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-Spider-Man 3 (PG-13)

by Dr. D ~

Columbia Pictures, May 2007, Directed by Sam Raimi, Cast: Tobey Maguire (Spider-Man/Peter Parker), Kirsten Dunst (Mary Jane Watson), James Franco (New Goblin/Harry Osborn), Thomas Haden Church (Sandman/Flint Marko), Topher Grace (Venom/Eddie Brock), Bryce Dallas Howard (Gwen Stacy), Rosemary Harris (May Parker), J.K. Simmons (J. Jonah Jameson)


The third installment of the Spider-man franchise is far more complicated the previous two. There are more monsters to fight and Peter has to overcome his own dark side that seems to manifest itself when he is infected by a black meteorite goo/symbiote. This story is much darker than the previous two and at times Peter/Spider-man is not his usual friendly self and far more self -absorbed. However, there are spurts of good action and incredible special effects.

From the start, Spider-man is busy fighting his old best friend Harry in the form of the New Goblin. Then there is a new bad guy who turns out to be the one who killed Peter’s uncle. But also, through a freak accident, he becomes an allusive Sandman who can’t really be beaten. Then to top it off, Peter’s new rival photographer turns into the powerful and evil Venom, thanks to the meteorite goo/symbiote who overcomes him.

Meanwhile, on the love front Peter starts off well but ends up striking out with Mary Jane and hurting her deeply through his flirtations with lab partner Gwen Stacy. Between his new found popularity and the evil goo, Peter’s pride escalates and his dark side seems to take over for a while. Peter actually becomes a jerk for a while. It does sound complicated and it is a little slow moving in spots.

Rest assured in the end Spidey wins out over Harry/new Goblin and they join forces trying to bring down the Sandman. Peter goes to church to get rid of the evil goo and Eddie/Venom loses out to his own dark side. Oh yes, Peter and Mary Jane seem to be back together at the end. All is well until number four, but the wedding bells are not ringing yet.

Religious Themes:

There are a number of religious themes that run throughout this story: good vs. evil, vengeance and forgiveness, pride vs. humility, and self-sacrifice vs. self-absorption.

Peter has a major battle with pride and becomes so self-absorbed that he can’t even help Mary Jane who is suffering a major loss in her career. Later he rejects Mary Jane’s help when he is overcome with anger and vengeance in pursuit of his uncle’s killer Sandman/Marko.

Later, Peter finally realizes that the goo/symbiote/black suit is infecting him in dark and evil ways. He goes to church in order to get rid of this ‘evil possession’. Underneath the cross with the church bells ringing, he is finally able to get the black symbiote off of himself and begin the road to recovery.

In his battles with his friend Harry/New Goblin, he is self-sacrificing in trying to save him and at the same time protecting himself from harm. When he is battling Venon/Eddie, he tries to help Eddie overcome the evil that in infecting him through the goo/symbiote.

In the end, Peter forgives the Sandman/Marko and lets him escape. The act of forgiveness seems to bring Peter/Spider-man back to his normal good natured self and all is much better at the end.                *Top

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