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The Tobey Maguire Spider-Man Scene That Went Too Far

Now that we're back to waiting for the next "Spider-Man" movie, it's time to rewatch the Spideys who have come and gone and come back again. Of course, that means beginning with the Sam Raimi trilogy. Before the Marvel Cinematic Universe was a twinkle in Kevin Feige's eye, Raimi and Tobey Maguire brought Spider-Man to the big screen with three blockbuster movies. The first ushered in a new era of comic book movies, the second is beloved as one of the best superhero flicks of all time, and the third ... well, the third is memorable, to say the least.

2007's "Spider-Man 3" is messy, with too many subplots and too many characters besides the usual trio of Peter, Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst), and Harry Osborn (James Franco), including the villains Sandman (Thomas Haden Church) and Venom (Topher Grace) as well as new love interest Gwen Stacy (Bryce Dallas Howard). Peter, under the influence of the alien symbiote, becomes a haughty emo boy, dancing down the street and saying the most absurd lines ever, but rather than this going too far, the absurdity is campy enough to make it entertaining and laugh-out-loud funny.

Although Peter often succumbs to the mean inclinations of the symbiote, it's long before he tangles with the alien that he first steps over the line.

An unnecessary, out-of-character kiss

At this point, Peter is planning to propose to Mary Jane, but then he randomly tells Gwen to kiss him in front of a huge crowd, including his girlfriend. The thin explanation is that he's too caught up in being Spider-Man while the people celebrating him are encouraging the kiss, feeding his growing ego, but it still comes across as wildly unlike Peter Parker.

Even now, fans are still wondering why Peter kissed her: Redditor u/YonasWithTheSauce posted to r/Spiderman, writing, "I thought he really loved Mary Jane, which obviously he does but it didn't stop him from making out with Gwen. I know it was for publicity or whatever but still, it felt wrong. Pretty out of character in my opinion." In response, some commenters brought up Spidey's ego gone wild, but many simply call it bad writing. Redditor u/Sartheking said it "was pretty bizarre," while u/Brrrrrggg wrote, "I don't think you can explain this with headcanon, it's just a poorly written scene." In a bold claim, u/BAGStudios said, "A lot of that movie could be fixed if it were just her that kissed him, instead of him asking her to."

It's hard to root for Peter when he's being a barely believable, clueless jerk, but the new love interest also undermines the romance of the first two films and distracts from the rest of the movie. Ultimately, the scene sets the ball rolling for the rest of the movie to unravel past plot points willy nilly: Harry gets turned from villain to hero by two words from his butler, while the Sandman's confession takes the responsibility for Uncle Ben's death off of Peter's shoulders. At least there was an excuse for the dancing!