Yeah, the goal post gag was OTT (borrowed from and early Smallville
!) and should've been cut. But that's a minor moment in a movie full of much better ones.
And really, I think it retroactively makes the others movies not "as good" as they were when they came out because it sort of sums up the tone of the Rami movies.
I don't agree that any movie can affect the quality of another one, but I do think
you're on to a key point here , namely that SM3
has the same weaknesses of the first two: trite dialogue, clunky plotting (especially vis-a-vis villains), a thoroughly old-fashioned tone that aims for timeless charm but often feels twee and stale, a wooden, personality-free MJ, a supporting character (Harry) who's almost always more interesting than our hero, and a rather damp lead performance...
But what it didn't
have was the novelty and post-9/11 goodwill of the first movie, or the compelling character arcs, superior script, engaging villain and memorable action of the second one.
As for the OP's comparison, ASM
has better performances, more interesting characters, a more exciting story, more nuances and a more consistent tone than SM3
. It's definitely the superior picture.