Spiderman 3 —the Review

Sometime during splurging 250 million, Sam Raimi possibly realized that he had little money left for the script and story.

And so he did what Dell, GE and many other “exporters of America”, using the words of the formidable Lou Dobbs, have done. He outsourced the scripting to India where a company that had Kunal Kolhi and Sanjay Gadhvi on its payroll did a “How may I help you” and converted “Spiderman 3” into a classic Bollywood formula movie of the first order.

How else can you explain “Spiderman 3” opening with Peter Parker and Mary Jane reclining on a spiderweb watching shooting stars ala SRK and Kajol in “Kuch Kuch Hota Hain”, Peter Parker’s friend-turned-enemy Harry contorting his face and spitting out something on the lines of: ” Yes I kissed her and muaaah she tasted like strawberries” (which must have made Shakti Kapoor go “Aoooo copyright violation “), a rejected Peter Parker with a Devdas-like curl of hair trying to make his ex-girlfriend Mary Jane jealous with a “Koi yahan aha nache nache” dance with another girl , the “pyar ki qurbani for sake of saiyaan” set-piece from the 70s socials and enough tears shed (the hero, heroine, the other man, the other woman and even the villain— not one person is spared the glycerine) to make Nirupa Roy tear her hair in frustration?

Noone grudges romance, drama and brainlessnesses in a superhero flick —at least not me. Which is why I loved the first part of the Spiderman series –it was cute, action-packed and trod the line between sentimentality and superhumanity with style. Spiderman 2 was more of the same: except that I liked it a little less than the first Spiderman. But Spiderman 3 loses the balance altogether sinking into a morass of tear-drenched maudlinity, with a tangled web of a “he loves her, she loves another, and he loves someone else” soap-operaish plot that inhibits the development of any cinematic pace and frequent incursions into unintentional comedy brought about by good boy Parker going over to the dark side and desperately trying to portray evil  by doing a “well, you can tell by the way I use my walk, I’m a woman’s man, no time to talk” gait and over-the-top Shahrukhian flourishes.

In conclusion, I have to say that I went in prepared to see a rousing finale of epic proportions to the Spiderman saga and came out with the distinct aftertaste of strawberries.

To be honest, I did not find that muaaaahhh.

55 thoughts on “Spiderman 3 —the Review

  1. Add the Ramu Kaka element…And one villain turning into a good character…and of course, he dying, in a last minute sacrifice…it was an unbelievable bollywood masala movie

  2. You said it!
    Saw it yesterday. Came out with a dull mood; not common when you come out watching a superhero movie. Not a fun movie AT ALL.

  3. i so agree…too much senti for a superhero movie…i think i have been put off spiderman for good… what a weenie!!!

  4. That makes it the fifth review of the movie giving spidey 3 a thumbs-down.

    Out of five.

    Definitely off my “Watch!” list.

  5. WARNING *** Guys lament the influence of Mary Jane on girls. The film is a sinister attempt by the Anti-geek cartel to influence the already unpredictable “perceptive female thought” , making geekiness (even in the superhero garb) a valid reason for increasingly erratic behaviour amongst the fairer sex. Conspiracy was never more blatantly obvious. Heed my words all geeks of the uncomfortably-metrosexual age, thy end cometh through selective genetic elimination. Where’s our saviour Mithunda ? Whyfore hast He forsaken us ….. 😦

  6. The one time honored character which originally appeared in Maine Pyar Kiya (i don’t recall an earlier instance) by a Pigeon (or Dove more accurately) – this character graduated to being a dog in Hum Aapke Hai Kaun and then a 7 year old girl in Kuch Kuch Hota Hain…. in Spiderman 3 it was Harry Osbourne’s butler – charged with revealing a crucial facts which blows the plot open – righting all wrongs and making the rest of the movie a straight forward right v wrong mission…..

    We need more Mithunda and Govinda and Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill. Im looking forward to seeing Grindhouse after this Spidey disaster.

  7. Innovation is fast disappearing, not only in India but throughout the world. That is why people are remaking old hit movies and borrowing ideas. God save the world.

  8. Agree with you completely. See my take here. Man, am I happy I went to the pre-noon show at AMC, paying only $5!

  9. … and the scene where Harry dies. I mean come’on, MJ cud had got him in an ambulance or spidey cud had flown him to the medicare, but noooo… they preferred the Jay-Viru sequence from sholay…

  10. Shivaji Datta - From jheel ke "uss" paar :) May 7, 2007 — 6:09 am

    Unrelated comment… If you have time how about designing a few more banners? Although great works of art, these actually are getting a bit old… (don’t you think so?).

