I decided to begin this review with a quote from the 10-year-old (maybe 8 or 9) kid who walked behind me as we exited the theater. When his father asked him what he thought about the movie, the boy responded with, "I don't get what the big deal was." Although I kept walking, I wanted to turn around and tell him that if a film like Spider-Man 3 came out when I was ten, I would've talked about it for weeks. The special effects alone would've infiltrated my dreams; I'd demand that my parents run out and immediately buy me any action figure associated with the film so that, within the comfort of my own home, I could let my imagination run loose. When I was ten, my friends and I prayed for films like Spider-Man 3 -- not because of the hotly-debated conversations we could have about the film's potential box office figures, but because it was bursting with the kind of energetic spirit us kids craved. I'm not sure whether kids these days know the power of imagination; part of the problem is that they've grown up in a medicated world without any surprises. And I guess if you're a kid who watched both Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 on your HD flat-screen TV in between games on your PS3, while trying to decipher the coded text messages your friends are sending, then you might not get what the big deal is here. Or maybe you did get it ... and you're just not impressed.
If anything, Spider-Man 3 could be looked at as a healthier form of Ritalin -- heck, there's so much going on in this film, kids don't have a lot of time to lose concentration. If you've seen any of the trailers, then I'm sure you already know the basic premise. In between Spider-Man 2 and Spider-Man3, Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) has done a bit of growing up. Saving the day is no longer an overwhelming responsibility; instead, he's addicted to the attention. And though he's still madly in love with Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst), he's become consumed by his own greatness. The geeky, self-conscious kid from Queens has been replaced by a guy determined to be the best at every task he takes on, be it inside the suit or out. He's become the kind of guy who can't help but brag about his own adventures even when someone, like Mary Jane, is simply looking for a shoulder to cry on. Problem is, everyone is beginning to notice ... except for him. To Peter, life couldn't get any better. Sure he's still got some unsettled business with Harry Osborn (James Franco), but he has Mary Jane by his side. A woman he adores. A woman he wants to marry. Well, that's if she says yes.