Film Review:Spidey's Dark Side

The third installment of the Spider-Man series, and the most expensive, fails to deliver a great Spider-Man movie. This time around, Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire), who has super spider powers, finds his Uncle Ben's real killer — a now escaped convict named Flint Marko (Thomas Haden Church). When Marko escapes, though, he is caught in a sand molecular experiment and becomes the super villain Sandman. As Peter sleeps, he is engulfed by a black alien goo that feeds off his dark side. Remember when Luke Skywalker embraced the vengeance in his heart? Well, the black goo has a similar affect on Peter. He then uses his anger and lust for revenge as he goes after the Sandman. The suit enhances him in his alter ego of the webslinger, but also corrupts him as a person. He loses Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst), the love of his life, becomes more violent and disrespectful and leans more toward the villainous side as opposed to super hero. Then an old villain surfaces in a new way — Harry Osborn (James Franco). In another lust for vengeance for the death of his father, he gets the Goblin gear and surfaces to fight Spidey as New Goblin. In another villainous subplot, rival Daily Bugle freelance photographer Eddie Brock (Topher Grace) squares off with Peter at the Bugle and due to the corruption of the suit, Peter destroys Brock's career.

Driven by revenge, part of the evil black suit falls on Brock and transforms him into Venom.

Despite all these plot twists and fights with Spider-Man, the film is primarily about Peter Parker and how his character is changed due to the influence of the black suit. If you expect a traditional super hero movie, you may not be fully satisfied. There are some cool sequences with the villains but there is too much emphasis on the Peter Parker character. Whereas most super hero movies use the secret identity as support for the super character, this uses Spider-Man as support for Peter Parker, but then ties the two together at the end. It does this very well, but it just takes a long time to get there. And if there are any comic book purists out there, this movie will surely disappoint. The differences from the well structured story in the comic books are startling. Overall, not a great movie. See it if you want to be in on what people are talking about or if you are a fan of the series of films. Or if you just have time to kill.

Don't expect Spider-Man 3, expect Peter Parker: the Movie. Rated PG-13, I give this one out of five stars.

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