  11. It was terrible..so boring…he cried too much and too soppy for my liking..where was the action I ask??

  12. Do you know what struck me as most hilarious? The fact that Parker actually keeps his two Spidey costumes in two little suitcases! That was the standout in this laugh-a-minute farce of a film, and I speak as the mother of a five-year-old who considers it her life’s mission to educate her son on the merits of your friendly neighborhood Spiderman 🙂

  13. Sriram Subramanian May 7, 2007 — 11:05 am

    Awesome review. The first few lines said it all. The script was definitely outsourced to bollywood.

  14. arshat chaudhary May 7, 2007 — 1:00 pm

    Superhero movies are not just meant to be wahm-bahm…I guess most of us would like to have a superhero who is human…
    I mean,look at superman…he wudnt be so amazing had it not been for Kryptonite…
    We like to see our hero go down once in a while,an make a comeback only a superhero can
    I am afraid,you are wrong on this one great bong…

  15. Yea but superhero doesn’t mean superloser with psycho girlfriend either.

  16. Considering the alluring market of hollywood movies in a country like India which has let its dazzling global presence felt in the recent years and changed the chemistry of popular cinema with “Raj”, “Rahul”, “Rohan” and so many similar isotopes, can we blame Sam Raimi for encouraging lots of schmaltzy blotches while portraying Spidey ? In sync with the changing get up, I wont be zapped if Spidey wears a chain with Cool Kool pendant in the next sequel !
    For those who are yet to suffer “S-3”, better go and watch the desi version with spidey delivering a few verbal gems like: “Hum makad manav hain, ud kar aayab aur tohar tetuwa dabaa deb” (I’m Spiderman, I’ll fly to you and throttle you)” … at least worth the popcorn’s price if not the ticket’s !

  17. Definitely an English Hindi Movie!
    Tobey cant cry! I was laughing during his crying scenes! hehe 🙂

  18. This was an awful movie – by the time last 40 minutes came by, we were dead bored and hungry. At that point we couldnt care if sandman or venom died first. Heck if Spiderman himself died.


  19. GB,
    Read some suggestions by a Cinematical blogger about how they could have made a better Spiderman – here. While not all suggestions are great, the ones like are
    1. kill MJ in the opening sequence (may be have the alien symbiot drop on her)
    2. delete all Aunt May’s sequences (they ran their course in the last movie, didn’t they?)
    3. kill Goblin Jr. in the first confrontation (the enjoyable chase sequence would have been much better if not for the cheap ‘short term memory loss’ trick at the end).
    Don’t you agree?

  20. I couldn’t agree more with your review…It really seemed like Sam Raimi was very impressed with Bollywood…really dissapointing…

  21. boss…… my reaction was EXACTLY the same as yours …. only I thought that the director had hired Karan Johar as a “special advisor consultant” ….maan … and if you noticed this is a kind of a trend in these super-hero movies these days …. like “Casino Royal” for eg ….all trying to be sentimental and what not ….I saw Spid 3 last night …. helped me fall asleep right after the show …
    I recommend this movie to anybody suffering from insomnia …

  22. spot on!! The movie was well worth the groans that echoed around the cinema hall.. The movie should have been called “Spiderman – an amateur study of the emotions and the man behind spiderman”.

    The movie was funny though – like the way the crowd (in the movie that is) cheered Spidey on.. The wicked-ly funny sequence where spidey parker turns into a casanova of sorts.

    BTW, this is not the finale. Marvel has announced atleast 3 more installments.. God help the neighbourhood!!

  23. I have done some terrible things in my life. But nothing worse than watching Spidey 3.. The trailers had set such high expectations and to get a KJo style tear jerker pot-boiler in place of an action thriller.. 😦
    I don’t want you to forgive me.. just understand.. 😀

    Very accurate review GB.. How I wish I had read your review before I went and watched this movie..


  24. Right, pure Bollywood…

    Spidey completes the whole senti dialogue scene with marko before checkin on his injured friend goblin..Marko has the change of heart without any reason. 3 villains becomes too many to handle so turned around one and made him co-hero. (But then the goblin is now used in 3 movies so it became essential to kill him off )Love triangle, the works ! Here’s one more..Church Bells dissolves the evil (a la Hindi movies; substitute with ringing bells at the mandir while the villain is destroyed )
    Awesome..there had to be a few songs right?

    PS:Somehow I liked the dark spiderman..cool dude he was .

