Episode 212: Ranking the Spider-Man Movies


The latest film to feature the popular Web Slinger, Spider-Man: Homecoming, is just one of the slew of films to feature the titular character. There have been a lot of Spider-Man movies out there and each one of them have their good points and their bad. Obviously, everyone who’s watched Peter Parker’s adventures on the big screen have their favorites and their least favorites… and, waddaya know? Everyone just so happens to include little ol’ me!

So, here is my personal list ranking all of the big budget movies to feature your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. From the Raimi trilogy, to the couple of Amazing Spider-Man films that feature a really great Gwen Stacey to Marvel’s own incarnation of their own hero.

But before we begin, I have to put up the SPOILER WARNING because I will be revealing some plot points from the various films.

6. The Amazing Spider-Man

Yep. This is the worst of all the Spider-Man movies ever released.

Sony’s first stab at rebooting the franchise after the Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy was a disaster in so many ways. I initially had no problem with the reboot but I felt the guys that were behind the Amazing Spider-Man were too busy trying to make an entire Spider-verse that they forgot to make a good movie. The film was just filled to the brim with stuff that didn’t have anything to do with film’s plot, like Peter Parker’s parents being scientists on the run. Or Norman Osborne dying from some illness off screen.

But that wasn’t the only issues the film had. I didn’t like what they did with Peter Parker’s character. In the Amazing Spider-Man, he’s actually a pretty cool dude. He can skateboard and definitely doesn’t behave like a nerd and a geek. He acts, well, normal. Okay, maybe a little emo but he’s just your one-of-the-mill teenagers. The thing is, since he’s already normal and already kind of cool, he kind of looks like a douche once he gets his powers. In fact, he’s actually kind of a bully.

There are some good things about the first reboot, though. The casting of Emma Stone as Gwen Stacey was pitch perfect. And the costume they used looked much better than then one the Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy had. But these two things hardly outweigh the myriad of flaws and problems the Amazing Spider-Man had, making it the worst movie to feature the Wall Crawler.

5. The Amazing Spider-Man 2

I was actually torn with which one would be the bottom. Eventually, I chose the first entry to the Amazing Spider-Man series… but the second one still sucked bad.

The second Amazing Spider-Man film has most of the problems the first film had but to a lesser degree. There was more focus on the story this time but Sony still insisted in forcing future storyline elements, like showing off the gear of the future Sinister Six and that weird underground laboratory that Peter Parker’s parents set up because… we’ll never know because The Amazing Spider-Man 2 put the final nail of the coffin for that incarnation of the series. It was there but it wasn’t as in your face as the last movie.

The action scenes were also much better and more heart pounding. They definitely ratcheted up the tension during the last action sequence where the Green Goblin kidnapped Gwen Stacey. Any comic book fan already knew what was gonna happen to that poor girl and it was more about how they were going to do it. I actually loved the drama involved in the scene.

But the film overall was terrible.

4. Spider-Man 3

What happened, Sam Raimi? Oh yeah, studio interference. That figures.

In a way, Spider-Man 3 was a victim of the franchise’s very own success. Even thought Sam Raimi, the man behind the previous two films and probably the biggest reason why those movies were such a big hit, the Sony executives went out of their way to give pointers on what they wanted to be in the film. Of course, they wanted Venom to be in it, even to Sam Raimi wanted The Vulture. That was just one of the ridiculous things that were shoehorned into Spider-Man 3. There was also the unnecessary addition of a more homely Gwen Stacey who didn’t add a thing to the film’s plot.

But the worst thing Spider-Man 3 did wasn’t the fault of the producers. It was actually Raimi’s. He opted to retcon the events of Uncle Ben’s murder. In the third installment, it turns out the man that Peter Parker could’ve stopped from robbing the wrestling event’s gate wasn’t the same guy that shot his Uncle Ben. Rather, it was the thug who eventually became The Sandman. Now, this was a really powerful scene when Sandman does confess and the reason why he accidentally killed Uncle Ben. However, this kind of warps Peter Parker’s reason for becoming Spider-Man.

It’s almost like his reason for becoming a crimefighter (stopping crime because he could’ve done something before, hence, the “with great power comes great responsibility” thing) wasn’t right anymore since he accidentally killed (yes, killed) a guy who he thought murdered his uncle. But with the retcon, this means someone died unnecessarily thanks to Peter Parker’s very own actions!

