Monday, March 10, 2008

"We" are pissed

I think I must have been asleep when Spiderman 3 was released. On top of that, I must have had tape over my eyes; my fingers must have been shoved in my ears and I must have been in a cave. On Mars. Because there is no way I could have missed the storm of human idiocy that propelled this movie to the highest one day grossing film of all time. I mean, yea, fine, I am partially to blame. Much like the other mindless fan boys, I went rushing to the theater hoping to be treated to what would be the third film in a cancer curing trilogy. What we were met with was a worthless heap of wasted human potentional strung along on a string of false marketing, bad acting and writing. But we could not have possibly known how bad it was before we saw it. So the first day gross is to be expected. It did follow up two widely successful and acclaimed comic films that have been heralded as the best of the genre. But what worries me is that the movie kept on making money hand over fist. Why?

I trust in the power of word of mouth. It has saved my friends (and me) from many bad films but why was Spiderman 3 impervious to this form of preventative action? It could be people actually liked it. Now – I’m not going to sit here and judge people for liking or disliking something but I will scratch my head when people willingly accept blatant misleading advertising, shabby plot pacing and lazy story telling. Anyone who knows the basic layout for any story can see the glaring issues in how Spiderman 3 is structured. The events in the story are horribly disjointed and jarring. Towards the end of the film, in stead of trying to explain and film in a decent scene where James Franco’s character Harry finally accepts Peter/Spiderman – the film makers cop’d out and had this ridiculous scene where his butler tells him Spiderman didn’t kill Harry’s dad. He said he was waiting for the right time to say it. Apparently, the “right time” was AFTER Harry took a grenade to face and spent most of the movie with, wait for it, amnesia. This glaring plot hole exists to build an entire foundation for the third film. Without conflict – there is no story – and the entire conflict in this film is centered around lazy writing. Thanks for insulting our intelligence in thinking we wouldn’t notice this.

But most people won’t. Most people didn’t even notice the blitzkrieg commercial lie campaign that rammed it down our throats that Venom (Widely accepted in the comic world as Spiderman’s best villain and overall coolest Marvel character ever created) was going to be in the movie. In practice, Venom was only in the movie for the last 20 minuets and whatever this movie presented as Venom – most certainly was not Venom. To put it bluntly, the first sentence uttered by Venom in the movie – nay – the first WORD he said was so wrong I could hear it speak louder again in response to the silenced fans who were reeling in shock from the word. It says, “We didn’t care.”

To make a long story short – Venom is essentially two characters in one. One being the symbiote: an alien life form that merged with Spiderman and created a suit that made him 100 times stronger than he already was. The suit also made him much more aggressive so Spiderman removed the suit the only way he could: violently, by using intense sound waves from a church bell. The other half of Venom is Eddie Brock: the man the symbiote merged with after it separated from Spiderman. Eddie Brock hates Peter Parker (Spiderman’s secret identity) because Peter blew the whistle on a false news story Eddie was reporting and ruined his his life. When the symbiote and Eddie merged they created Venom – the most perfectly crafted villain.

All that is back story – what is important is that ever since the 80’s when Venom was introduced he has always referred to himself in a plural sense with “We”s and “Us”s. Every comic Venom ever appeared in – that was his calling card. When we first see Venom in Spiderman 3 he says a simple word that is an insult. A slap in the face. He referred to himself as “I”. Sadly to say, while part of me was blown away by this, I wasn’t surprised. By that point in the movie, I had seen every bad play in the book of bad movie shenanigans. I had already accepted it was a bad Spiderman 3 movie. Frankly, it had become a bad movie. With a complete lack of foresight in the handling of the Venom character, part of me believes it was a willful attempt on part of the film makers to destroy the character and give a big middle finger to the fans who carried the first two films. What else could explain such poor film making?

On a side note, I found out later that director Sam Rami hates the character Venom and was basically forced by Marvel to have him be put into the movie. Once again – whoever wins … we lose.

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