Austin’s review published on Letterboxd:
Unlike the previous films, this opens without a humble love-declaration for MJ, but rather an injection into Peter's toxic ego. Unlike Mary Jane, Peter becomes absorbed in a widely embraced love, sacrificing value for popularity. Obviously, the symbiote is not a poison-creator, but a nourisher; it feeds the id and magnifies already present negativity. Which is why the film's "infamous" montage is the perfect counterpoint to Spider-Man 2's "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" sequence—one is faux-joy: a Peter without responsibility, and the other, hollow-popularism: what Peter believes is cool.
It's obviously fine to dislike this film, but its popular dismissal is indicative of a major (willful) visual illiteracy; Raimi refuses to ignore his characters' scabs, forcing them to confront (or fall victim to) the parasites whispering in subconscious shadow. Not for a second does the film believe Peter's behavior is badass, it's the hurtful tangibility of his most fragile insecurities.
Eddie is pathetic because he is Peter willingly embracing empty morality; this is a fable of jagged, smudged reflections being shattered by the truer essence. Peter is not a monstrous leech, Mary Jane is able to self-love, Harry is not his father's shadow. There's so much compassion here; mistakes can be forgiven and a little dance can be reformed love.
A perfect trilogy.