No Way Home can improve the Raimi trilogy
With Spider-Man: No Path Home Coming to theaters in December – much to the delight of spider fans the world over – it’s easy to get carried away by the hype for the friendly neighborhood robot’s next big screen adventure. But as Marvel fans look to the future of the web-slinger, it’s also important to remember Peter Parker’s past film releases.
Ever since Tom Holland’s version of the spectacular Spider-Man debuted in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, fans of the character have been locked into a heated debate over how the latest live-action Peter Parker compares to past incarnations. . And while the The Incredible Spider-Man the series has always been controversial among audiences, it’s hard to find a Spider-Man aficionado without a soft spot for the original Spider Man films, directed by Sam Raimi and starring Tobey Maguire as Peter. And while fans probably won’t stop wondering which Spider-Man is superior anytime soon, it’s hard to deny that the Raimi and MCU adaptations have their own appeal.
However, neither the Raimi Trilogy nor the MCU Spider-Man are without their share of flaws. A lot of in-depth analysis has already been done on both film series, so any attempt to recount all the major reviews from each incarnation would be a waste of time. However, there is one major failure of the Raimi trilogy that the future Spider Man movies have a chance to improve – the treatment of the iconic love interest of Peter Parker, commonly referred to as MJ.
The romance between Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson (played by Kirsten Dunst) is one of the most memorable aspects of the Raimi trilogy, delivering moments as famous as the Upside Down kiss in the first film or the â€œGo Onâ€. look up, tiger â€scene at the end of Spider-man 2. However, despite being one of the most iconic love stories of any superhero movie, the writing of the romantic subplot throughout the Raimi trilogy has been cited often. as the movies’ biggest weakness. Things start off pretty well in the first film: MJ is presented as a nuanced character with a life outside of Peter, who has her own dreams and goals that she wants to accomplish. Peter starts off madly in love with her, but ends the film by choosing not to be with her in order to keep her out of harm’s way. It’s an apt conclusion that highlights Peter’s growth – sacrificing your own happiness to protect others is a major aspect of any Spider-Man story, pointing out that Peter’s power is both a gift and a curse. , and that its responsibility is both a duty and a burden. .
However, things are getting worse in Spider-man 2. From the first scene, Peter yearns for MJ again, seemingly forgetting his previous decision. And yet, he chooses to continue a relationship with her despite the fact that she is now engaged to John Jameson, the son of J. Jonah Jameson. Despite the fact that the public is apparently supposed to sympathize with Peter and encourage him and MJ to reunite, his behavior is consistently seen as legitimate, disrespectful, and immature as he pressures MJ to break up with his fiancÃ© to be with him. But ultimately, Peter’s refusal to take “no” for an answer is justified when MJ leaves John at the altar to be with him instead.
But once Peter and Mary Jane are finally a couple Spider-Man 3, things will soon get worse. Even before being corrupted by the Venom Symbiote, Peter is an indifferent and neglectful boyfriend to MJ, treating his career issues with contempt and kissing Gwen Stacy (Bryce Dallas Howard) in front of a crowd just for the public’s attention. While real couples are certainly never immune to conflict, the relationship drama in Spider-Man 3 only serves to make Peter look mean, selfish and unfriendly. Ultimately, Peter and MJ are at odds for most of the Raimi trilogy – the only time audiences can see them as a happy couple is at the very beginning of Spider-Man 3. And of course, it doesn’t help that while she’s not in a fight with Peter, Mary Jane is little more than a damsel in distress that the villain has to capture at the end of every movie. Throughout the trilogy, MJ has virtually no agency, serving simply as a source of drama rather than a full character with a major role in the story.
Meanwhile, the MCU version of MJ (played by Zendaya) is a radical departure from his variant Raimi – underscored by the fact that her full name is not Mary Jane Watson, but rather Michelle Jones, possibly an attempt to keep her away from Kirsten Dunst. character. Zendaya’s GM has the same independent and driven personality as her redhead counterpart, but without the relationship drama and constant kidnapping. For Peter de Tobey Maguire, his love life was a constant source of grief. But for Tom Holland’s Peter, his relationship with MJ is a source of relief from the struggle of his life as a hero. Before they even start dating at the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home, Peter and MJ turn out to be close friends, often exchanging jokes and discussing each other’s interests. It is clear that they really, sincerely love each other and want to be together, and that the biggest obstacles to their relationship come from external forces rather than internal conflicts.
And of course, it helps that Zendaya’s GM takes a much more active role in the plot than his version of Raimi ever did. She is indeed the deuteragonist of Far from home, with his investigative skills allowing Peter to uncover Mysterio’s hidden agenda. Instead of being captured by the villain, she fights him, picking up a medieval mace to help demolish Mysterio’s drones. In just one movie, MJ has established himself as an invaluable ally to both Peter Parker and Spider-Man, helping him save the day while giving him a shoulder to lean on during quiet moments.
From what we saw from MJ in the first one Spider-Man: No Path Home trailer, this dynamic seems to persist for the next film. She teases Peter about his supposed hypnotic powers mentioned in the Daily Bugle, but also serves as the closest confidant as he struggles to make sense of his new status quo. Once again, MJ relieves the drama of Peter’s superhero life rather than the other way around, while the conflict in their relationship comes from external forces. The only question is whether MJ will continue to be a major player in the film’s plot, or whether multiversal issues will force her to sit on the sidelines.
Far from home did what no movie could before and made MJ a crucial ally of Spider-Man instead of a Damsel in Distress. No way home has the opportunity to follow suit, helping to cement Zendaya’s GM as the defining adaptation of Peter’s love interest that corrects the mistakes of his previous cinematic incarnation. But only time will tell if No Way Home keeps MJ – and his relationship with Peter – in the spotlight, or just repeats the mistakes of the Raimi trilogy.
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