Happy in his life as Spider-Man, Peter Parker plans to propose to his girlfriend, Mary Jane. Unfortunately Peter’s swelling ego begins to overshadow Mary Jane’s crumbling life, and when he accidentally becomes exposed to an alien organism, all of his bad personality traits get amplified. With Peter’s life now in tatters, dangerous fugitive Flint Marko who becomes the shapeshifting ‘Sandman’ to stop and his former friend, Harry, hell-bent on revenge for his father’s death, Peter struggles to keep himself together against the multiple foes who wish to destroy him but will his own ego be his ultimate downfall?

Spider-Man 3 (2007) – Director: Sam Raimi

Is Spider-Man 3 appropriate for kids

Rating: 12

Running Length: 139 mins

Starring: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco

Genre: Comic Book,

REVIEW

The final movie in the Sam Raimi ‘Spider-Man’ trilogy, ‘Spider-Man 3’ seeks to explore the darker side of the teenage crime-fighting vigilante, Peter Parker. With his self-importance expanding to the extent that he is oblivious to his girlfriend’s troubles and the catalyst of comic book fan-favourite, ‘Venom’ (the alien symbiote that brings out all of his darker characteristics) ensures that Peter becomes a very unlikable protagonist.

While the movie is well paced and the characters are fully fleshed out, having three villains for Spider-Man to fight makes the movie feel like it is bursting with too much plot for the audience to focus on. It also takes too long for the actual emergence of Venom as a proper villain (it doesn’t happen until the third act) which is disappointing; he is often one of the best villains in the comic books according to Spider-Man fans.

‘Spider-Man 3’ is an enjoyable family action movie which, despite its length and muddled approach, should succeed in keeping children and adults gripped. It may not be to everyone’s taste and the failing romance between Peter and Mary Jane could be a bit boring for young kids but there’s no denying that this movie is full of action and so much is thrown at the audience that it is difficult not to be entertained.

IS ‘SPIDER-MAN 3’ SUITABLE FOR CHILDREN?

There are several intense fight scenes in this movie but, as we do not wish to list everything (which could spoil the movie), we will highlight the most intense scenes below because if kids are ok with these, they should be fine with the rest of the movie.

When Flint Marko (a.k.a Sandman) is first introduced to the story, he sneaks into the bedroom of a young girl who is sleeping. However, it quickly becomes clear that he is the girl’s father and, having escaped from prison, he wishes to see her again as he misses her. Although it does not last long, the idea of a potentially dangerous man breaking into a child’s room while they are sleeping could be quite disturbing for some kids, especially those with a fear of home invasion.

Harry Osborn, knowing that Peter is Spider-Man and convinced that he murdered his father, attacks Peter suddenly as he is travelling through the city. This leads to a rather brutal fight where Spider-Man is thrown against walls with such force that bricks and debris fall out and crash to the ground. This scene lasts for several minutes and is intense although Peter is never badly hurt and it is more exciting than distressing.

When Flint Marko is turned into the Sandman, he falls into a large machine that is switched on by scientists in a nearby facility. As the machine moves faster and faster, the sand on the ground starts to enter Flint’s body. He eventually becomes all sand and cries out as he gets blown away by the wind. A while later, a scene comes back to this place and Flint’s body starts to reform but it is completely made of sand. At first, he has no features and his head, arms and torso rise out of the sand but suddenly the back of his head caves in. This isn’t gory and he does not appear to suffer but the image is quite graphic and could be frightening for some younger kids.

The Sandman attacks a truck which is carrying a lot of money. Because he has picked up a lot more sand than when he was first created, he becomes huge and badly damages the truck. He has no features and growls menacingly. Some cops shoot at him and he roars in pain, he then sweeps a huge hand which throws them into the air.

Venom is introduced as a small amount of black slime which crawls along with finger-like tendrils. When it fuses with Peter, its shadow is seen on the wall behind him as a large, menacing hand with long fingers. Peter then becomes vengeful and goes out to hurt someone who he believes has wronged him. He brutally attacks this character and it appears that this person is killed.

Harry, having suffered from amnesia after his fight with Peter, suddenly remembers everything that has happened when he looks into a large mirror and sees a quick flash of an image of his dead father looking angry. He then sees his father for longer who shouts ‘avenge me!’ This brief but extreme scene could be quite disturbing for kids as it appears that Harry could have a mental disorder manifesting itself in a violent and hateful way.

After Peter manages to escape from Venom’s corruptive influence, it takes over another character who has been wronged by Peter. This character then looks like an evil and aggressive version of Spider-Man with a large gaping grin with big, sharp teeth and, because this character has a weaker resolve than Peter, Venom uses him to be much more violent.

Towards the end of the movie, Venom and Sandman work together in an attempt to destroy Spider-Man, they capture another character and suspend them between two skyscrapers in a taxi. This gathers a large crowd of onlookers which includes reporters and cops. During one news broadcast, a cop is seen shouting towards the camera, Venom then grabs him by the face and pulls him upwards; it is unclear whether or not this cop is killed. During this scene, Venom pins Spider-Man against a metal girder so that Sandman can repeatedly pound him with a huge, solid fist. After a few hits, the camera cuts to a reporter looking at the scene in horror, saying ‘The brutality of it’ and ‘I don’t think he can take anymore’.

CAN I SEE A CLIP?

VERDICT

‘Spider-Man 3’ has been repeatedly panned by critics and although as a finale to the Sam Raimi trilogy it is quite disappointing, it isn’t necessarily a ‘bad’ film. Indeed, it is likely to be a hit with both young and older audiences due to the action scenes. We feel that this movie should be suitable for most kids aged 7 and over, however we recommend caution due to the aggressiveness of Venom. It may be advisable for parents to be present during an initial viewing in case any reassurance is needed.

  • Violence: 3/5 (not overly graphic or sustained but can be quite intense)
  • Emotional Distress: 3/5 (Peter finds out more about his Uncle’s murder and becomes upset and then angry. A major character is badly hurt while trying to protect another which leads to their emotional death)
  • Fear Factor: 3/5 (Mary Jane is attacked when she gets home one evening; the intruder grabs her by the neck and threatens to hurt her. During one of his fights with Venom, Spider-Man loses sight of him and cautiously moves around, hearing aggressive laughter, shrieks and snarling)
  • Sexual Content: 1/5 (Peter flirts with a female colleague at The Daily Bugle, editor J. Jonah Jameson tells her ‘Miss Brant, that’s not the position I hired you for’) 
  • Bad Language: 2/5 (some mild cursing and blasphemy. A character repeatedly says Peter’s surname, ‘Parker’, in a French accent which deliberately sounds like ‘pecker’)
  • Dialogue: 0/5  
  • Other notes: Deals with themes of popularity, egotism, deception, revenge, hate, forgiveness, sacrifice, jealousy and realising who the important people are in life.

Words by Laura Record

Spider-Man Trilogy [Blu-ray] [Region Free]


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