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An Anonymous Review of the New Spider-Man Movie

This film, if it starred Tobey Maguire, would certainly be in competition for an Oscar.

By Definitely NOT Tobey Maguire

As I sat down in the theater to watch Spider-Man: Homecoming, which I naively thought would be a completely necessary installment in the Spider-Man franchise, I couldn’t help but think it was unnecessary, very bad, and totally lacking celebrated actor Tobey Maguire.

In this installment, director Jon Watts decided not to portray Spider-Man’s origin story, meaning that the beloved Uncle Ben does not appear in the film. Do you remember, in the original 2002 Spider-Man movie directed by Sam Raimi, when Uncle Ben was killed by the very criminal Peter Parker could have stopped? And Cliff Robertson (who was very good as Uncle Ben) lay dying in the street as an unwitting Tobey Maguire (who played Peter Parker) yelled “That’s my uncle!” to indicate shock and surprise? That was a terrific scene, full of raw emotion and brought about by Peter’s own hubris. It’s a shame there’s no scene like it in this film.

It’s been said that 21-year-old Tom Holland brings boyish charm to the role of Spider-Man. I guess I can see it, but he’s not exactly a spring chicken. You know, Tobey Maguire was only 26 when he played the lead role in Spider-Man, a film that essentially jump-started the modern era of superhero movies. That’s only an age difference of five years, which is a short enough amount of time to release two lifeless Spider-Man movies starring Andrew Garfield and one starring manchild Tom Holland.

Speaking of Spider-Man (2002), do you remember that upside-down kiss between Spider-Man and his high school crush Mary Jane? That is one of the iconic scenes of 21st century cinema. Tobey Maguire, along with co-star Kirsten Dunst, won the Teen Choice Award for Movie Liplock and the MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss, and both awards probably figure prominently in Tobey Maguire’s trophy case. But in Spider-Man: Homecoming, there is no kiss. I guess it was too hard to recreate such a memorable moment of movie magic, especially without a slightly more veteran actor like Tobey Maguire.

Critics have praised the performance of Michael Keaton, who plays the villainous weapons dealer "The Vulture." Although Keaton’s acting was phenomenal, I can’t help but compare it to the even better performances of Willem Dafoe and Alfred Molina, who respectively played the Green Goblin and Doc Ock in the first two Spider-Man movies. They really made Peter Parker’s spidey-senses tingle! But in Spider-Man: Homecoming, Spider-Man just doesn’t have spidey-senses, and neither Willem Dafoe nor Alfred Molina appear. These are just some of the many missteps in this terrible, Tobey Maguire-less movie that is sure to enrage and confuse fans of the franchise.

In sum, Spider-Man: Homecoming is swinging into theaters near you, but it’s your “great responsibility” to stay home. (No, that line doesn't appear in this one either.)

Spider-Man (2002) starring Tobey Maguire is available on iTunes for $2.99 and wherever DVDs are sold.

© 2017