Millions of people out there are probably counting the days before Spider-Man 3 opens and planning on jumping into the bath tub with all their friends and having a great old time no matter how good it is, and that’s fine. But some of them are saying I’m incapable of enjoying a summer popcorn movie because I don’t get them, and that I’ve therefore decided that Spider-Man 3 is going to suck no matter what, and this is is why I misread that Leo Lewis review that came out of the Tokyo junket.
First, I love a good summer popcorn movie as much as the next person. I really do. Except we all know that most of them have been so CG-dependent and drearily formulaic and unimaginative and badly written that “summer popcorn movie” has become a euphemism for “big-studio CG piece of shit that makes you feel like a sucker when it’s over.”
Second, Lewis was clearly adopting a lightly distanced, somewhat humorous tone in order to mask his deep-down feelings about sitting through Spider-Man 3. The man was obviously not delighted or turned on. He was basically saying “here we go with the same old crap.”
And third, I know Spider-Man 3 is going to make gazillions, and this certainly doesn’t change the fact that the franchise has always been and will always be about cardboard characterizations, difficult-to-sit-through dialogue, ploddy plotting (including turns you can see coming from a mile away) and a bottom-line interest in fortifying corporate coffers by delivering as many slick-empty, high falutin’ CG sequences as possible.
For me, there is almost no difference between watching a Spider-Man movie and reading a year-end profit-and-loss statement from the Sony corporation. They are about connecting the dots in order to connect the dots so the people who greenlighted and made them can make as much money as possible. The problem with that approach is, I don’t care about Sam Raimi or Amy Pascal or Tobey Maguire‘s bonus compensation deals.
Spider-Man movies are about sitting through two hours of passable eye candy without any kind of human-scale believability or Raimi-esque personality or anything really “real.” I tried watching the first one on DVD a while back and I couldn’t do it — it was awful. And I certainly don’t have any interest in watching Alfred Molina do his “Doc Ock” thing again in the second one.