Spider-Man 3 throws us back into the life of Peter Parker (Toby Maguire), where everything seems to be going great. He's doing well in school, he's a hero to his city and he's got the girl of his dreams, Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst). Darkness soon shadows his life as Harry Osborn (James Franco) vows revenge on Peter, Flint Marco (Thomas Church) brings new truths to his life, and Eddie Brock (Topher Grace) sets to destroy Peter's life after Peter destroyed his, which takes place after a symbiotic creature migrates from Peter to Eddie. If it sounds overstuffed, that's because it is. It's a story that lacks so much focus that there's not a lot to really grasp. It's all just there, and stuff happens, and the movie ends.
I'm just going to go out and say it, Peter Parker is a shitty character in Spider-Man 3. Yeah, one of the most likeable and relatable characters in comics is reduced to a dude who wants to marry a girl and momentarily goes emo. Thats it. The development of his character from the first two films completely slams on the breaks and gives us a flat, static replacement, not to mention how his motivation is just confusing. So many choices he makes leave me confused and wondering what happened to his complexion? Why isn't Peter Parker likeable? Shitty writing, that's why.
The villains are often said to be the reason this film failed. I hear all the time that this film would have been better with one villain... maybe two, but honestly, that's not necessarily the problem. The problem is that all the vilians in this film suck, and suck hard. Harry, or "New Goblin" as it appears in the credits, is not only a carbon copy of Green Goblin, but has a lazy and over-before-you-know-it story arc in this film. The Sandman is an interesting idea, and the origin of his powers is a beautiful, stand out sequence, but the character himself is excruciatingly boring. I just don't care about him, his connection to Peter forced, and his transformation into that huge sand monster at the end is just awful. Now, I could write a whole article on how much I hate Venom in this movie. Everything from the awful casting of Topher Grace to the weird way his face is animated when speaking. Venom should have been a highlight, but instead he's a rushed after thought with maybe 7 or so full minutes of screen time.
As for Mary Jane Watson... what the fuck? She went from boring damsel in distress, to more tolerable damsel in distress, to annoying and boring damsel in distress in the course of three films. I hate Mary Jane in this film. Not only is the character just not exciting, but neither is her story. I don't care about her problems, they only slow the film down. The pacing gets all fucked up when we take time with her. I get it, Peter cares about her, which is great, but we dont. Move on, just not to Gwen Stacey, as Gwen in this film is a joke. A crammed in, no-purpose joke.
To sum up, Spider-Man 3 is a low point in the franchise, and it may be my least favorite Spider-Man film to date. It's a sloppy, unfocused and forgettable mess with little redeming qualities. It's a shame this film had to follow two amazing films, but hey, at least we got a reboot... right?