Spoof Too Late to Be Great; SUPERHERO MOVIE (12A, 86 Mins) Comedy/Action/Romance. Drake Bell, Sara Paxton, Christopher McDonald, Leslie Nielsen, Marion Ross. Director: Craig Mazin**
SOMEBODY ought to explain to filmmaker Craig Mazin that in Hollywood, you have to respond quickly to audiences' changing tastes.
It's vital to strike while the iron is hot, especially with vast sums of money riding on the opening weekend box office.
So writing and directing a spoof of Spider-Man, complete with a smutty recreation of the upside-down kiss in the rain, some six years after the web-slinging superhero first swung onto the big screen, is a completely-pointless exercise.
Yet here we have this tongue-in-cheek romp of good versus evil that also takes halfhearted jabs at X-Men, Superman and Fantastic Four, among others.
Even if Mazin's film could boast a miasma of polished one-liners and inspired visual jokes - which it can't - there's no escaping the fact that Superhero Movie far exceeds its sell-by date and should be flung into the nearest dustbin.
During a class trip, student Rick Riker (Bell) is bitten by a genetically-engineered dragonfly, investing him with the nifty superpowers of the creature.
Struggling to conceal his secret identity as the masked Dragonfly from Uncle Albert (Nielsen) and Aunt Lucille (Ross), Rick puts his new-found skills to good use and sweeps next door neighbour Jill (Paxton) off her feet.
Unfortunately, Dragonfly meets his match in The Hourglass, the dastardly alter ego of megalomaniac Dr Lou Lander (McDonald). …