Ask anybody on the internet what they think about Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3, and you’re bound to get a different answer each time. It’s either a massively ambitious, fitfully entertaining but ultimately misguided blockbuster that snapped under the weight of its own narrative, or the Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull of the comic book genre.
The truth is somewhere in the middle, and while it’s easy to blame Sony for forcing Venom into the movie against Raimi’s better judgment, he’s far from innocent when it comes to Spider-Man 3‘s polarizing reception. The whole Uncle Ben retcon doesn’t work at all, and even if the woefully miscast Topher Grace wasn’t part of the story, there’d still be far too much going on.
However, you can’t argue with $895 million at the box office, even if it set off a chain reaction that saw Raimi’s fourth installment canned, leading to Marc Webb’s Amazing Spider-Man franchise that also bit the dust. Tom Holland led yet another rebirth not long after, this time in the form of an MCU Web-Slinger.
Most likely as a result of the No Way Home trailer spurring everybody to revisit Peter Parker’s live-action back catalog in its entirety, Spider-Man 3 has found a new lease of life on streaming. It’s currently the most-watched film on HBO around the world, so maybe it’ll find itself undergoing a reappraisal fourteen years later.
Then again, maybe not, but Raimi has Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on the way and Tobey Maguire is expected in No Way Home, so their sins are about to be forgiven.