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SPIDER-MAN 3 feature

Spider-Man Fights His Dark Side

By Hannah Goodwyn
CBN.com Producer

CBN.com - Spider-Man 3 hurls Peter Parker into a tale of epic battles, one of the most important being within himself. The ultimate struggle is between his sinful desires and doing what’s heroic and for the good of mankind.

In this latest movie, Peter’s pride opens him up to a darkness that soon envelops him. A powerful black substance attaches itself to Peter enhancing his strength and agility. It tempts him with greater power than he’s ever had before.

Peter Parker: The suit… where’d this come from… the power… feels good… if you lose yourself to it.

That’s where the danger lies for Peter. When he succumbs to it, the suit magnifies darkness already in his soul. His fleshly hunger for revenge compels him to allow this outside force to control his life.

The black suit tests our hero much like sin tempts us. As humans, we can be swayed by own selfish desires. Often, we miss the chance to be heroic and choose to do the right thing.

In the same way, each of the Spider-Man 3 villains must decide to be good or evil. Although their reasons are different, both Venom and Sandman must ultimately choose to give into the pressure of their circumstances.

“When Spider-Man wears the black suit, the suit begins to take on the imprint and abilities of Spider-Man,” says producer Grant Curtis. “When Peter rids himself of it, the substance moves to Eddie Brock, who is not as good a man as Peter.”

Eddie openly embraces the dark suit and gains great power to do evil. His hatred for Peter intensifies the darkness of who he becomes – Venom, Spider-Man’s arch-nemesis, played by Topher Grace.

Topher Grace as VenomHe enjoys the strength the suit gives. Little does he know that there’s a catch. He soon becomes a slave to it, just as sin can enslave. Pure evil consumes him as Peter’s dark side is born in this new villain.

“Venom has the same powers that Spider-Man does. It’s tweaked a bit more and he’s more aggressive – he can jump farther, swing farther, and run faster. In a way, it’s like watching Spider-Man battle his stronger self when you see the in-air battle between the two,” Curtis says.

It’s the perfect picture of how sin can alter a person. Spider-Man is everything good natured and yet his human response is to give in to temptation. We realize sin causes us all – even our heroes – to stumble.

According to James 1:14-15, “We are tempted by our own desires that drag us off and trap us. Our desires make us sin, and when sin is finished with us, it leaves us dead.” (Contemporary English Version)

Peter’s desire for revenge brought an evil into his heart that almost destroyed his life. Venom is the opposite of all that is good in Spider-Man. The overwhelming evil he exudes is the result of Eddie’s unwillingness to resist the temptation of obtaining immeasurable power.

“While Venom and Sandman don’t have a direct connection, they’re mutually exclusive,” says Thomas Haden Church, who plays the granular villain. “They kind of suffer from the same problem – as does Spider-Man with the black suit.”

Flint Marko, who later becomes the Sandman, uses his strength to do wrong for personal gain. Flint’s back story is a bit different leading up to his transformation, but the moment of truth is the same.

Thomas Haden Church as Sandman“Sandman is just the darker monstrosity and malevolence that [Flint] can’t control, not unlike the black suit that Spider-Man can’t control and ultimately Venom or Eddie Brock can’t control,” Church says.

The only thing they can control is their own free will. It’s a God-given freedom that offers us the chance to be great and do what’s right.

“[Spider-Man’s] not just the hero. They’re not just the villains. They’re all human beings. [Spider-Man] himself might have some sin within him and the other human beings, the ones he calls criminals, have humanity within them,” director Sam Raimi says. “…the best we can do in this world is to not strive for vengeance, but for forgiveness.”

These comic book characters are human at their very core. They’re men who experience loss, jealously, and love. And yet each chose the path that seems right to them.

“As Flint says of himself, he’s not a bad person. He’s just made bad choices,” Church says.

At first, Peter “considers himself a hero and a sinless person versus these villains that he nabs,” Raimi says. But, he soon realizes that he’s self-righteous attitude doesn’t exempt him from having to resist sin. Venom’s character is especially poignant in that it shows what Spider-Man could become if he chose to be evil.

The beauty of this story is that it shadows real life. There are always second chances. Just as God gives us all another opportunity to turn from sin, Peter, Eddie, and Flint are given the occasion to make things right.

Take the message from this movie and the advice Cain resisted in Genesis 4:7: “Sin wants to destroy you, but don't let it!” (Contemporary English Version)

The only way we can escape sin is to acknowledge the One who lived a sinless life. Jesus Christ, God's son, was tempted as we all are. Yet, he resisted. We are weak and will give in to tempation. Each trial offers us a great chance to make the right decision. But, even if we choose to do good, we untlimately must answer to the sin in our lives. Jesus conquered death through his sacrifice on the cross, so that through acknowledging Him we can overcome the power of sin.

Looking for Answers? Find peace and freedom in God.


Hannah GoodwynHannah Goodwyn currently serves as a producer for LivingTheLife.com and CBN.com. She also writes regularly for these Web sites. For more articles and information, visit Hannah's bio page.

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