Allure of “Spider-Man 3” Doesn’t Stick

Sam Raimi throws in everything against his cinematic spiderweb to see what sticks in the overloaded, bloated and often irritating Spider-Man 3 (C-). It basically becomes the third film in a trilogy by default as viewers watch the oxygen seap out of the enterprise in a way that basically proclaims, “There’s really not much more to do or say in this universe of storytelling.” Continuing to breathe lifelessness into their performances, Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst return to battle super-villains and the superego. Specifically, Peter Parker/Spider-Man’s celebrity is on the rise as Mary Jane’s Broadway career hits the rocks; and the jovial hero is blissfully oblivious of his girlfriend’s emerging depression (granted, it would be hard to notice, since Dunst’s acting is just the same when she’s happy or sad). Throw into this mix a black suit that turns Spidey into Jim Carrey from The Mask, a series of forgettable antagonists ranging from Sandman to Venom (did we learn nothing from Joel Schumacher’s Batman films about stuffing movies with too many villains?) and an undisciplined storyline and running time, and it’s like Raimi is simply begging to be fired from the series.  Still, it’s not so drastically different in quality than its two predecessors; the trilogy is giddily middle of the road.