Year Released: 2007
Directed by: Sam Raimi
Starring: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, Thomas Haden Church, Topher Grace, James Franco
(PG-13, 139 min.)
"He that falls in love with himself will have no rivals." Ben Franklin
Spider-Man still careens from New York’s skyscrapers with audacious grace, but the grounded Peter Parker embraces his newfound fame with less ease. Even before some gooey black meteor gel brings out his dark side, we see Peter heading that way on his own. Let’s face it-- a steady diet of glory is a bit rich for Geeks.
Like Peter, the third installment of the Spider-Man saga suffers a bit from its success as well. Spider-Man 2, for all its critical acclaim, did something quite damaging to poor Peter. He got the girl and the glory. Where to go to from there, especially since MJ is also privy to his dual identity and has, more or less, sorted through all that? Half of the fun of a dual identity, after all, is all the tension imposed by keeping it secret, especially from the one you love. (Maybe that’s why they come up with the space goo to reinvent the double identity theme.)
It’s all a little too cozy now, sweet as it is, with Peter and MJ gazing at the stars from a webbed hammock Peter has woven for the two. She’s aglow from her Broadway debut; he’s the toast of New York. Even ex-best friend Harry Osborn has forgotten his vendetta against the S-Man due to temporary amnesia.
With everything this hunky-dory at the onset, the screenwriters have to scramble to rev up some dramatic tension. Some have decried the way they have done it as earthbound melodrama, but to me, it’s endearingly human.
Peter seems to be enjoying his adulation a little too much, his conversation consisting of smug narratives on the pressures of fame. In fact, his vision is so self-directed that he is clueless about MJ being fired from her Broadway show after opening night. And when Spider-Man shares a public upside down kiss with the latest damsel he has rescued, MJ is devastated. No wonder she opts for some tea and sympathy from Harry Osborn.
The meteor goop that turns his spidey outfit black is only exaggerating Peter’s natural flaws, the self-infatuation of a Geek’s dream come true. With the tainted spider shirt hidden under a all black suit, his hair combed down on his forehead, Peter vamps down the crowded street giving a disco come on to a decidedly unimpressed gaggle of girls. Mr. Hyde he is not. And yes, Peter’s dark side is all cheese and no menace, but that’s what makes it so fitting -- and fun.
If Peter’s dark side is less than formidable, so, too, are the villains he tackles. Harry, recovered from his amnesia, makes another go at his Green Goblin Jr. role, but he’s more effective inflicting pain in the tried and true jealousy game than with his skateboard and exploding spheres.
Topher Grace’s Eddie Brock is a grandstanding and annoying jerk/opportunist, but his short-lived role as “Venom” is just as coincidental as Peter’s stint as a Saturday Night Fever wannabe. It’s that black goo again.
Thomas Haden Church’s Sandman gets that way by an accidental fall into a an experimental physics pit, but he can’t seem to decide if he is a raging silicon beast or misunderstood father.
Whatever their motivation, the Sandman and Venom provide some absolutely thrilling airs above ground in their final showdown with Spider-Man, spewing some ponderous philosophical insights on free will, forgiveness, loyalty and reconciliation as they bounce off each other and various bodies of soaring concrete as well.
After having to give his sticky door a virtual body slam to gain entry to Peter’s dingy apartment, Harry’s luxurious digs offer quite a contrast for MJ. So too the old friend who actually listens to her rather than stuck on himself Peter. And perhaps there is a little magic in the omelettes that MJ and Harry cook up together in his designer kitchen, a culinary adventure that ends in a forbidden kiss. If you think some broken eggs can stir up some passion, give these Omelettes in Port Sauce a try.
But since that recipe is not new, I’ve chosen another for our Spider-Man 3 adventure. These cookies are every bit as delicious as the ones the quirky landlord’s daughter makes for Peter. Under the influence of his dark side, he eats them up greedily and then tells her to make some more. Again, this is about as evil as Peter gets, but that’s why MJ and we can’t help loving him.
Have some fun decorating them to resemble the ubiquitous web weaver, if you like.
Peanut Butter Cookies
- 1 pouch (8.6 oz) Betty Crocker® peanut butter cookie mix
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tube (4.25 oz) Betty Crocker® red decorating icing
- Betty Crocker® black and white decorating icings (4.25-oz tubes)
- Heat oven to 375°F. Make cookie dough as directed on pouch, using oil and water.
- Shape dough into 12 (1 1/4-inch) balls. On ungreased cookie sheet, place balls 2 inches apart. With a glass dipped in sugar, flatten balls slightly.
- Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Cool 2 minutes; remove from sheet to cooling rack. Cool completely.
- Spread red icing in oval shape on each cookie. Using decorating tip and red icing, draw 3 concentric circles on red icing on each cookie. Drag or press tip of knife lightly through circles to form web design. Use black icing to outline teardrop-shaped eyes. Use white icing to fill in eyes.
Recipe Source: BettyCrocker.com