***WARNING: SPOILERS ALERT!***
The current installment of Spiderman, I can quite safely say, is the worst movie of current Spiderman movie series directed by Sam Raimi. That says very little about the movie given the spectacularly high standards set by the previous two movies. Spiderman 3, while entertaining and not a bad way to spend two and a half hours, is bound to disappoint those who feel a coherent plot is important to a movie.
I get a feeling that the script was changed drastically midway through the filming, with the usual suspects being the meddling studio executives whose sole motivation is to ruin the movie by ensuring the movie appeal to as wide an audience as possible. There is an unnecessarily long segment of the movie that was redundant, and can be best described as a tribute to John Travolta's character in Saturday Night Fever. It is clearly a shameless attempt to pander to the Baby Boomers who grew up in the 70s.
But I also get the feeling that the director is deeply perturbed by the chain of events in America that was started by 9/11, and wanted to weave a message into the movie belatedly, and hence the contrived plot. You can tell from the movie posters this movie will be about Spidey fighting his "Dark Side" a la Star Wars. And like Superman 3, Spidey meets his match, his evil nemesis twin. But unlike the other two movies, one can still trust Sam Raimi to go beyond the skin deep and deliver a message about how indulging in anger and hatred may make one feel powerful, but we cannot harm our enemies without harming our loved ones, and worst of all, consumes and ultimately destroys, our soul. The enemies we choose to hate, may not be culpable for the hurt we thought they caused, or at least not in the way we imagined.
The director must have felt that delivering the message was very important and changed the plot. It is a shame the plot became rather unconvincing, if not downright illogical.
There is a scene where the reference to the colours of the "Star spangled banner" was very strongly felt, when Spidey re-emerges in his blue and red garb to save the world. As though fearing the audience will miss the moment, Spidey lands right in front of huge glowing flag of the USA, destroying all subtlety. The message is clear: blue and red is good, black is bad.
9/11 caused profound pain to people worldwide, but nobody feels it more deeply than the American people. It is not just the body count; like Spiderman, the USA has superpowers, and yet was so humiliatingly helpless in preventing this heinous crime, and may in fact, had enabled the "bad guys" by not doing what was right. It must be tempting to swing to the other extreme and "right" all wrongs by any means. From Guantanamo Bay to the wiretapping scandals, the angry America may be intimidatingly powerful, but it shatters the most cherished possession of the Americans: the American brand of freedom. America faces a terrible fight to exorcise the 9/11 demons. If America fails, who is going to fill the void of saving the world vacated by the superhero draped in blue and red?
A bit of trivia I confirmed from IMDB: apparently Kirsten Dunst is a natural blonde who had to dye her hair red to play the role of Mary Jane Watson, whilst Bryce Dallas Howard, who rocked as the blind girl in "The Village", has to dye her natural red hair blonde for her role. Guess the studio executives are afraid the audience having trouble telling the girls apart.
Sunday, May 06, 2007
***WARNING: SPOILERS ALERT!***