With the stir and crash of Elfman's opening theme, the vertiginous weave of the credit crawl and the hardbitten noir voice-over ('Who am I? Are you sure you want to know?'), this accomplished blockbuster announces itself as a stylish piece of pop myth-spinning. Director and writer afford the old Marvel comic strip the reverence film-makers used to reserve for the Scriptures - which is not to suggest that they miss the fun of it. Every inch the nerd's nerd, Maguire is adroitly cast as Peter Parker, a brainy orphan with a suppressed wild streak and a lot of growing up to do. When the worm turns (courtesy of a GM spider bite), his elation is palpable, a testosterone rush which sends him sky-high. The first thing is to score some greenbacks to impress the red-head next door (Dunst). Meanwhile. Dafoe's arms inventor, Norman Osborn, is the fly in the ointment, trying on his own altered ego - the Green Goblin - to test-Spider-boy's moral mettle. Despite the movie's solid storytelling virtues, it must be admitted that the action spectacular scenes are a somewhat disappointing, and that Dunst is little more than an old-style scream queen.