Cinema Stoner: Spider-Man 6 vs. Agent Orange Hybrid

My lover and I are no longer lovers.

Oft mentioned here, my lover returned to China. It will be years before we are in the same room again. The course of our lives pulled us apart.

So to see this dilemma played out in Spider-Man: Homecoming was an unexpected side effect of this excellent reboot of a reboot. Enhanced with the soaring cerebral high of the tangy Agent Orange Hybrid, the film is the dictionary definition of essential stoner cinema—dumb flashy escapism triggering weed’s ability to dreamily explore deeper levels of imagination and insight.

The finality of my lover’s absence made me seek solace in the sunniest of buds, Agent Orange—a florid hybrid that sparks up with a hint of lime. I hot-boxed my apartment with this superior strain for such an extended period of time that as I left the building my never-not-stoned Jamaican super winked at me.

A testament to the therapeutic effects of cannabis, Agent Orange evaporated the melancholy buzzing in my head so I could focus on Michael Keaton playing an out-of-work contractor with a personal vendetta against Tony Stark. Keaton’s menacing performance melds well with the digital heft of his frightening flying villain, who tangles with Tom Holland’s spry Spidey over stolen Stark weaponry in a series of spectacular CGI set-pieces.

A fan of the comic since childhood, I loved the film’s depiction of Queens as a place with an incredibly diverse population. Spidey’s community is Asian, Latino, Black. And while it stings to see Donald Glover relegated to a supporting role instead of inside the suit, Holland’s web-slinger is pitch-perfect, an eternal optimist who keeps getting disappointed by his positive choices

Some may skip the film because, come on, enough with the reboots already. But the fact that I could project my current romantic strife onto a teenager dressed in a skintight bodysuit fighting a mechanized vulture speaks to the enduring attraction of this colorful superhero.

Peter Parker remains a fascinating figure because his unintentionally dangerous alter-ego wrecks his personal life. It makes him distant from his caregiver. It prevents him from doing well at his job. It forces him to let down lovers who just want to love him.

We can all relate.

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