Both of us were disappointed. This is a movie that knew that it had to up the ante in special effects (which it did – almost to the point of distraction) and also in the emotional story, the thing that Spiderman 2 did so well. The problem with the third installment is that there was just too much stuff in it – too many villains and too many emotional issues. This movie was so packed with stuff that the storylines seemed to have a hard time finding any space to breathe.
This lead to some plot issues. I know that you're supposed to suspend your disbelief in these movies (it's about a guy who is bitten by a radioactive spider for crying out loud – if you don't come in to it with a healthy dose of belief-suspension you're in serious trouble) but even in Spiderman world some things here just didn't add up. I didn't buy the black gooey stuff, for example. It just happened to land near Peter Parker and it attached to his motor scooter when it crached as part of an asteroid. Come on. And if the guys who were running the super secret government experiment that turned Flint into the Sandman had spent another ten bucks on security that whole plot wouldn't have happened. This may sound like nitpicking but there was a cumulative effect here and because there was so much stuff like this in this movie that even the moment when Spidey figures out how to defeat the black gooey guy seems like a stretch – he didn't have nearly enough information to figure that out. In another movie we might have given him the benefit of the doubt but by this time we were getting pretty skeptical.
So it's not a lousy movie and it's a fun way to spend a couple of hours but director Sam Raimi raised the bar with Spiderman 2 and we have learned to expect more that this from him.