I thought it was good but not great. A B- might be a bit harsh for your friendly neighborhood Spiderman, though. Here are my thoughts on the movie ...

Ho-hum acting is a given in a movie like this (Maguire and Dunst were not exceptions, by the way. I've thought that Dunst has been horrible in all three (not to pick on an actress whose character has trouble taking criticism)). On the other hand, I've never gone into a Spiderman movie expecting Oscar caliber performances...

The venom ooze was a perfect illustration of Satan. It was an even better illustration of sin ... I'm thinking particularly of how both Parker and Eddie Brock both WANTED it. They thought it was going to be the solution to all their problems in the same way we often get fooled into thinking sin is the way out for us.

I also loved the theme of forgiveness which seemed to be the major lesson for Peter Parker from this film. By the end he'd certainly learned it, but it wasn't always a given.

At one point evil Peter tells Brock, "You want forgiveness? Find religion!"

Great lines. Especially in the context of the rest of the movie -- which I won't give away.

One thing I will say: by the end of the movie pretty much all of the characters (heroes & villans alike) need forgiveness.

At least a B+ in my opinion. Or one and a half thumbs.

(By the way, Mike, if you're looking for an A+ superhero movie -- it's not in theaters, it's on your TV. Tune into "Heroes" tonight!)

Mike said...

Thanks James! Hey, let's do a movie series together!