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If I had to give you a quick how many stars out of 5 review of Spider-Man 3, it would be 2 stars out of 5.

Now, I really enjoyed the first to Spider-Man films, they weren’t just good as comic book films go, they were good as movies overall go. Plenty of drama and action, good character beats, and plenty of winks and nudges for the fans. Spider-Man 3 has plenty of action and drama and lots of character beats, winks and nudges, unfortunately it just has too much. Spider-Man 3 lacks the focus of the previous 2 films. Much like X-Men 3 it tries to cram what could’ve been 2 or 3 good movies into 1 fairly mediocre film.

Spider-Man 3 could’ve been a great movie, if it had not tried to be about Peter and Mary Jane’s relationship, Peter and Harry’s relationship, the Sandman, Eddie Brock, and Spider-Man’s alien black costume. Each of the storylines in the movie are well acted with plenty of good beats to them, but they just do not seem to congeal as a whole. One of the things that I think bothered me the most about the film is that the Sandman, a classic Spider-Man character, rates to be the main villain of a movie not just a weakly pursued subplot. In fact, the way they handle the Sandman in the movie even begged for more focus.

In addition, while one could argue that the eye candy of the film would be a redeeming factor with the exception of the look of the villain Venom, the eye candy is really nothing special. In the first film we got to swing through the streets of New York with Spider-Man. In the second film we were treated to Doctor Octopus’ arms, which were really incredible on the big screen. Spider-Man 3 just did not feel like anything special. There weren’t really any interesting shots of Spider-Man, nothing that made me say “damn.” The fight scenes with the Sandman, which had the potential to be really spectacular, just seemed bland, and Venom just didn’t have enough screen time to wow me.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to catch the movie if you were a fan of the first two. This movie will definitely be better on the big screen than if you were to wait for DVD. You just might want to check it out at a matinee time or wait until it hits a cheaper second-run theater.

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