JOE’s five worst Spider-Man moments
The new Spiderman reboot will hit the big screen soon and go head-to-head with the previous trilogy for the public’s hearts and minds. Joe takes a look back at some of the worst bits from the previous three films.
By Dermot Keys
Spidey’s performance anxiety
We all know that what a good comic book film needs is a hero who suffers from a bit of Freudian impotence. No? Well, someone should have explained that to the scriptwriters of Spider-Man 2.
Spidey’s performance anxiety left him unable to use his superpowers due to a debilitating lack of confidence, with the audience treated to the sight of Spiderman sliding down walls and coming up dry when he wanted to shoot his webs.
Now, I’m all for a bit of character development but nobody wants to watch a comic book character get the superhero equivalent of a soft-on.
Peter Parker retires as Spidey
Peter’s decision to quit being Spider-Man and adopt a normal life in the second film is illustrated by a daft montage scene to the tune of “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head.” It was like a cross between a Mentos ad and a public safety video for people with a chronic inability to control their own limbs.
This is supposed to be a boy genius who defeats supervillains and spends his days swinging between skyscrapers. Early retirement turns him into an uncoordinated goofball who trips up while walking down the street. Throughout it all, Tobey Maguire adopts a sickly smile that makes him look like he’s smelling a particularly nasty fart.
The post 9/11 patriotism
The first film was released just after 9/11 so the makers decided to tack on some unnecessarily jingoistic images and scenes. Subtlety wasn’t foremost in their mind. The pointless scene where Spider-Man lands on a giant American flag is about as subtle as making the webslinger wear a t-shirt that says “I’m not a terrorist.”
Another cheesy scene features the famously altruistic New York public defending Spider-Man from the psychotic Green Goblin because “You mess with one of us, you mess with all of us.” It’s all very earnest but the crowd’s bad acting and the corny sentiments make it awkward to watch.
Everything from Spider-Man 3
Spider-Man 3 was a mess of film that had too many villains and too many subplots. Either the merchandisers got their grubby hands on the script or the scriptwriters were betting on how many underdeveloped characters they could squeeze into the final cut.
Venom is one of the best villains in the Spider-Man universe but he’s woefully underused in Spider-Man 3. It’s hard to understand why Venom was given so little screen time when you look at the stuff they actually left in the film. Overall, the film spends an inexplicably long time showing Peter acting either like he’s taken cocaine or fighting someone who’s made out of cat litter.
That dance in Spider-Man 3
This cringeworthy scene leaves the viewer feeling embarrassed on behalf of the actor.
Here Peter dad-dances down the street like a reject from Saturday Night Fever before prancing around a bar like a social outcast who watches too many musicals. Adding a random bit of domestic violence was an unexpected way to make an awful scene even worse but there you go.
The whole thing is so shockingly incongruous that it feels like the director just put it in there to irritate the viewer. This jarring sequence undermines the entire film and leaves you feeling like you’ve just got sick in your mouth.