Mary-Jane Watson is Stupid

October 8, 2008

So, as we hear that Sam Raimi, Tobey Maguire and Kirstin Dunst are returning for Spider-Man IV and V (to be shot back-to-back), I guess it’s time to take a look at the last three movies.

My biggest beef has always been with Tobey. He looks the part of Peter Parker, but he just is not, in the slightest, heroic. And that voice … Also, if you go back and watch the first movie again, you’ll notice he has this habit of not responding to dialogue and just staring at the person speaking to him. That bugs me.

I believed Christopher Reeve and Superman were different people. I bought into Ben Affleck and Val Kilmer. But I never once thought that anyone who knew Peter Parker wouldn’t see past that voice and not notice who Spider-Man really was. But hey, I’m a geeky middle-aged Canadian. I’m no Kirsten Dunst.

So here are the 10 times stupid Mary-Jane Watson should have figured out Peter Parker was Spider-Man.

  • Uh, the voice.
  • She goes with Peter and their classmates to an exhibition of genetically modified spiders, and he gets bitten by one.
  • The next day, he does that balancing rescue act with the cafeteria tray, and she says “nice reflexes.” Kind of an understatement.
  • A few minutes later, he backflips over a bad guy and kicks several bullies’ asses while not wearing his glasses. Ding! As Clark Kent will tell you, glasses are key.
  • His uncle is killed, a guy with webs chases down the killer, it undoubtedly ends up in the papers and on TV, and nobody wonders who the kid in the ski mask spinning webs actually was.
  • When he first appears to her in costume (Spider-Man, the original movie), he actually calls out to her as the balcony collapses. “Mary-Jane!” he cries before swooping in. She never asks how he knew her name.
  • Then they chat on the roof, and he tells her: “You know who I am.” But she doesn’t. Even though it’s Tobey Maguire, with that voice.
  • They chat on the street and she wanders off to be accosted by thugs, but is rescued by Spider-Man who is conveniently nearby, Not Wearing His Mask, and she still can’t figure it out.
  • She keeps being kidnapped by villains who are using her to get to Spider-Man, and it never occurs to her that maybe he’s someone she knows.
  • They have several conversations and she doesn’t recognize his voice. Because he has a stupid voice, and you would think she would notice. But she doesn’t.

Okay, after thinking about this really hard I guess I have to say Mary Jane is kind of dumb, unlike her comics counterpart, who was and is actually deadly cool. At least Lois Lane had an excuse – Clark wore glasses, and Superman didn’t.



  1. maryjane = dope

  2. The secret identity conceit of comic books never really bears close scrutiny. I think that’s why The X-Men doesn’t even bother with it. I mean, does anyone not recognize Adam West either with or without the cowl? As you said, Christopher Reeve is the only person who ever made it seem remotely plausible. And if you see the Donner cut of Superman 2 it didn’t fool Lois for long. But yeah, Mary Jane seems to be good only for eye candy and a handy hostage.

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