A few of the guys in the youth group have been trying to convince me to schedule a youth group outing to see Spider-Man 3. I generally don't think much of going to the movies as a youth group activity, since there is little opportunity for interaction, outside of annoying the other patrons with constant whispering and throwing popcorn at each other. I did, however, finally go see the movie with some family members. I was a big fan of the first two films and was hoping this one would continue the trend but I have to admit I was not exactly blown away. The effects are great (especially the Sandman character) and I enjoyed seeing the characters again, but at a running time of almost 2 1/2 hours, it was really more Spidey than I can enjoy in one sitting. Clearly going with the "bigger is better" maxim, the movie gives us three bad guys, trouble with Spidey's romance, a rival for his job at the Daily Bugle, and on and on. They had enough material here to make two movies. Also, and this may be showing my age, in many of the nighttime battle sequences set against the cityscape, I couldn't tell what the heck was going on most of the time. There is only so much webslinging and swooping through the air and in between buildings that my brain and eyes can process!
On the positive side, the film does deal with some good themes such as forgiveness, redemption, the blurring of the lines between good and evil, love, friendship, and being good to your grandma! Fans of the first two movies will certainly want to go see it, but (unlike the previous Spidey movies) I wouldn't pay $8 to see it twice.