  25. yup yup. i saw it 2 days back. posted on it yesterday. a karan johar-ish action movie wasnt it?

    dont forget how none of the baddies are baddies in reality at all. either saving ill daughter, or avenging humiliation or avenging dead father. my lasting image of this movie shall forever remain that of toby maguire attempting to woo and dance around girls, his effeminate brilliance shining through.

  26. This movie is as Bollywoodish as possible.

    Peter even sang the ‘Dil Aaj Shaayar Hai, Gam Aaj Nagma’ number for MJ at the pub where she’s a singer/watiress.

    And there is an AK Hungal type Raamu Kaka!

    Man, this is reverse internalization!!!

  27. spiderman 2 was so much better. i read yesterday on BBc, that they are planning to make 3 more spiderman movies.

  28. http://www.rediff.com/movies/2007/may/07om.htm
    The biggest song ever!
    And it has God in it as well
    Sanjay Dutt, Saif Ali, Salman,Shah Rukh Khan ,Kajol, Shilpa Shetty, Preity Zinta, Govinda, Priyanka Chopra, Rani Mukerji, Vidya Balan, Mithun Chakraborty, Rekha, Karisma Kapoor, Tabu, Lara Dutta, Malaika Arora, Urmila Matondkar, Shabana Azmi and Amrita Arora.

    Now i am waiting for the song as well as ur comments

  29. The story was crap, fine- no body worked enough on it. The actors were dumb, okay. Can’t help basic natures.

    My simple biggest problem with the movie was that Spiderman is a f****** superhero, with a f****** mask. Why can’t Spiderman continue wearing that f****** mask? How difficult is that as a simple instruction? And what was Venom doing taking back the blackness from the face to talk, and then getting it back on?

    I mean , hullo?


  30. Agree. It was a bit too much with that jazz dance whatever scene.

    But you must agree, the action sequences, however few, were way better than the first two movies.

    Sad to see green goblin turn good. 😦

  31. It seems like most people disliked the movie ……I detested it … how come it’s such a huge box office success in India …. I guess people pre-booked and went there before the reviews came out ….

  32. heheh.

    true it is. here are a few personal gems from spiderman 3. (so long since i actually heard the full name being said)

    1. butler–> i loved your father, and i love you. (i was almost about to hoot. heeh)

    2. norman osborn actor willem defoe, or his lookalike, in the bar/cafe in the background.

    3. sandman shot uncle by mistake!!! when his friend bumped into him!!! my god.

    4. peter’s symbiote influence forced him to swagger ungainfully and dance. now i know who are the alien spies in bollywood!

    5. goblin took the iron rod stab. (straight lift from baazigar). otherwise, replace rod with trishul, knife, bullet where applicable.

    6. you still want more? go watch it.

  33. GB
    You are correct. But people who never watched Bollywood flicks, may find it a bit different. Ne ways..
    What I found really amusing in the movie, was the power of the tamarind jelly structure that originated from a meteor!!! I still did not understand what was that for!

  34. Spiderman 3 has been dubbed in over 5 languages including Bhojpuri which has Haary(or Hari?) mocking Peter by saying – “uske honth to muzaffarpur ki litchie ki tarah ras bhare hain.” – Applause n whistles all over in Chhapra caneema hall.

  35. Hi,

    I agree completely with your review. But for Part 1, the entire series was a let-down. Enjoyed reading your Mithun-da post. Was just howling with laughter! Keep up the entertainment!

  36. Did Sam Raimi know that they were going to do a Bhojpuri dub on this one ? That might have a bit of influence. The only thing missing in the movie was a spidey singing and dancing around a tree with MJ. OMG, the cliches would have given a Manmohan Shetty potboiler run for his money. The butler coming out with the truth (and out of the closet) just when MJ was about to die. Then those church bells, ohhh..!!! and the bollywood copyrighted extra-hero-sacrifices at the end. Plss!!!

  37. Pingback: Swadeshe
  38. agree cent percent…

    BTW, I was expecting that you would do a piece on Sanjaya Malakar, but it never came…

  39. I came out of the ‘paid-preview’ on May 2 and couldn’t resist writing a review as soon as I got home — what I pompously thought would be the first blogging review of Spiderman-3. And as it turns out, Bollywood flavour — seems to the most prevalent response to Spiderman-3 from us Indians! Whoa! I even found some 3-4 references to ‘Ramu kaka’. I tell you we are a population completely in-sync — at least as far as Bollywood is concerned 🙂

  40. Lolllllllllll . I can’t stop laughing.
    Hey btw , you missed out the transformation Harry Osborne underwent in an instant and the Gandhigiri Pete resorted to when he said “I forgive you” to Marco Flint, which will put our dettol heroes to shame.
    Forget the snogging. It’s for teaching young school children (the KG-goers I mean ) how and where not to kiss. Not in the wilderness on hammocks please. When you get down, little creepy symbiotic things will stick to you and may cause you to change to something other than your usual loser self. And yeah, we should have been spared of the scene where Tobey Maguire weeps at Harry’s death.

