After watching Spider-Man: Homecoming, I wanted to take a look back at all the previous Spider-Man movies to see where this one fits. It’s hard to believe there are six of these movies in total, but then again, Spider-Man has always been my favorite superhero. There’s just something amazing (no pun intended) about a regular kid who deals with being a hero.
6. THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2
While this movie looks visually stunning, it’s pretty bad. Despite great performances from Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, who both really seem to be trying their absolute hardest, the film as a whole suffers from a confused script and terrible corporate decisions. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was supposed to be a launching point for a whole Sony/Marvel universe centered around Spider-Man. In a way, the film kind of set it up, but that’s all the movie was: a giant business scheme to set up a ton of future, probably unnecessary movies because Spider-Man movies make a ton of money. There are so many side plots that I really lost track of the main story at hand. At one point, the film tries to set up a whole backstory for Electro, but then it completely ditches the character in favor of a generic bad guy. The movie tries to focus on Harry Osborn and this weird disease he has, but those scenes are edited poorly into the film, and we’re left with a mess that doesn’t know what it wants to be. The only thing the film really did right was the relationship between Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy, and I really wish they just kicked out either Electro or Green Goblin to focus more on their relationship so the film’s ending would have an even greater impact on the audience. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is an amazing disappointment, but at least it thankfully forced Sony to hand over the reigns to Marvel.
5. THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN
The Amazing Spider-Man was the way-too-soon-reboot that I don’t think many people wanted. It was marketed as an untold story about Peter Parker’s parents and how Peter’s few connections to them created Spider-Man. Andrew Garfield’s performance as Peter Parker/Spider-Man is really good, and you can understand his love for the character. However, I just didn’t think this rendition of the character matched that of the comics. That’s not a bad thing by any means, and it’s not like Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man followed the comics either. Like it’s much more bloated sequel, this movie has great chemistry between Peter and Gwen Stacy, and the visuals are pretty good. However, I am not a fan of the costume as it’s too dark to show the vibrancy that makes Spider-Man a fun superhero. A lot of people think this is at least better than Spider-Man 3, but I disagree. Despite that movie’s hilarious scenes, I think Spider-Man 3 has a more emotional and captivating story than The Amazing Spider-Man.
4. SPIDER-MAN 3
Spider-Man 3 was the first superhero movie that I remember being super excited for. I was eight years old when the movie came out, and I remember thinking that this was going to be a dark movie that I could watch since I’m a big kid now. In that regard, Spider-Man 3 doesn’t hold any punches. It’s gritty when it needs to be, and the dramatic tension for the most part is actually built pretty well. A lot of people tend to get hung up on the “emo” scenes, but up to that point, the movie is actually a good story with a great conflicted central character. Tobey Maguire gives a great and emotional performance, Kirsten Dunst and James Franco also give solid acting, and the action scenes are pretty awesome. While the movie is pretty bogged down by too many characters and unnecessary side plots, it does have a nice ending for a great superhero trilogy.
3. SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING
The newest entry in the both the Spider-Man franchise and the Marvel Cinematic Universe isn’t the best in either groups, but it’s still pretty great. Homecoming’s rendition of both Peter Parker and Spider-Man is probably the most accurate representation of the character as shown in the comics. I really liked the John Hughes style of the film, and Tom Holland gives an excellent performance as the lead role. The thing that this movie did better than the others is that Spider-Man is supposed to be this kid who’s thrust into a larger world, but he still has to deal with regular teenage issues. Spider-Man can’t web sling across New York when he has a big Spanish test the day after. This version of the character is energetic and humorous, and while I don’t know how Homecoming will hold up in the future, I know that it currently a great superhero movie that truly feels like it’s right at home.
The first Spider-Man movie by Sam Raimi came out when I was only 3, and it was the first superhero movie I ever watched. Therefore, it holds a special place in my heart, but it is actually a really amazing movie. Tobey Maguire is perfect as Peter Parker as he conveys restrained emotion really well. As Spider-Man, he is everything he strived to be as the nerdy Peter, and he shows off his powers in full form. The film features good chemistry with Kirsten Dunst, and both James Franco and Willem Dafoe give great performances as Harry and Norman Osborn respectively. While the effects haven’t aged all too well, I can still watch this movie today and marvel at the action scenes. Director Sam Raimi didn’t pull any punches as there were some bloody scenes that I actually winced at. I don’t think that kind of grittiness would work in the Marvel movies of today, but it was a different time in 2002. Superhero movies were just starting to be good again with the success of X-Men and Blade, but people were still trying to wash off the taste of Batman and Robin. Comic book adaptations are so common nowadays that it’s hard to imagine a world in which a live action Spider-Man movie was a huge deal to audiences. It’s no wonder that the film was the first ever to open with over $100 million at the domestic box office, and it’s legacy continues to live on today.
I still think that Spider-Man 2 is the best superhero movie to come out so far (it’s more like a tie with The Dark Knight, but there are some who consider that to be a crime drama more than a superhero movie). Spider-Man 2 exemplifies the best qualities of what makes a superhero super. It’s the perfect example of how a hero has to often rise to the challenge and sometimes sacrifice himself/herself for the sake of the people. The film features Peter balancing his life between being a superhero and actually having a life as Peter Parker. When I re-watched the film a few days ago, I really sympathized with Peter. All he wanted to do was tell a girl he really liked how much he really liked her, but he couldn’t because he needed to protect her. This conflict is explored throughout the film, but there’s also the big plot arc with Dr. Otto Octavius (Dr. Octopus). Peter views this man as a personal mentor, but his expectations get thrown away when he realizes that this is a guy blinded by arrogance. Speaking of Doc Ock, the train fight sequence is still my favorite action scene in any superhero movie so far. Overall, Spider-Man 2 is the best Spider-Man movie so far in my opinion due to its amazing script, top notch acting, and incredible action scenes.
That is my ranking for the six Spider-Man movies so far. What do you think about this list? Do you think I should have swapped out anything? If so, feel free to let me know in the comments section! Thanks!