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A Fierce Battle Among Friends

CBN.com - Spider-Man 3 picks up right where the second one left off. Peter Parker (a.k.a. Spider-Man) for the first time is really doing well for himself. He’s dating the girl of his dreams, Mary-Jane Watson, and he’s defeated his latest foe, Doc Ock.

Just when he’s got his life back on track conflict arises, as is expected. Tragic loss is revisited, villains are born, and paths are altered. This new movie is all about free will … the choices each character makes and its eventual consequences.

Harry Is Out for Blood

Peter’s relationship with Harry Osborne, who was a long-time friend, pulls Spider-Man into a fight for his life.

In the first movie, Harry vows to kill Spiderman whom he believes killed his father. He just doesn’t know that his dad was actually the man behind the Green Goblin mask terrorizing the city. Even after discovering his best friend is Spider-Man, Harry devotes himself to Peter’s ruin.

“(Harry’s) almost a parallel to Peter,” says James Franco, who stars in the role of young Osborne. “They both lose. He loses a father; Peter loses a father figure, his uncle. And then especially in this third one, he’s avenging his uncle's death. And I’m doing the same; I’m avenging my father’s death.”

Spider-Man 3 flings Harry and Peter into a fierce face-off. Despite Peter’s attempts at explaining what really happened to Harry’s father, the two are forced into an emotional and action-packed battle. Peter fights for his life as Harry, the new Goblin, takes over for his father in a mission to destroy Spider-Man.

“Harry is a troubled soul,” Franco says. “He lived his whole life for his father, and when his father was taken from him, the only thing he had left in his life was to avenge his father’s death.”

Peter's Painful Decision

All the while, Peter also must deal with his vengeful heart. Although he’s the friendly neighborhood superhero, he’s also very human in his own thirst for revenge. Director Sam Raimi purposefully focuses on these characters’ sinful humanity through their inner struggles.

“We placed (Peter Parker) in situations where he’d be forced to confront his absences of character – obstacles that, in previous stories, he might not have been able to surmount,” says director Sam Raimi. “In this way, he would either be defeated or grow into the heroic person who might be capable of overcoming these obstacles.”

Spider-Man is confronted with character-questioning decisions of whether he will allow hate to control his destiny or chose to forgive. As always, Aunt May acts as a good conscience for Peter as he struggles with his strong desire to kill the man who murdered his uncle.

“Uncle Ben wouldn’t want us living with revenge in our hearts,” she says. “It’s like a poison. It can take you over and turn us into something ugly.”

Even as his relationship with Harry hangs in the balance, Peter encounters a moment when he must decide if he will avenge Uncle Ben or allow his killer to go free.

We Are All Sinners

“In the climax, Peter has to put aside his prideful self,” says Raimi. “He must put aside his desire for vengeance. He has to learn that we are all sinners and that none of us can hold ourselves above another. In this story, he has to learn forgiveness.”

According to the director, these messages of mercy weren’t intentionally put in the movie because of their religious significance. But, the lessons have an undeniable spiritual tone. Spider-Man 3 showcases that hatred and vengeance only destroy while forgiveness can restore life to broken hearts.

You’ll have to see the movie to find out if Harry and Peter really did learn their lessons.

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