AP movie critic Christy Lemire is anything but supportive of the new film, as the title indicates, in a way recounting all of the same criticisms that were lobbed at Peter Jackson's Kong, though she didn't make that precise connection. It is apropos, however. Excessive budgets, meandering story lines, and too many characters.
Even the most talented directors need limits, or they'll create monsters rather than great films. I recall an incident during the filming of Titanic when 20th Century Fox chief Bill Mechanic, concerned about the production budget spiralling out of control, confronted director James Cameron late one night in a trailer on the set.
Apparently Cameron became furious at what he considered unfair restraints, and told Mechanic that he could finish he film, and walked off the set. Production was shut down for three full days before Cameron calmed down enough to resume shooting the film.
The production of Kong may not have had quite that level of drama, but there was concern over the length of the finished film and Jackson's tendency to allow stories to drag out well beyond the interest of the general audience. The concern was well founded, even though it did make $135m in profits in its theatrical run, those numbers were well below expectations and the film was hammered mercilessly in the media.
Luckily for the studio, most people went to see the film based on the credibility Jackson built while helming the freebie Lord of the Rings trilogy. Jackson hasn't helmed a high visibility project since Kong two years ago, and is currently embroiled in a fight over money dating back to the LOTR films.
Will Spider-Man 3 suffer the same fate? Well, I suppose it depends on what you'd define as suffering, and whether or not you trust film critics.
Here, Raimi overloads us with more — more villains, more supporting characters and more plot lines — spread out across more time. People and threats come and go, and the narrative feels scattered. [...] So yes, there is too much going on in this $258 million extravaganza. But when you spend that much money making a film, theoretically you're going to offer some spectacular visuals. "Spider Man 3" does — sometimes.
The opening sequence, with ..., looks too fake and cartoony, like something out of a video game. Other moments are eye-popping — notably, when ...
I realize that isn't much to go on, but even simple bits can infuriate people as spoilers, so you can fill in the details at the full review on Yahoo! if you wish.
There seem to be many good parts, and some bad ones, but again this is a film critic, and an AP critic at that, so take it for what it's worth. There is a history of very talented people screwing things up because the studio has grown greedy with their past success. I don't think that has happened, but it is worth considering while heading into the theaters this coming weekend.
Don't get your expectations so high that they can't possibly be met, and then enjoy the film.