Spider-Man 3

Spider-Man 3 ★★

Wish I could say I adore this one as much as the others, but what a mess. I do love the continued focus on Peter's shortcomings, and Raimi's direction is always wonderfully expressive. Even those notoriously memed scenes are a blast... it's just that they don’t find a home in any of the many stories the film is trying to tell. “This, like any story worth telling, is all about a girl,” Pete narrates in the opening of the first film - but here the central romance is only glimpsed among the many distractions that themselves are the victims of an unfocused, overstretched approach. (Some timings: the symbiote turns up at the 10 minute mark, but doesn't infect Pete until over 50 minutes later; Eddie gets turned to a watery mush, but doesn't re-materialise until it's convenient for the plot, 25 minutes later.) Christopher Young can't find a theme to match any of Elfman's, and Topher Grace and Bryce Dallas Howard are hopeless. Thomas Haden Church rules, though.

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