Spider-Man: No Way Home | Tobey Maguire, “You’re amazing.”, to Andrew Garfield

Of the three Spider-Man eras that have existed in our current lifetime, it’s the Amazing duology that’s clearly had the roughest go of them all. But in our current age of critically re-evaluating people and things we previously wrote off or outright hated, it’s the had the easiest time winning folks over. Perhaps we’ve become more kinder to different takes on the superhero genre, maybe this iteration of Peter Parker just offers more to work with on a character level since prior to No Way Home, Holland’s Peter could feel more like an audience POV fanboy to some. Whether it’s for those reasons, or the simple act of being a contrarian, the two movies have found their audience, and its stars have continued to find success. Since these films wrapped up, there’s been no shortage of appreciation for Garfield, who had a really strong 2021 between No Way Home and Tick, Tick...Boom!. Similarly, Stone has built up a strong resume over the past decade, while also managing to navigate the franchise game via Dreamworks’ The Croods and Disney’s Cruella. With how blockbusters can often treat rising stars so poorly, watching Garfield, Stone, and Dane DeHaan—who very briefly, served the reboot series’ Harry Osborn—continue to thrive in the decade since has been good to see play out, if nothing else.

Even as the Amazing franchise was just getting off the ground, it was a little unclear how long it would go on, and that hasn’t entirely changed in the decade since. We’re now in an age where any former superhero actor could wind up coming back, something that Sony is actively aware of as they try to figure out how to sketch out their future in the superhero genre beyond Spidey’s animated protégé and goofy dark counterpart. But maybe an Amazing Spider-Man 3 should always stay as a “what could’ve been” rather than a tangible thing. Amazing 2 ended with its Peter prepared to go out and do the work again, and No Way Home served as a fitting epilogue that left him feeling a little lighter than when we last saw him. For a franchise that was at its best during the quieter moments, it’s fine, and perhaps even fitting, that Amazing doesn’t conclude on a cinematic swing through New York, but with its Peter finally getting the family that he’s always wanted.

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