  41. i LOVE lichies.

    pity, in barrackpore the hindi version is there (ladies’ balcony Rs 10/-)
    i want to see the BHOJPURI one.

  42. @All: Yes there was the Ramu kaka and the baazigar death scene…I had a burning desire to deconstruct each Hindi movie cliche but then I did not want to spoil the movie for you any more than it has already spoilt itself.

  43. No use dissecting Spider… man. had we not enough of dissection of toads, cockroaches, Pyt’s in our high school ( Oi sei Halud Pakhi….) days.
    I will certainly see the film with my son. Why not enjoy the web of Fantasy in an INOX rather than be mired in the web of analytical mush.

    WWW ly yours


  44. C’mon.. it is an entirely entertaining, total timepass, fun movie.. i mean, its a superhero flick not Schindler’s List.. so pls go to the moviehall with the expectation of no logic, fantastic special effects and crazy coincidences.. thats what its all about.. a good 2.5 hrs of no-brainer fun.. get a big bucket of popcorn and enjoy some of the most wonderful special effects.. DONT ANALYZE such movies.. they are not meant to be

  45. First superman and now this hotch-potch of Yash Raj meets Balaji meets Film Kraft :()

    To revive my faith in super hero movies there is just person in Christopher Nolan. Desperately waiting for The Dark Knight. But I have realised the American moviegoers are as easily fooled and as intellectually wanted as any moviegoers in the world. 151mn in first three days is record for any movie ever made.

    Mediocrity rules and therefore democracy rules.

  46. You are a fucking genius and I love reading your blog. I have not seen this after, what I felt was, a horrific sequel.
    I’m looking forward to seeing the Silver Surfer soar through the air while Jessica Alba strains to keep her bosom from exploding out of her suit.

  47. Hey GB,
    couldn’t agree more. I watched the movie in an IMAX theatre which was an awesome experience by itself. The few positive things that I can think about the movie are owing to the gargatuan experience of Imax. I agree with Rimi C’ view on Spidey III (well partially). It is purely coincidental that 4 characters in the movie have super power, it’s not a story about super heroes. Very true. But, there in lies the problem. It is a melodramatic tear jerker and an extremely mediocre story! In the last part of the movie it was quite disturbing to see Spidey bawling like SRK over anything and everything! ughhh!!! and talk about his friendship with Green Goblin junior and the whole sequence of there misunderstanding and the 180 degree reversal. You can actually sing along “yeh dosti” while the two of them are fighting against (and I actually did, much to the irritation of my brother) their “mutual” enemy. Puleeez if this is a manifestation of “existential angst” and fate of the rest of the Spidey movies, I’ll happily lock myself in the wonder world of the great Harry Potter. Let the heroes be heroes, why humanize them to the extent that they become rip off from Bollywod! sad…very very sad.

  48. Oh Daddy Cool Cool Cool
    Spiderman Hai Fool Fool Fool

  49. hey killer review…I saw it and hated it almost as much as you did:

    I had a hard time convincing myself to be scared of a pile of blowing dust…or a rabid piece of licorice with sharp teeth that just…uh…inexplicably fell from the sky in a meteor..and gets pissed off because some pathetic piece of blond skirt dumps his dweeby ass….and then dust bunny goes around blowing enormous dust farts at cops and bats his blue eyes at spidey….they have such an emotional scene in the end I thought they were going to embrace and discover they were long lost brothers who were separated in the Kumbh Mela… who have the same hereditary tatoos on their butt cheeks that spell…..”madar…chodh….” And why was Tobey Maguire trying to dance like Govinda with an adolf haircut and eyeliner? Can someone please explain? I mean how does someone manage to screw up a film about spiderman?…

    for the rest of that post check my site out here:


  50. just saw the movie …. and regretting why I wasted an entire afternoon on such hogwash!

  51. i don’t care wht folks say bout this movie it was the SHIZNITe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  52. Not bad for what I was expecting… but of course it doesn’t even compare to the Dark Knight!!

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