With nifty new villains, a revived Green Goblin, plus millions worth of aerial special effects, Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man 3" is definitely good to go.
Maybe not quite as cool as Alfred Molina's many-tentacled Doc Octavius in the sequel, "Spidey 3's" evil Sandman (Thomas Haden Church) is nonetheless a brute, an ex-con with the voice of Lee Marvin and, after being demolecularized in an industrial accident, the body of a 30-foot sand sculpture in the shape of the Hulk.
The other new villain is Venom, aka Eddie Brock (Topher Grace), an ambitious freelance photographer who aims to elbow Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) out of the way and take over his staff job at the Daily Bugle.
Hah. For his troubles, Eddie ends up covered in the Black Goo that arrives on a meteorite in the opening scenes and drapes people in a bad attitude.
First, the Goo attaches itself to Spider-Man's red suit, turning both Spidey and Peter into egocentric bullies, destroying Spidey's reputation as a super-hero and sending Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) into the arms of Peter's friend Harry Osborn (James Franco). The plot - and the Goo - thicken. Harry blames Spider-Man for the death of his father, the late, great Green Goblin, and has been secretly training with revenge on his mind. Way too much of the film's time is devoted to quiet conversations, the on-again/off-again romance between Peter and Mary Jane, which is really starting to bug me. But I'll take a wild guess and say that Spidey fans come for the action and, on that count, they will not be disappointed.
*** (of 5)
Director: Sam Raimi
Starring: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco. Directed by Sam Raimi.
Running time: 2 hrs. 20 min.
Rated: PG-13 for some comic-book action.