Sam Strange Remembers: SPIDER-MAN 3

Legendary Hollywood producer Sam Strange remembers the time he made a movie about nerds in superhero suits, even though he doesn’t like nerds.

I’ve never really understood the Spiderman character. For one thing, I don’t like nerds, and it’s the story of a nerd. But more than that, I just don’t see how you can call yourself Spiderman and have spider powers, but not look like a spider. This guy doesn’t even have eight arms.

Hollywood loves Spiderman, though. By the time I came along, they’d already released two Spiderman movies that failed to achieve the level of success they wanted. I guess the guy who made those films just didn’t understand how blockbusters work. So they called me to clean up his mess and do what I do best: deliver a film that everyone will see and no one will remember. Sure enough, Spiderman 3 is both the worst Spiderman film and the most successful.

Spiderman 3 is all about the number 3. It’s a tale about the dangers of revenge, the importance of letting go of the past, and the seduction of evil. Three things. And people love comic book villains, so this one has three of them:

1. Venom

2. Sandman

2 1/2. Harry Osborn,

3. Evil Spiderman

The film is also 3 hours long. 3 is 1 more than 2, and 2 more than 1. It’s very deep, but in a way mainstream audiences can handle since it’s really just a meaningless number.

When the story begins, Spiderman is about to propose to his girlfriend, Mary Jane, an older girl who owns 3 cats and has been in exactly 3 plays. But before he can get there, a masked air surfer whisks him into the air to beat the shit out of him.

I didn’t know who this guy was, so the people who wrote the script explained it to me. His name is Harry Osborn and his dad was the bad guy in Part 1. He thinks Spiderman killed his dad, so he wants revenge. His hover board can stab you, shoot you, blow you up, and take you into outer space. He wears a mask, but like everyone in this film, often takes it off because he can’t stand smelling that much of his own breath.

The two fight and Spiderman wins because they used to be friends, so Spiderman knows Harry will pee his pants if you tickle his inner thigh. Harry relents, but promises bloodshed in the future. Spiderman goes home. The only future he cares about is the one where he doesn’t miss The Big Bang Theory.

Little does he know, a bit of Alien Black Goo goes home with him and jumps on his body while he sleeps. Spiderman wakes up high above the city, swinging around in a black Spiderman outfit which makes him even stronger than before. He’s meaner though, too. He doesn’t just stop criminals from committing crimes, he vindictively humiliates them with atomic wedgies and Wet Willies and all the other torments he suffered as a nerd.

There’s even one part where he makes an ugly girl think he wants to have sex with her but only if she wears a tu-tu. She agrees, and when she kisses him, Spiderman and all his buds turn on the lights to reveal that she was actually kissing a goat! Everyone laughs and high-fives each other as the girl runs around screaming, eventually falling into some toxic waste.

During the day, Spiderman walks around like he’s John Travolta or something. He remembers how cool kids in high school wore their hair, so he copies it. He remembers how cool kids in high school wore eyeshadow, so he copies that too. He does everything he can to look how the cool kids looked ten years ago and totally succeeds.

A lot of people hate this part of the movie, but it’s actually the only part I like at all. Like I said before, I hate nerds. With Spiderman 3, I’m trying to illustrate that the only thing more obnoxious than a nerd is a nerd with confidence. The Black Alien Goo doesn’t make Spiderman cool. It just makes Spiderman think he’s cool. So he does a bunch of funny dances. What’s not to love?

After one of these funny dances, Spiderman pushes Mary Jane for saying she didn’t enjoy Serenity. With this act, Spiderman finally sees his transformation from cute-nerd to dick-nerd. He takes off the Black Goo Spiderman Suit and throws it into the trash. And that’s the end of the film.

Oh shit. Wait. I forgot about Eddie Brock. See, Spiderman is a photographer and Eddie Brock is competing with him for stories. When Spiderman takes off the Black Goo Suit, Eddie picks it up and becomes an all-the-way evil big black Spiderman called Venom. Venom hates Spiderman, so he teams up with Sandman and….

Oh shit. Wait. I forgot about Sandman. See, Spiderman is a good guy because one early dickhead act led to the death of his Uncle Ben (played by Morgan Freeman). It turns out, the guy who shot his uncle was tricked into wearing a tu-tu and kissing a goat and fell into a vat of toxic waste. Now he’s a sand monster. The Sand Monster isn’t after Peter; Peter is after him for revenge. Spiderman doesn’t realize that Sandman only steals stuff to take care of his sick kid. She had disease-itis, which can only be cured with unobtanium, a very expensive whatchamacallit.

Sandman teams up with Venom to get rid of Spiderman. They make their move at a Sand factory. Spiderman shows up, and it looks like he’ll go down easy at first. But then he’s joined by his friend Harry Osborn and…

Oh shit. Wait. I forgot about Harry Osborn. After not killing Spiderman in the beginning, Harry’s butler tells him that Harry’s father actually killed himself, and Spiderman had nothing to do with it. He also finally tells him where his dead mother’s lost emergency insulin shots were and that terrorists might be making plans to attack the World Trade Center. Harry fires his butler and takes off to repair the friendship he worked so hard to destroy.

To do that, he has to fight the Sandman and the Venom with the Spiderman. This kills him. Spiderman tells Harry they’ll always be friends as he dies. But because Harry spent so much time trying to kill him, Spiderman’s tears are forced and insincere. Spiderman is one hell of a Spiderman, but he’s a lousy actor.

Both villains have stupid weaknesses that allows Spiderman to take them out easily. Sandman is allergic to water, so Spiderman pees on him. Venom is allergic to loud noise, so Spiderman blasts a bunch of U2 at him and he’s done for. Then the Black Alien Goo mixes with Sandman Sand, and a giant black Sandman shows up. Spiderman gets him by blasting songs like “Waterfalls,” “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay,” and early Beach Boys songs. It works.

So now that Harry is dead, Spiderman can forgive him. And now that Sandman is dead, Spiderman can forgive him too. Spiderman doesn’t need to forgive Eddie Brock because he was a dick. Spiderman does forgive Mary Jane for not liking Serenity, though.

(three stars)

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