3.5 Captain America: Civil War

Okay, this isn’t a full fledged Spider-Man movie but, as this is the first time we got to see Marvel’s incarnation of their most popular superhero, it seems only fair to include it on the list, albeit just for partial credit.

Even though Spider-Man was just a small part of Civil War, it was a vision to see this version of Peter Parker. The casting of Tom Holland for the role was just perfect. And deciding to make Spider-Man just a teenager like the old comics may be a risk but it was a brilliant choice as you can’t help but look at the character in that way. Did I mention that Tom Holland was the perfect choice? I did, didn’t I?

But, this wasn’t a Spider-Man film; it’s a Captain America movie. I couldn’t give this an actual ranking because of this. However, if I could, I would definitely say that Marvel’s first outing with the character was much better than Sony’s last two tries with the character.

3. Spider-Man: Homecoming

Yep, the latest film to feature your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man is my third favorite film to feature the character. I may love his debut in Captain America: Civil War. But his actual movie was much better!

Now, I do have to say that I was actually torn between the placement of the last three films. Ultimately, I had to place Spider-Man: Homecoming at the third position. It’s an incredible movie and the acting by Tom Holland was, once again, fantastic. Getting Michael Keaton to play The Vulture must’ve made Sam Raimi bean with pride, getting some form of vindication against the Sony executives who thought that a villain like The Vulture wouldn’t work. The film also did a great job of integrating Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, something that fans have been asking for since forever.

Spider-Man: Homecoming does have a few problems, in my opinion. The action was kind of lacking and Spider-Man actually doesn’t do all that much. To be fair, the focus was more on Peter Parker and how he’s trying to balance his normal life with his superheroing. Not that his high school life wasn’t interesting; I just wish there was a bit more balance between both of his lives.

2. Spider-Man 2

This was a tough choice but, after really thinking about it for a while, I decided that I had to make Sam Raimi’s second film featuring the hero my second favorite Spider-Man movie yet.

There’s a lot to like about Spider-Man 2. Tobey Maguire seems to have settled into the dual role of Peter Parker and Spider-Man at this time so his portrayal of the character seemed much better than the first time he took the role. The story was also mostly fantastic with not only the focus on the hero but the antagonist as well. It certainly helps that Doctor Octopus was a fantastic villain and actually much more of a match for Spider-Man.

However, there were a few things that made me make this the number 2 film. While they did an admirable job in showing Peter Parker’s bond with Otto Octavius, it actually felt kind of superficial. I know they couldn’t have devoted more time because that would be a waste of time. But I just didn’t feel the connection between the two was substantial enough to warrant all the drama. I also didn’t like that Spider-Man’s identity was known by dozens of people after the train fight. Yeah, each and every one of them wouldn’t sell Spider-Man’s secret identity to the highest bidder.

C’mon, who are you trying to fool here? Everyone on the train is going to be that altruistic all their life?

And the best Spider-Man films is…

1. Spider-Man

Yes, the first is still the best!

Normally, I would say it was the nostalgia talking but I actually just watched it in preparation for Spider-Man: Homecoming and it holds up surprisingly well. The action scenes do feel a little dated but the story is just so good! The entire thing moved at a brisk pace and you actually see not only Peter Parker’s ups and downs, but each and every characters’ as well! You can see Mary Jane’s fall from the most popular girl at school to just a waitress waiting for her big break as an actress. You also see Norman’s Osborn’s fall and decent into madness as the Green Goblin persona takes hold. There’s actually a stunning amount of character development that was squeezed into the first Spider-Man film!

There are definitely some cheesy moments; most of them involving Willem Dafoe and the Green Goblin. I mean, that Green Goblin costume looks more hilarious than frightening. It’s just so funny to see the actor’s mouth behind that mesh screen that’s supposed to be on the mask’s mouth and that retractable eyeball shades. Willem Dafoe’s acting was also incredibly hammy and a little bit cringeworthy today. That scene where he talks to himself was legendary!

All of the cheesy parts don’t detract from the film. In actuality, they make Spider-Man such a much bigger joy to watch. It adds to what makes the film so great!

How would you rank the Spider-Man movies? Let me know in the comments section below!

One thought on “Episode 212: Ranking the Spider-Man Movies

  1. Pingback: How Sony Should Handle Spider-Man Without Marvel | 3rd World Geeks

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