So much so that I avoided seeing it until now. I'd heard initial reports that Spider-Man 3sucked, and I was so devastated by the disappointment that was X-Men 3, that I just couldn't bear to be let down the same way by my favorite Marvel character. Even when it came up in the Netflix que, it sat unopened for a month until my wife started urging me to just return it unwatched so we could move on to Juno.So I broke down and watched it this week, steeling myself for a heartache.
And I got to say I loved it. I can see how some people complained that it's a Peter Parker movie not a Spider-Man movie, and understand that a movie whose theme is "a husband needs to put his wife before himself" might not be popular with teenagers, and yes, you can see that the studio interference, forcing in three villains at once, did so at the detriment of story. But all the character bits that I loved in Spider-Man 2 are here again. I loved the dance sequences, the relationships, the angst, the triangle between Peter, Harry and Mary Jane. Mind you, the bold exhuberance of the "Rain Drops Keep Fallin' On My Head" sequence was my favorite part of the second film, so take my endorsement with a grain of salt. And, of course, the film is no Dark Knight,but it shouldn't be. This is a movie about a guy who got his superpowers by being bitten by a radioactive/genetically engineered arachnid. I've read the comic, and this was the comic. It was everything I love about Spider-Man and always have. It was a great companion to the previous two.
Number 2 is probably still better structurally, script-wise, if I let myself think about it. But I enjoyed this just as much, and I'd say it's actually better than 1. So we get a nice parabola with 2 in the middle, without much of a drop off, and a very nice three movie arc for the Harry/Green Goblin storyline. Most of all, I'm really relieved that when my son is old enough, I can show him all 3 Spider-Man films across a weekend without having to stop after the second one and brace him for disappointment, the way I'll have to do with X-Men and The Matrix and just about every trilogy ever made except Lord of the Rings. And that's a rare thing indeed.