Spider senses danger

16 02 2007

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“It’s a bird. It’s a plane. No…” it is the latest slew of superhero movies.
Nothing attracts an audience more than the release of the latest spandex-clad adventure. And, lately these films have been delivering the goods, from death-defying special effects (Spiderman) to well-crafted, thought-provoking storylines (Batman Begins, V for Vendetta) and they’ve been packing theaters across the country.
There are only a few things that can quickly kill a heroic franchise (and no it is not a bullet or even kryptonite); a ridiculously bad script (Superman Returns), bad casting decisions (Batman & Robin) and extreme indulgence (again, Batman & Robin). In the coming months, Spiderman 3 will be swinging into multiplexes all over the world and it hopes to spin a web around your wallet. The aspect that scares loyalist the most is the filmmakers inclusion of not one, but four villains. A bit extreme even for America’s favorite web-crawler. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Sandman – Interesting choice for the third installment. He has a very simple storyline and his unique abilities lend to the opportunity for some amazing special effects. Another plus about Sandman is that he is a minor villain and one the majority of audiences won’t be familiar with. This gives filmmakers a bit more freedom to change things and surprise even comic fans with a “new take” on the lesser-known baddy.
  • Return of the Green Goblin – Bad move. This has always been one of the more intriguing stories in the Marvel universe and easily merits its own film. With an over-crowded lineup for the second sequel, it feels like this could be set on the back burner. The choice of the Green Goblin makes sense because it beautifully returns the franchise to where it all began.
  • Symbiote – Again, this could very easily be is own chapter in the continuing Spidey saga. The alien entity completely transforms Peter Parker making him violent and deadly. Sam Raimi could have very well filled this journey into the darker side of Spiderman with metaphorical references to the nature of addiction.
  • Venom – Granted, the character will only make a brief appearance toward the end of the film. I move Venom gets his own film.

The trend with numerous superhero sequels is to build upon the original with increased special effects and in some cases the number of bad guys (or gals). The idea that the next installment has to be grander than the previous is completely unmerited. You want an example of “sometimes, less is more” look no further than the 1997’s disastrous Batman & Robin. B&R had nothing going for the film except that Batman brand name. An unintended funny script, horrible casting decisions, too many characters with absolutely no development and of course, the single addition that tarnish the entire franchise: the bat nipple.
It is with concern that this commentary is written because one who hate to see Spiderman go down this dank road of ridicule. It is just common sense that in a period of two of hours one can’t hope to explain the complexity of these evildoers without leaving huge gaps of character bits out.
This is simply a warning, but with a great cast of actors and a seasoned director behind the lens these worries could be unfounded. Only time will tell and this May 4th audiences will make the judgement for themselves.

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One response

19 02 2007
john

i am so pumped to see this movie. it is too bad you won’t be in town, remember the morning we went to see Spiderman 2, now that was a lot of fun. Good ideas here but i think this won’t be anywhere in the same area as that crappy Batman movie.

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