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The film that many comic book fans have been waiting for, me included, has hit UK screens. After drooling over the trailer, I finally find out that it's screening at my local. I organise a trip to see it with some friends, and off we go.
Perhaps it was the hype. Perhaps it was my cynicism that a film is never as good as you expect it to be. Or maybe it was that it was terribly scripted. One of the three.
There were moments that had me positively cringing in my seat. Where Spiderman finds his new suit (with, of course, side effects), they have one of the strangest bits of sexposition that I've ever seen: Peter Parker strutting his stuff in a way more appropriate to Saturday Night Fever II: Dancing in the Street than for a superhero film. There was a certain French waiter whose performance, whilst hilarious, was stereotypical and slimy, as well as being emotionally misplaced in the film.
However, the biggest hole in it was the scripting. There were several sequences of dialogue that could have come straight from a Character Description briefing. While the evolution of certain events was handled well (in a rushed manner, which is more or less the tone of the whole film), the actual lines expressing them were cardboard cut-out teen angst, which just got tedious towards the end, and some terrible character-resolving dialogue to get the film out of having far too many villains in it.
Character development was something that seemed to be a pay-as-you-go option in the film, with parts of it slotted in with what comes to be standard inane dialogue at points where it has to matter. There is no real evolution of character; all we get from Sandman's creation is some confused looks and the occasional scream as the very fabric of his being is reduced to sand with no long-term consequences apart from seeming mood swings*, the inevitable Peter-MJ relationship friction is expressed through tearful answer machine messages and wistful looks at the phone, while Hobgoblin is turned on and off like a switch with various subtle-as-a-brick flashback sequences.
Various characters from the comic have been composited, not because it helps develop them, but because it makes them easier to pack into a film which is bursting at the seams with plotlines that really deserve more screentime in a film of their own. In order to get us through the last hastily-rushed, action-packed, let's-blow-all-our-CGI-budget-here half an hour it becomes necessary to have narrators in the form of news reporters. That's not good storytelling.
By the time one of these reporters says "I don't know how much more of this we can take" or somesuch, I was really feeling the same way. If you want to see the best of this film, see the first half an hour and leave, and let your mind dream over what could have been. It'll be better than what actually happens, I assure you.
*I only call them mood swings because it's the only way to rationalise a complete change in character for him at an appropriate moment in the film.
Apologies if this sounds harsh/too rushed/too much in the way of spoilers, it's the first time I've ever felt compelled to write a review about a film, and I probably haven't done my research.
**SPOILERS MAY FOLLOW**
Does anyone else feel that this would've been a much better film if:
A. Sandman and all Sandman related elements were completely removed from the story.
B. The three hours (which should be reduced!) would've been better spent if more time was devoted to developing and resolving the conflict between Spiderman and Harry as the Green Goblin and Spidey's corruption from the black symbiote suit (minus the eyeshadow and street dancing scenes)
C. Final Scene of movie: Spidey rips the symbiote from his body in the bell tower - It falls on Eddie - Eddie becomes Venom - Venom lunges at the camera and 'swallows' the shot - fade to black, roll credits - Venom is the main antagonist of SpiderMan 4 - Sandman is nowhere to be seen in SpiderMan 4.
A: Yes. Especially if they removed that "He was the one who actually killed your father! So you killed that other guy for no reason. Sucks to be you."
B: Yep. Harry should have lived, for one, and should have been the main antagonist rather that conveniently losing his memory after the first fight.
C: Eh...too much like PotC2.
The above poster = Totally a member of the Fluff Masters Clan. Click here for fluff pwnage.
Come, sons of LO! Kneel before Poodle!
Mr_Wayne: "Some people believe that the World Eaters do not field any ranged weaponry. Those people often die at a distance."
Wasnt king pin a spidy villan or just in every marval book....
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