I love Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy. It brought Spidey back and it helped the revival of superheroes on the big screen. Thanks, Sam!
As you may or may have not listened on the A Bit Of Geek and Nerdery episode where I rambled (and rambled and rambled) with Wil and Sean, there are some mixed feelings regarding this trilogy. Sure, the first one was good, the second one was even better (ok, not really. But I happen to like it more than the first one) and the third was a mess; but, let’s be honest, they are some of those movies you can’t help but watch every time they are on TV.
Whether you’re team Tobey or team Andrew, the importance of this particular trilogy can’t and shouldn’t be denied.
So, here you have a seemingly unnecessary explanation on why Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man movies are the bomb.
First things first: Sam Raimi.
Freaking Sam Raimi, guys. Seriously. The man who give us the glory that is Evil Dead revived Spidey.
Raimi also co-wrote Spider-Man 3 along with his brother Ivan Raimi and Alvin Sargent, so any complaints you might have about that movie, you can direct them to any of these gentlemen.
It’s obviously a huge step going from something like Evil Dead to a superhero movie, but Raimi did it well and, all in all, survived.
Tobey was a good Peter Parker.
Yes, I admit it: he wasn’t as funny as comic book Peter Parker, but he did a nice job.
Tobey was a tormented Peter who probably cried more than we would have liked, but I actually like that he showed that vulnerable side.
He had his moments of sass and a some funny lines here and there, but all in all, he understood quite well what Peter Parker was about.
(Yes, you will, Tobey. In my heart, at least).
Kirsten Dunst is the Mary Jane Watson.
From child star to Peter Parker’s love interest, Kirsten Dunst had a nice run between 1994 and 2007.
She was a great Mary Jane because she managed to show the good and the bad of this character.
And speaking of the character… There are some real issues with Mary Jane Watson.
There are three types of female characters in comic books: the caretaker, the love interest, and the victim. Mary Jane Watson happens to be the three of them which makes her both a complex character and a problem because of sexism and stereotypes. Trust me, I spent a semester researching this topic. I’m a scientist of sorts.
Mary Jane looks after Peter, is his love interest, and is always, ALWAYS, the damsel in distress. She’s also used as the spark for every villain vs Spidey conflict. Why, lord, why?
Back to Kirsten as Mary Jane. She made a good job of the mess and complexity that is playing Mary Jane Watson.
But I hope she never does lip-sync again.
Spider-Man 3: Hot Mess.
First things first: Spider-Man 3 is a mess, but we can’t help but watch it.
There’s a big difference between “So much is happening!” (e.g. Avengers: Age of Ultron) to “What the hell is going on?” Spider-Man 3 falls into the latter.
So we have Peter who is supposedly in an actual relationship with Mary Jane, although it kinda never looks like it, but ok, Pete; Harry Osborn is the new Green Goblin but on his first fight with Spidey, he hits his head and loses his memory. Okay, then.
Then, Flint Marko turns into the Sandman (oh, and he accidentally killed Uncle Ben, not the other guy) (no, really, it was an accident) (and yes, Uncle Ben’s death yet again. Ugh), and then this ambitious, jealous dude Eddie Brock becomes Venom after Spidey got rid of that alien symbiote.
Phew. Am I missing something?
Oh, yes! So there’s this other girl, Gwen Stacy (I’m suuuuuure you’ve heard of her) whom Peter pretty much uses to make Mary Jane jealous. Not cool. Ever.
Add a ton of CGI, blue lights, anger everywhere, and some truly terrible editing in some parts, and you have… drumroll, please… Spider-Man 3!
As terrible as it is, though, every time it’s on TV, we watch it (by now, I’m sure that you – yes, you – watch any of these whenever you catch them on TV), and you know why? You know why?!
Because it has the best dance to ever feature in a superhero movie.
That’s right. You know what I am talking about.
Peter Parker under the symbiote influence is all drunk in confidence to the point where he decides it’s a great idea to don an emo hairstyle. He also decides to dances his way down the street before going into to a store. When he gets out of there, the best dance to ever feature in a superhero movie happens. The best.
You lie if you say you’ve never danced like that.
But all good things must end and some are sometimes ruined by others.
The other dance scene in this movie is 100% disastrous in every way possible. Pete’s embarrassing show at the jazz bar in front of Mary Jane is the one thing about this trilogy I wish I could wipe from my memory.
This gif is a gem, though.
I swear, every time I watch these films, they get more and more entertaining. It’s probably in part because the special effects now look absolutely ridiculous and the mistakes are super obvious, but it’s even more fun when you remember that, back in 2002, 2004, and 2007, they looked oh, so real.
They are also a great study case, like the whole “Mary Jane is the combination of the archetypes” issue, or why it was super important that Spidey kept his identity a secret (also see: Mark Millar’s Civil War), or why we had to see freaking Uncle Ben die in every movie.
Whether you love them or hate them, whether you watch them whenever you can or not, we can all agree on one thing: it was absolutely heartbreaking when Joel McHale denied that toaster to aunt May. Why, man? Why?
But please, share your thoughts on this trilogy! Love it? Hate it? Worship it?
PS. On Spider-Man 2, there’s a reference to Doctor Strange. How cool is that?!
You can follow Adrienne on Twitter @AdrienneTyler.