The guiding principle of ‘Spider-Man 3’ seems to have been ‘More!’ More villains! More love interests! More moral quandaries! More high stakes! More cameos! More plot contrivances! More money! More effects! More, more, more!
Admittedly, some of these are welcome; Spider-Man wouldn’t be Spider-Man without a little grey morality, and it’s hard to object to more Bruce Campbell. Unfortunately, as this latest installment of the Marvel Comics franchise proves, there’s a fine line between ‘more’ and ‘bloated.’
The film picks up not too far from where the last one left off. Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) is still a struggling freelance photographer and college student, but Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) has hit the big time with a starring role on Broadway. Meanwhile, Peter’s former best friend Harry Osborn (James Franco), following his father’s (Willem Dafoe) legacy as the Green Goblin, has transformed himself into the (unfortunately named) New Goblin, and blames Spider-Man for his father’s death.
Escaped convict Flint Marko (Thomas Haden Church) may have something to do with old Uncle Ben’s (Cliff Robertson) murder, but more importantly, he stumbles into a sand pit that’s the site of an inexplicable particle physics experiment that transforms him, equally inexplicably, into the Sandman.