The main problem with “Spider-Man 3“ is that it suffers from a meandering plot. The three leading characters from the first film (Peter Parker (Toby McGuire), Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst), Harry Osborn (James Franco), must complete their motivational story arc. The new movie also introduces Flint Marco (Thomas Haden Church and who is destined to become “The Sandman”) and Eddie Brock, a rival journalist at the Dailey Bugle. Even Mary Jane Watson is given her own rival in the guise of Gwen Stacey (Bryce Dallas Howard), who is the opposite of everything Mary Jane.
To director Sam Raimi’s credit, many of the minor characters from “Spider-Man” and “Spider-Man 2” are given moments to shine. J.K. Simmons returns as the Dailey Bugle editor in chief, Dylan Baker as Professor Connors mentors Peter Parker on the elements of genetic science. Even Spider-Man’s creator is allowed to utter one line of dialogue. “Spider-Man 3” is not a bad movie and film makers intentions are good. “Spider-Man 3” is simply a victim of its earlier success.
The new film opens with Spidey on the top of the world. Crime in New York City is down, Peter Parker is making good grades in school and the girl of his dreams will be performing on Broadway. Peter and Mary Jane spend a wonderful romantic evening together watching a meteor shower when everything starts to go wrong.
Harry Osborn wrongly blames Peter for killing his father and vows revenge. Mary Jane loses her job and becomes jealous of her boyfriend’s popularity. Things go from bad to worst when Flint Marko escapes from jail. Peter Parker and his Aunt May (Rosemary Harris) learn Marko was involved with the murder of Ben Parker (Cliff Robertson). This revelation inspires Peter Parker to seek revenge upon Flint Marko through any means possible.
“Spider-Man 3” investigates Peter Parker's darker psyche. Peter becomes so cocksure of himself that he becomes a leisure suit Larry from Studio 54. The transformation is both comical and ugly. It is Mary Jane who receives the brunt of Peter's cruel behavior. The film falters into soap opera territory as Peter, Mary Jane and Harry resolve their love triangle.
“Spider-Man 3” has a good ending and resolve major plot points from the previous movies. While the film is a disappointment, there is still some life in the franchise. Like “Rocky Balboa,” “Spider-Man” franchise deserves to go out on a nigh note. It would be interesting to see the Shea Stadium Marriage between Peter and Mary Jane in “Spider-Man 4.”