doc ock



The original Spider-Man trilogy is campy and cheesy and it probably hasn’t really aged well, but I love it so much and will absolutely recommend it to anyone who likes the MCU simply because (as seen above) it is just so thoroughly uncynical and virtually everyone from Peter to Gwen to Aunt May to Peter’s neighbour to random bystander #563 is SUCH A GOOD PERSON

Me personally, I think it has aged well, sheerly because it never deliberately anchored itself to one particular generation/demographic (unlike one particular reboot which I will not name), but rather it was just an incredibly earnest representation of the source material.

What I loved so much about this series is that it never tried to run away from the “comic” aspect of it being a comic book movie. When I say that, I don’t necessarily mean that it was overly hilarious or was filled with zingers like a Joss Whedon production, but it was never afraid to embrace levity and even more camp aspects, and as the OP stated, it was just so incredibly UNcynical.

It took bits and pieces from canon and melded it with modern storytelling that allowed for a fresh and contemporary narrative throughout all 3 films (yes, even Spider-Man 3). It never tried to cut off any of its potential audience, it never tried to appeal to just ONE particular clique through the use of fumbling dialogue and an indie soundtrack, but rather it’s story focused on the people involved. Underneath the costumes and superpowers, these were honest-to-goodness lives that people were living, from trying to hold down a steady job to getting the rent paid, these were stories that anyone could get on board with, which is why I find myself incredibly disappointed when people just dismiss this franchise sheerly because they might not consider it “relevant” anymore.

It’s an incredibly human story, unafraid of depicting moments of weakness, unafraid of showing us that even our idols can fail, but also unafraid of being disarmingly sweet to show that people are often inherently valuable and kind, thus imbuing the series with a simple, yet undeniable humanity that never had to be forced, but rather we just naturally rooted for and gravitated towards.

It was light-heartedness, solemnity, and gravitas all rolled into one, and it is a tone that I have not seen in any vein since Christopher Reeves’ Superman films, and I don’t think I’ll see again in a superhero series to come, which is why I hold the original Spider-Man films in such high regard.

You nailed it, darn you!

I have a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff from these movies (books, DVD extras, that sort of thing) and they all come back to “We loved this story, we loved these characters, we loved this city and we loved the folks we were working with”. Sure, you can’t really count on any part of the blockbuster-making machine to be 100% sincere…but I really like to think they were.

Few things have disappointed me more than the recent backlash towards these movies.  Even the universally mocked Spider-Man 3 has a hell of a lot to offer (more than a lot of other superhero films, actually), and if I’m being honest, no other franchise – not even Star Wars, not even Lord of the Rings – has had the sheer effect on me that the original Spider-Mans had. As much as I love the MCU (and I do) it’s never quite nailed the “there’s a hero in all of us” theme that was so integral to the Spider-Man trilogy. Like, you know that headcanon post going round about Brooklyn residents sort of adopting Steve Rogers and standing up against his enemies? An idea like that is what the entire climax of the first Spider-Man hangs on! (I’ve actually seen quite a lot of MCU and ASM headcanons that just make me think “The Spider-Man trilogy already did that. Go watch it!”)

S’like, yeah, these fims are about superheroes, but they’re also about goodness, really. Illustrated in Peter, of course, and illustrated in MJ and Aunt May and Harry’s sacrifice and Otto’s redemption, but (crucially) also illustrated in Ursula, the shy young woman who brings Peter food even though she can barely talk to him without awkwardness, and in the train passengers who put themselves at physical risk protecting Spider-Man from Doc Ock, and in Gwen who’s so sweet and nice she apologises to another woman for something that wasn’t her fault, and in Peter’s landlord who was really far nicer to him than he deserved at that point in time, and…I could go on, but you get the idea. Basically? When I was sixteen – and still, ten years on – I finished watching Spider-Man 2 and I wanted to be like Spider-Man.

But I also wanted to be like Ursula.