Considering all the hate that Spiderman 3 gets, it still has its redeeming qualities. However, the threequel is generally remembered as being a huge misstep for the web-slinger, with the over-cramming of characters and villains, the “emo” Peter Parker, and the “terrible job of bringing Venom to the big screen.” Moreover, having just come off the back of the critically acclaimed Spider-Man 2, it seems that the studio were wanting to up the ante the third time round. Thusly, what most people seem to forget is that a lot of the blame for the shortcomings’ in the third movie were due to studio interference. However, it seems that Sam Raimi has now yielded to the torrent of criticism and admitted defeat, which is a sorry state of affairs when it boils down to how it actually panned out.
Appearing on The Nerdist podcast, Raimi spoke in detail with hosts Chris Hardwick, Matt Mira, and Jonah Ray, about his tenure working on the Spider-Man franchise. When the conversation turned to the third installment of the Spidey franchise, Raimi cut straight to the point, candidly admitting:
“…I messed up plenty with the third Spider-Man.”
Raimi spoke about the reality of making big budget follow-ups to successful movies, explaining that with each installment, the process incrementally becomes harder and harder to try and up one’s game:
“Each and every one of those Spider-Man films was pretty damn challenging.”
Raimi elaborated on losing touch with the characters; failing to believe in them. He also explained that trying to raise the stakes was part of the process that most likely doomed the movie:
“It’s a movie that just didn’t work very well,” Raimi said. “I tried to make it work, but I didn’t really believe in all the characters, so that can’t be hidden from people who loved Spider-Man. If the director doesn’t love something, it’s wrong of them to make it when so many other people love it.
Raimi talks about sticking with the same character, stating:
“I think [simply trying to raise the stakes after Spider-Man 2] was the thinking going into it, and I think that’s what doomed us,” he continued. “I should’ve just stuck with the characters and the relationships and progressed them to the next step and not tried to top the bar.”
Apparently this pressure to raise the bar swept across members of the crew, with Raimi admitting that the general mind-set during production was one that led to some of the films issues. He also subtly hinted at studio interference being problematic, playing it down slightly from comments he made in previous interviews:
“The goal wasn’t to try to top the other pictures,” Raimi said. “It was to tell a bigger story but with a different sensibility about it. But I wasn’t trying to top. That isn’t a good approach. That went into the thinking of a lot of people who worked on Spider-Man 3, and it was not good for us.”
Raimi seems to be playing it safe with these humble admissions, possibly using candor as a diplomatic tool, thinking about the possible consequences of constantly bitching about individuals’ in the industry. On many previous occasions Raimi has said that he didn’t want to include Venom or Eddie Brock in his movie as he didn’t particularly like the characters, but ultimately, he felt he was forced to include them in him his film.
Therefore, it’s no wonder Raimi didn’t believe in the characters – as he wasn’t particularly fond of them in the first place . Sony and Ari Avid should have dropped certain characters if their director didn’t want to use them and stuck to Raimi’s initial plans (Ben Kingsley was initially slated to play Vulture).
Raimi did mess with a few things that were detrimental to the third installment and the trilogy as a whole, like retconing Sandman (Thomas Hayden Church) as the killer of Peter’s Uncle Ben. This detracted from Spidey’s motives and what he stood for in the first and second film. Also, the addition of Harry’s (Green Goblin played by James Franco) story just felt forced with his transformation feeling rushed. However, things feeling rushed could have purely been a by-product of Sony Pictures insisting that certain characters be added to the story. Gwen Stacy also feels like a superfluous character that the director didn’t really have an interest in (…or anyone else for that particular matter).
Considering that Spider-Man 3 holds a 63% approval rating on review aggregate on Rotten Tomatoes, alongside a Metacritic score of 59%, I don’t seem to be the only one that thinks the movie has redeeming qualities – the action set-pieces alone are worth watching in the movie alone. The film was also the highest grossing in Raimi’s trilogy grossing a massive $890 worldwide, so it was not the massive failure that people would like to think it was. Also, I think Raimi is being far too hard on himself, as movies of that magnitude, compounded by increasing studio pressure, have led far worse consequences (Joel Schumacher and his Abysmal Batman and Robin).
What do you think peeps? Do you like Raimi’s Spiderman 3? Do you think it is subjected to undeserved criticism? Let us know your thoughts.
You can check out Cinema Sins quite brutal dissection of all that they consider wrong with Spider-Man 3 below:
Via – ComicBookMovie