Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Ho Hum!

And so, another installment of a film franchise comes to a predictable end. After a winding, still-not-getting-anywhere first half and most of the second, the once-tortured, now-wise superhero runs to the rescue of his hapless girlfriend—again!

A bunch of bad quips, tears, renewed friendships, more wisdom, and daft theatrics later, dear Spidey is left, for the second time in as many films, at a funeral at the end of the film, crying copiously! MJ and he are back in love, all's well with NYC, and I am making a run for the exit.

However, my grouse is not with the miserably confused storyline that has too many disconnected, unexplained things and people littering the screen. Nor do I wish to rant about the average acting. My problem, quite simply, is that I've just had enough of the pathetic, whiny Spidey super villain routine.

For one moment, think. Ever seen Lex Luthor explain why he was a mean bastard? Or heard the Penguin or the Joker spin some heartbreaking story about how he didn't mean to kill people? It was just that he needed money for his ill daughter or that his wife died in an experiment gone bizarre. With the exception of Venom, every single Spidey super villain, without exception, is a fallen hero. That's probably why I can bear Venom even a little.

Eddie Brock Jr. (Topher Grace) does not make any claim to once being good or kind or noble. He's hard, ambitious, and opportunistic. And that's really that. There's no nonsense about wanting or needing to kill the ridiculous symbiote from God alone knows where. He simply wants the bloody thing so badly, he has the grace to die with it.

Director Sam Raimi is, in my opinion, overdoing the human aspect of supervillains. Perhaps it has some place in the super-villain galaxy of the Spiderman world but not by wussy-fying them beyond recognition! Also, I am not certain that so many super villains have a place in a single film without seriously deteriorating the quality of the film.

For example, I really don’t quite understand how or why Sandman’s in the movie – we’re not even getting into the symbiote. He seems to exist solely for the sake of the Oprah number Raimi’s pushing so hard. Nor do I understand why Raimi would have interfered so much with the original comic book storyline of Sandman. It just makes for confused and confusing cinema.

Sigh. In any case, I'm told Spidey 4, 5, and 6 threaten to loom large. Given the first three, I wonder what they will bring in terms of the storyline, the acting, or the crazy interpretation of a beloved comic strip. For me, I just really hope I get to see an unapologetic super-villain in a Spidey film.