Five Spectacular Moments in the Sam Raimi Spider-Man Films
The following story is not for the faint of heart. At the turn of the millennium, few people in Hollywood wanted to do any superhero films, considering them toxic. Then, for the first time in years, we got superhero films that were actually good, and at the top of that list were the Sam Raimi Spider-Man films. Hailed as groundbreakers in their day, considered cheesy by some now, and a boon for meme culture, the Sam Raimi films helped make superheroes the entertainment juggernaut they are now. With Spider-Man: No Way Home bringing the webhead’s live-action career full circle, now’s the perfect time to look back on these groundbreaking films. Thus, here are some of the best moments from the Sam Raimi Spider-Man films without further ado.
Warning: Spoilers Ahead
Every Scene With J. Jonah Jameson
Jameson, you grouch, don’t ever change. Regardless of the flaws found in the Sam Raimi films, there’s one thing everyone can agree on: we love J. Jonah Jameson. Brought to life by J.K. Simmons, the bombastic Jameson spends the movies doing what he does best: hating Spider-Man. He manages to do this with absolute gusto, never missing a chance to rail on the webhead. So long as he has reason to do so, as Eddie Brock learned, Jameson has integrity.
J.K. Simmons absolutely nailed the role of Spider-Man’s #1 hater, so much so that he’s synonymous with the character. Every incarnation of Jameson onwards has done their best to copy Simmons’ performance. He was so tied to the character that Sony refused to include Jameson in The Amazing Spider-Man films without him. Thankfully, Simmons has returned to playing Jameson in the MCU, much to Peter’s misfortune.
“I’m Gonna Put Some Dirt In Your Eye”
Spider-Man 3 might as well have been called Memes: the Movie. The final film in the Sam Raimi trilogy may have gotten crushed under its weight, but it still made its mark through all the memes to come out of it. Case in point, this scene with Emo Peter gave us several memes in one.
Having gone emo thanks to the black suit, Peter Parker learns that Eddie Brock created fake pictures showing Spider-Man robbing a bank. Enraged, Peter confronts Brock and exposes him for his fraud, leading to Jameson firing him and Peter celebrating with his infamous “Sidewalk Dance.”
Emo Peter Memes aside, this scene is incredibly satisfying for a few reasons. First, while Peter does take photos of himself as Spider-Man to sell to the Bugle, he only does it to earn a living and let people know that he’s a good guy. Brock, though, not only lied to the Bugle but to all of New York. So needless to say, seeing Peter put the guy in his place is immensely satisfying.
Spider-Man vs. The Green Goblin-The Final Battle
There is a very good reason why the Green Goblin is Spider-Man’s greatest enemy, and their final battle proved it. Having discovered Spider-Man’s true identity, the Goblin kidnaps Mary Jane Watson and holds her hostage along with a group of children in a tram car. Spidey saves them both but is helpless as the Goblin takes them to an abandoned hospital, where they engage in the final, brutal clash.
Compared to the fights in contemporary superhero films, the final battle between Spidey and the Goblin is very lowkey. That said, the initial lack of music, bleak setting, and little in the way of CGI make this fight very gritty and realistic. You can feel the desperation behind Spider-Man’s blows and the anger he feels when Goblin vows to kill everyone he loves. That’s not something that you see in most final battles in superhero films these days. In addition, the fact that the Goblin meets his end in a sendup to his initial death in the comics is the icing on the cake. Seeing Willem Dafoe play Goblin in No Way Home will be a blast.
Sandman Reforms Himself
There were many problems with Spider-Man 3: Emo Peter, too many villains at once, the fact that they altered things so that Flint Marko accidentally killed Uncle Ben. HISHE even lampshades how easily Flint’s transformation could’ve been avoided with their “Here’s a Bright Idea” guy. However, this scene is not one of the things wrong with the film. After getting caught in the test of that sand particle accelerator, it looks like Flint Marko’s met his end. It’s not until dawn when it’s revealed that the experiment turned him into a sand-based lifeform, giving birth to the Sandman.
At his core, Sandman in the Sam Raimi films isn’t a truly bad guy. Rather, he’s someone who’s trying to do good for his sick daughter but keeps making bad choices. This moment of him reforming himself is incredibly poignant. It’s the story of a man both literally and figuratively trying to put himself back together, with only the love for his daughter keeping him together. It’s just so emotional to watch!
The Train Scene
This isn’t just one of the best scenes in the Sam Raimi films; it’s one of Spider-Man’s most iconic moments, period. As the webhead continues battling Dr. Octopus, their fight leads to the villain destroying the controls to a passing train, sending it hurtling to disaster. With hundreds of lives at stake, Spider-Man digs deep and uses everything he’s got to stop the train, managing to do so just in the nick of time. He then promptly passes out from the strain of what he just went through.
By far the most famous scene in one of Spider-Man’s best films, this moment encapsulates everything that makes Peter Parker a true hero. More than his impressive strength and powers, it’s Peter’s will to protect everyone around him that leads him to do things that no one should be able to do.
Then there’s the fact that the passengers on the train carry him inside the train to safety. The way they do it is meant to invoke carrying the body of Christ, reinforcing Spider-Man’s hero status. What’s most touching, though, is that Spidey did the whole thing without his mask on. Yet the grateful people all agree not to tell anyone who he is and even stand up to Doc Ock when he tries to capture their savior. How many men and women are to bring out the best in so many people? Too few in this world, and it’s fortunate for everyone that Spider-Man’s one of them.