I saw Spider-man 3 yesterday and I thought that it was pretty good, although not as good as the first two Spider-man flicks and probably not as good as either the last Batman or the last Superman, but those movies were all excellent, so there is no shame in being only "pretty good."
One thing that might be a little disappointing for some of us fathers out there is that I found Spider-man 3 to be much scarier than the first two Spider-man movies and I cannot really recommend it for children under 8 years old. I decided to screen it before taking my sons and I think this one is much darker than the first two. The Venom character, especially was pretty scary looking and the violence seemed much more hardhitting than the first two. I do think that watching at home on DVD would be much less scary as the film just wouldn't quite have the same impact.
Here come some plot spoilers.
Spider-man 3 was unique in that at the end of the movie, Spidey is left without any bad guys who still have issues with him. Harry apparently returns from the dark side to save Spidey and then, once redeemed, appears to die, although in the comic book world you never know. Venom seems to have been blown up, but I doubt it. This is also without mentioning that Venom, in the comic book, ultimately becomes a hero anyway.
Finally, Spidey and the Sandman, who was ret-conned as the killer of his uncle, basically reach an understanding and go their separate ways, with the Sandman becoming an advocate for universal health care for children. I am not kidding! Although it was a nice statement about not seeking revenge and all, it still was a strange way to end the movie, given that the Sandman had just tried to kill Peter, MJ and Harry.
Another problem with the movie was Mary Jane Watson. In the comics, MJ was an energetic gal, who was always chasing Peter and calling him "tiger". In these movies, she is basically a shy pouting type who keeps getting in the way. I know that in the comics, Superman and Spider-man had to save their women from time to time, but it didn't happen each and every issue. Now, in the Spider-man trilogy, all three movies have ended with Spider-man arriving to save Mary Jane. Please, if there is another sequel, no more MJ saving and if there is another Superman, no more kryptonite. These plot devices have become boring and hacknyed.
Ditto for Aunt May. In the comic book, she was afraid of Spider-man. This was good because she was a boring character who basically was a burden to Peter/Spidey, so we weren't subjected to so many boring speeches by her. Here, she always has to give Peter pep talks. It gets kind of old.
It seems that Sony has left things at the end of Spider-man 3 so that they can either go forward with more sequels or stop. I have to believe that there will be more, given the amazing gate that Spider-man 3 has garnered so far. My prediction is that the next movie will have Dr. Connors, Peter's physics professor as his new villain. Dr. Connors, who is lacking his right arm, attempts to re-generate his limb and is successful, but unfortunately, the process also turns him into a powerful lizard-man. If not Dr. Connors, then I predict that the next villain will be the Hob Goblin and look for Venom to pop up again, perhaps as a scary-looking good guy.
Finally, we will all have to watch for the revenge of Gwen Stacy. Will she capture Peter Parker's heart on the big screen after being unceremoniously killed by Marvel and the Green Goblin some 35 years ago, with MJ stepping into her shoes as Peter's main squeeze.