Editor’s Note: By now, you have seen our featured series in the Matrix (i.e., The Unders, A-List, ICYMI, The Villainous View, The Dude Abides, Monthly Must-Sees). We love them because they hone the prattling, ADHD-type musings we each have running-a-muck in our heads.
Now that we have some more
fiends…eh, friends in the family, it’s time they get some love too. First up in the series department is Emmitt (for those who should follow him on Twitter). He will sport tandem thoughts, literally. As in, what are some of the best duos in cinematic and what made that way. First off, we talk more recent events, like with our friendly neighborhood dude and his soon-to-be woman.
You’ll dig his stuff. Tune in on the regular. Peace.
Let’s be honest: Zendaya’s introduction to the Marvel Cinematic Universe was a bit of a head-scratcher. Spider-Man: Homecoming had Peter Parker fawning over a completely different girl, and it seems, if not for Vulture being a less than ideal parent for your current love interest, that would not have changed.
Was MJ a complete non-entity? No.
To her credit, she had a few entertaining pieces of playful banter. There was even a small hint at the end of the movie that she had grown fond of her fellow classmates. But still, Peter had given no indication that he had any romantic interest in anyone but Liz.
Peter’s Chemical Romance
Call me old fashioned, but five years of being dusted flies by in a jiffy. Peter moved on from Liz a little quick, right?
Nah. All jokes aside, Peter has had a whole school year of re-existence to evaluate his hormones by the time Spider-Man: Far From Home rolled around. It’s fair for him to have fallen completely smitten with the slightly dark, super-quirky MJ. Right?
Unlike its predecessor, Far From Home wasted no time in setting the stage for a Spidey-MJ romance. At this point, Peter had already fought a number of super-powered villains, met some of the most famous beings in the universe, and died (temporarily). Even still the planning and subsequential execution of making MJ his girlfriend had Peter Parker shook to his core.
Even so, Tom Holland’s portrayal of a lovestruck teenager never fell short of authentic, and Zendaya’s fleeting glances set up the side plot quite well. You can feel something brewing between the two throughout the whole movie, and though it’s threatened, no amount of Brad will be able to stop this train from reaching the station.
What’s great about Zendaya is that her quirky-girl bit doesn’t seem forced. She isn’t acting cool for the sake of being cool. She’s just weird and you love it. Every time MJ is on screen, you get another glimpse of why Parker is so infatuated. Holland has a great balance of awkward and charming. There’s never a moment where he is the cliché, movie teenager or Prince Charming reincarnate. He’s just an everyday high school kid.
Kiss Her Already
By the time we’ve hit the boiling point of the film, the rapport between Holland and Zendaya is well established. Their quick, little back-and-forths are actually cute. And MJ’s curiosity when she gives that slight turn towards the changing Peter Parker?
Finally, our two lovebirds get their moment alone. There’s no more bad guys to fight, no interrupting classmates, no Brad, no Fury. All the pent-up emotion comes spilling out, and at last, the pair get their kiss. Holland and Zendaya, again, give us just enough awkwardness to be believable teenagers, but not so much to make us cringe. It’s a really sweet moment.
So, what next?
Marvel gave us reason to wonder exactly what is going to happen next for MJ and Spider-Man. There’s some subtle hints at an expanded hero role for MJ, that personally, I hope comes to fruition. I’d hate to see Zendaya wasted by Marvel settling her into the role of an off-screen love interest.
For now, all we can hope is that Marvel continues to make these kinds of brilliant casting decisions. If anyone had doubts about what a Zendaya/Holland Spider-verse would look like, put your mind at ease.
These two are a compelling combo.