Mary Jane Watson, often shortened to MJ, is the deuteragonist of the original Spider-Man trilogy by Sam Raimi (or Earth-96283). She is a character first appearing originally in Marvel comic books created by writer Stan Lee and artist John Romita, Sr. in 1965. She is the love interest of Peter Parker and later girlfriend. She was once a ex-fiancé of John Jameson and once ex-girlfriend of Flash Thompson and Harry Osborn.
She was played by Kirsten Dunst in all three films in the original Spider-Man trilogy between 2002 and 2007.
She was likeable in the first 2 films. Unfortunately, in the 3rd film, she was horribly flanderized.
Why It Was Not About Her (Bad Qualities)
- She was badly flanderized to have little to no character as she's now only portrayed as the girl Spider-Man always saves, the girl who gives Spider-Man support, and the girl to look pretty in his arms. In short, her role is just to make Spider-Man look good.
- She is incredibly useless as all she does as a character is just stand on the sidelines while watching Spider-Man fight, or just being a damsel who can't even get out of trouble.
- She also has an alcoholic father who treats Mary Jane and her mother very poorly. But, she barely tells Peter about him, only instead talking about people who “shouts”..
- Speaking of which, she plays as the damsel in distress way too much and she doesn't do a good job at defending herself like her comic book counterpart did.
- Whenever she's the damsel-in-distress, her screaming is very obnoxiously, even more so than in the first two films.
- Her chemistry with Peter Parker in the third film is a joke, unlike the previous two films, as here they constantly have corny dialogue, and they constantly go back and forth over if they want to be in a relationship or not, like the part where she tries to get Peter to understand her problems, he brushes its off by bragging about his hero problems as Spider-Man.
- Even worse is that she does not tell Peter that she got fired from her show, and even told Harry that when he tells Peter that he's the other guy MJ is seeing.
- She constantly cheats on her various boyfriends and kissed various people while still in others' relationships. Honest Trailers calls her out for this.
- Every mean thing she does to Peter is portrayed as she's right to do so, while Peter is portrayed as in the wrong when he does the same things to her.
- To further her poor character portrayal, she would be a flat-out boring and small-time character if Spider-Man was taken out of the equation.
- She used Harry's evil memories returning as an excuse to break up with Peter just because he told her to, when she could have just warned Peter around when Harry/New Goblin was getting his memories back, she knew Peter was Spider-Man at the time.
- She is a complete hypocrite. She calls out Peter for kissing Gwen Stacy upside down as Spider-Man just like the second time he rescued her though Peter just did for publicity purposes and didn't feel in love with Gwen, but if we recall correctly, MJ was dating Harry when Spidey rescued her from those criminals in the first film and she kissed him on her own accord and she even kisses John Jameson in the same way in the second film just to see if she feels the same thing she felt when she kissed Spider-Man. Granted, Peter doesn't know that Mary Jane kissed John like he kissed her, but taking all of this into account, she has no right to criticize Peter for doing this.
- Kari Wahlgren who voiced her in the tie-in video games of the third film didn’t sound as much as Kirsten Dunst.
- During the 2nd film, while decent for the most part, she can be very unlikable at times, like during the moments where she ruthlessly toys with Peter's feelings while initially not even showing the slightest concern for his well being, the moments where she's dumping on Peter as if their relationship is crumbling all solely because of him, and the moment where she rubs her engagement to John Jameson in Peter's face. Her chemistry with Peter has also become weaker in this film while dealing issues with her parents and her aunt Anna. Thankfully, she did apologize to him towards the end of the film.
- She is a lot more tolerable in the first 2 Spider-Man movies.
- To be fair, she's mainly like this because her father, just like the comics, is a domestic abuser.
- She occasionally tries to fight back against the criminals like Doc Ock and Venom.
- Despite being the "damsel in distress" in all the times, it was originally planned to have Gwen Stacy as the "damsel in distress" and MJ was going to have a more proactive role by convincing Harry to help Peter, which would have redeemed herself and undo her flanderization. But this was unfortunately changed during filming.
- She's a bit more sympathetic during the third film and she and Peter start to have actual chemistry with each other, before it's ruined by Reason #10.
- When Peter found out who Uncle Ben's real killer was, she did feel bad for him and went to go talk to him about his feelings, even though Peter brushed her off.
- She's still very gorgeous and attractive.
- She was redeemed at the end of the movie, as she cried when Harry died, and helped fixed her and Peter's relationship.
- Kirsten Dunst still did a good job portraying Mary Jane.
- She has a nice singing voice.