With Spider-Man: Homecoming hitting theaters, the third portrayal of the Marvel Comics hero is getting completely revamped for the third time since Tobey Maguire debuted the character on the big screen in 2002.
This time around, 20-year-old Tom Holland steps into the role of Peter Parker. Following his debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2016's Captain America: Civil War, Holland follows the most recent portrayal of the wallcrawler from Andrew Garfield. Garfield's stint as Spider-Man in The Amazaing Spider-Man franchise was cut short when his movies posted lackluster numbers at the box office only years after Maguire's run broke records.
Spider-Man: Homecoming manages to be vastly different from the previous incarnations of the titular hero. The film sees a diverse and young cast filling out the supporting roles around Peter Parker in high school with veterans like Robert Downey Jr. and Tony Stark/Iron Man, Michael Keaton as Adrian Toomes/The Vulture, and Marisa Tomei and Aunt May rounding out the roster.
The Amazing Spider-Man franchise brought the character to cinemas for a pair of films directed by Marc Webb with releases in 2012 and 2014. Prior, the Sam Raimi directed Spider-Man trilogy helped the super hero genre emerge as a force to be reckoned with.
So, which of these Spider-Man movies is the best? Let's count them down...
Spider-Man 3 is the only universally despised entry into the hero's theatrical run. The third film from Raimi and Maguire in five years landed at the the bottom of a franchise which was beloved upon arrival. However, the margin of quality between between Spider-Man 2 and Spider-Man 3 is considerable.
Despite the use of fan-favorite Spider-Man villain Venom, the movie never quite managed to get its footing. This is possibly in part due to the unforgettably horrible dancing sequence which forced Maguire to dress in emo gear as the symbiote had been getting the best of his mentality.
The Mary Jane love story being a major driver for the feud between Eddie Brock and Peter Parker never quite carried enough water to make this movie worth watching. It's the one film in an otherwise home-run franchise which fans often try not to talk about.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 attempted to launch the Amazing title into the Amazing franchise. However, it never quite managed to earn such an adjective.
Bringing in Jamie Foxx as the villainous Electro and Paul Giamatti as Rhino (for a few minutes), The Amazing Spider-Man 2 looked as though it had some potential. Trailers were plastered with brilliant special effects from the villains and Spider-Man saving civilians in Times Square in slow motion but the film never managed to offer a very compelling or contained story.
Instead, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 attempted to introduce a slew of Spider-Man villains in an effort to launch spinoffs and future films. It was an unfortunate effort which lead to Andrew Garfield's run as the character being cut short despite the actor's impressive chops, even if he was a little older than the Peter Parker many Marvel Comics fans had loved.
The Amazing Spider-Man certainly was not a complete miss. Andrew Garfield's first outing as Peter Parker was fun, if nothing else.
Bringing Peter to Midtown Science High School, Garfield's Parker was often bullied by the supporting characters but managed to develop a relationship with Emma Stone's Gwen Stacy. Although Garfield, being 28-years-old at the time of filming, was a bit too old to portray a believable high school student, it was forgivable seeing as most teenage characters are portrayed by such an age group.
The repetition of Uncle Ben's death and the spider-bite was unnecessary but, seeing as it was only the second portrayal of the sequences, did not hurt the film.
With the Lizard as the villain with Rhys Ifans portraying the part of Dr. Curt Connors, the story added a bit of complexity to the Spider-Man stories, drawing from the newly introduced mystery surrounding Peter's parents' deaths. However, the villain seemed like another Godzilla-type while Peter had more interesting conflicts which could have been presented.
2002's Spider-Man should earn a huge portion of the credit for shaping the landscape of super hero films. Sam Raimi put Tobey Maguire in front of fans as a super hero which they can relate to, whether or not they had to ability to shoot webs from their wrists.
Peter Parker is an innocent young man, burdened by the loss of his Uncle Ben and quickly falling for Kirsten Dunst's Mary Jane. James Franco checked in as Harry Osborn, son of Willem Dafoe's Norman Osborn, which became a welcome conflict within the very rich family with Peter caught in the middle of it.
More fun than the villains, though, was Peter's journey in itself. Maguire's portrayal of self-discovery and learning how to use abilities like web-shooting, Spider-Sense, and wallcrawling was fun in itself.
Spider-Man 2 is easily one of the strongest entries to the Spider-Man movies.Building on the strong foundation laid out in Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2 managed to craft a story which comic book fans and moviegoers alike would adore.
Taking Peter Parker from high school to college, Maguire's Parker is burdened with rediscovering his Spider-Man abilities, all the while trying to impress his boss of J. Jonah Jameson brilliantly portrayed by J.K. Simmons and going on to battle the best on-screen villain of any Spider-Man film, one which holds up against most villains since, Dr. Otto Octavius with Alfred Molina in the part. Topping that off is Peter's struggle of whether or not he can allow himself to love Mary Jane, something which he swears would place her in danger.
Spider-Man 2 humanized a super hero and played a huge part in raising the bar for such films during a time when only X-Men and Fantastic Four films were the only rivals.
Spider-Man: Homecoming, the first standalone Spidey flick to see Marvel Studios take creative control, earns the title of best Spider-Man movie.
20-year-old Tom Holland takes on the role of Peter Parker in a film which thoroughly establishes itself as a part of the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe but never raises the stakes too high above high school. Yes, Parker is forced to take down a threat which is something better handled by the Avengers or any other better qualified faction but the young hero's feeling of obligation helps the film fly higher than its villainous Vulture ever could.
Charming performances by Holland and his supporting cast of Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier and Zendaya help lend a Breakfast Club feeling to Homecoming as each of the characters find themselves in a journey of self-discovery. The film is endlessly fun, with help from Tony Stark himself as Robert Downey Jr. plays mentor to the young Parker in a film which revamps and re-imagines many of the titular hero's supporting characters.
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You can find the official synopsis for Homecoming below, which has a 4.13 out of 5 on ComicBook.com's anticipation rankings young Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland), who made his sensational debut in Captain America: Civil War, begins to navigate his newfound identity as the web-slinging super hero in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, Peter returns home, where he lives with his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), under the watchful eye of his new mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.). Peter tries to fall back into his normal daily routine – distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man – but when the Vulture (Michael Keaton) emerges as a new villain, everything that Peter holds most important will be threatened.
The cast includes Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier, Tony Revolori, Tyne Daly, Bokeem Woodbine, with Marisa Tomei, and Robert Downey Jr. It also includes Jon Favreau, Martin Starr, Kenneth Choi, Michael Mando, Selenis Leyva, Isabella Amara, Jorge Lendeborg, Jr., JJ Totah, and Hannibal Buress.