22 May 2007

Review: Spiderman 3

Genre: Action / Drama (Romance)

I was barely halfway through watching this film, when I could not help but recognize that my opinion of it would not improve as its seconds trudged on. Full of cheap tricks, puerile humor, and helpless panderings to the ignorant masses that seem to hold up paradigms only socially relevant during the tight-collar days of the 1950s, Spiderman 3 is clearly a mistake at every turn. From its base at an extremely feeble and sillily ambitious screenplay to its unusually unbelievable leading man - yes, even more than in the previous two films - the ridiculousness doesn't cease.
Why does it insist on desexualizing its characters? It reads like the diary of hapless, asexual (probably for religious reasons) teenager, a tact that denies any sense of refreshingness that in other situations may exist and, instead, resurrects pious hardihoods of years (very) passés. One would expect, after having seen two extremely passionate kisses in the previous films, that this third chapter would finally flesh out (though hopefully not in the typical gratuitous fashion) those burgeoning desires, a product that, one would also expect, should hit very well with the target demographic (i. e., males aged 13-25). Yet, instead of a steamy third date, the film backtracks, taking obvious pains to remove any note of serious sexual overtness from its characters and situations; sexuality is only a mockery, a foolhardy enterprise, a significant characteristic of the punk, faux bad-ass Peter Parker, whose gait is as absurd as the actor who plays him. When did sexuality become evil again? When did lust take on the dress of the 'devil's design', and in Hollywood(!)? With jazz degraded to the base language of philanderers, I'm surprised by that these parents, filmmakers of the '50s, didn't invoke the trappings of separate beds! And I'm not even going to touch the vapid uses of gender.
And, yes, for the record, I am aware that the story of Spiderman did develop from the (toxic) ether of 'the idea America 1950s--early-1960s', but come on, people: adapt the damn thing. It's not that hard to do - look at X-Men (which, though not an exemplary film family, does often well reassociate the metaphor of the X-man to today's sociocultural climate). How they could proudly present this blatant grafting, this absent-minded sloshing of the original by cell phones and other modern technologies? It is utterly befuddling. Film is still art, people.

Huzzah, conservative America; you've done it again!

Grade: C-/D+

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