Unfortunately, it looks as if the summer of 2007 won’t have much to offer in the way of original films, so it seems that you’ll have to quench your movie craving with a few continuations of some old favorites. Three big-budget movies have jump started the summer movie scene, these being: Spiderman 3, Shrek the Third, and Pirates of the Caribbean: At Worlds End. Each is the third in its series and the presumed end to its respective trilogy. I’ve had a chance to catch all of these flicks, and will proceed to provide you with a quick summary of my thoughts on each.
The majority of superhero movies are passable entertainment at best, some, such as Catwomen, have even become the laughing stock of many. However, the Spiderman series has been a huge hit among both audience and critics. The series has managed to provide a perfect balance of action, character development, and romance. Unfortunately, the third in the series, though nowhere near terrible, fairs to meet the high standard its predecessors set.
It’s biggest flaw can most easily be summarized as: “too much.” Spiderman 3 simply has too much going for it. We have three villains, each in need of proper development and action scenes, a bit much to cram into a reasonably sized movie. Director Sam Raimi’s efforts to tie off all the lose plot ends are respectable, but often feel a bit too forced.
The scenes in which Peter Parker is controlled by Venom, and instantly becomes “emo”-like are laughable whether intended to be or not. However, despite it’s good share of flaws, Spidey 3 is still another respectable installment in the series.
Shrek the Third
The Shrek series has been one of the few humorous computer-generated series that I have been able to enjoy, let alone tolerate. The third movie lives up to its prequels and, in my opinion, surpasses the second. For previous watchers of the series, there isn’t much new here, some more good old fantasy spoofing. Though Shrek the Third works in some elements of the King Arthur mythos.
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
Pirates of the Caribbean is an extremely popular series, and one of Disney’s few worthwhile movies. At World’s End suffers from some problems similar to Spiderman 3: it’s a bit crowded at times. I’m not one who likes movies dumbed down in order to accommodate those who care not to use their brains, but, even if you have your thinking cap on, At World’s End can be a bit confusing if you don’t have the second installment of the series in fresh memory.
As with the other movies in the series, At World’s End has superb acting. Though Johnny Depp does a fantastic job as before, it is Geoffery Rush’s character Captaint Barbossa who really steals the show. Unfortunately, Orlando Bloom continues to give a somewhat stale, unemotional performance that strikes a hard contrast to the others personality filled acting.
One of my few major issues with the third Pirates movie is the overall fantasy vibe of it. The first movie, though it included that fantastical crew of the Black Pearl, still seemed to stick with the Caribbean pirate feel. However, it started to degrade into a more mythical series in the second and now the third. Fish people and godesses have no place in a good swash buckling pirate movie in my opinion. As Keira Kinghtely’s character of Elizabeth Swan announces in the movie: “With the sweat of our brow and the strength of our backs and the courage in our hearts” is how battle should be done, not through mythical means.
In then end, At World End is a great piece of entertainment, filled with well though out twisting plots. However, not all will wish to sit through a somewhat confusing three hour movie of Lord of the Rings like proportion.