We now live in a world where we’ve had three iterations of Spider-Man in the last 15 years. It seems like most people have been pretty satisfied with this new collaboration between Marvel and Sony, but how does Spider-Man: Homecoming stack up against the rest of the Spider-Man films? Check out the list and let me know what you think!
NOTE: Captain America: Civil War will not be included on this list. It was a great movie and Spider-Man played a larger part than I expected, but he wasn’t the focus of that movie.
6. Spider-Man 3
This part of the list is not subjective in the slightest. If you think Spider-Man 3 is good, then you are a crazy person and I don’t know how to communicate with you. Sure, there are the common qualms like the horrible dance sequence and the terrible effects used for bringing Venom to life, but I think part of the problem that led to Spider-Man 3 being the absolute worst Spider-Man movie was the inclusion of too many villains. Amazing Spider-Man 2 also suffered from this, but it did a better job of simply focusing on one main villain and having the others more as set dressing and world building. In Spider-Man 3, it’s hard to even know who the real bad guy is. For part of the movie, it looks like it’s Harry Osborn, but then it really becomes Peter himself when he’s taken over by Venom. Then at the end, Eddie Brock becomes Venom and is the true bad guy. Oh right, Sandman is also in this movie and serves basically no purpose whatsoever. Spider-Man 3 is a hot mess for so many reasons, it couldn’t not end up at the bottom of this list.
5. The Amazing Spider-Man 2
I actually liked Amazing Spider-Man more than most, so I was really excited when they announced a follow-up, especially when rumors started circling that it would tell the story of Gwen Stacy’s demise. And say what you will about this movie, that moment was handled perfectly. Other than that, though, Spider-Man 2 was mostly forgettable and featured one of Jamie Foxx’s worst performances of his up and down acting career. I still really liked the chemistry between Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, but it didn’t feel as fresh, and their scenes certainly couldn’t carry the movie. The action and effects were pretty good, but the big moments from the two main fights were spoiled in the trailers. I’m also a fan of Dane Dehaan, but yikes the Goblin makeup was atrocious. They clearly intended to make more movies, with Felicity Jones appearing as Felicia (who I’m sure was supposed to later be Black Cat), and I liked the bookended cameo from Rhino. Still, other than the relationship between Peter and Gwen, this movie was a wasted opportunity.
A lot of people would probably put the original at the number three slot, but honestly, this movie hasn’t aged all that well in this new world of Marvel superhero movies. There’s still plenty of charm to be had watching Tobey Maguire pretend to be ten years younger than he really is, but the dialogue and acting, in general, feel very dated. This was still back when comic book movies felt like comic book movies, with plenty of melodrama and characters explaining how they feel rather than just showing it. I never really felt like there was much chemistry between Peter and MJ, and James Franco’s Harry Osborn was a bit flat for my liking. However, Willem Dafoe is still absolutely brilliant in his scenery-chewing performance as Green Goblin. And props to J.K. Simmons for being exactly how I imaged J. Jonah Jameson being if he were a “real” person. At the end of the day, this was still the first time we got a serious portrayal of Spider-Man in a movie, and that was pretty awesome.
3. Amazing Spider-Man
I enjoyed Amazing Spider-Man more than I thought I would. It was definitely annoying to still include the origin story that every single person knows by heart now, but at least they showed Peter adjusting to his new powers in a fun and exciting way. I also really liked the fact that they went the Gwen Stacy route rather than re-hashing the MJ relationship, and focused on a lesser known villain instead of retreading the old favorites. Andrew Garfield is a great actor, and I think was a decent fit for Peter Parker. It’s tough because Garfield is a super handsome dude and Peter is supposed to be this nerdy outcast, but you have to look past it a little bit because it is a Hollywood movie, after all. However, I really didn’t like that they made Peter more of a hipster than a nerd, with his skateboard and zip up hoodies. I don’t think that represents the core of the character, but that’s just me. But as I said above, the chemistry between Peter and Gwen was fantastic and it’s clear that Marc Webb just let the two of them play with improv during their scenes. It was also cool that they built this overarching mystery behind the disappearance of Peter’s parents, but I don’t think it really paid off in that great of a way.
2. Spider-Man 2
Spider-Man 2 is undoubtedly one of the greatest Spider-Man movies to date. It still had some of that early superhero movie cheesiness, but it told a more serious story than its predecessor and executed really well on Peter’s journey and struggles with identity. Alfred Molina is absolutely fantastic as the troubled Doctor Octavius, and I enjoyed seeing his relationship with Peter grow and change from a mutual respect and interest, to a sort of resentment from both sides. There were some seriously iconic shots of Spider-Man in this one; the kind of stuff that made the comic book geek inside of me squeal with delight. The entire final sequence was amazing, and a great follow up to the confrontation with Green Goblin in the first movie. Spider-Man 2 also had some neat world building with the inclusion of characters like Dr. Connors, but wasn’t able to execute fully on those ideas. I’m still convinced that Bruce Campbell was secretly playing Mysterio in all three movies.
1. Spider-Man: Homecoming
As I said in my review, Tom Holland is now the definitive Peter Parker/Spider-Man. Homecoming just really felt like a high school movie in a way that no other Spider-Man movie has really nailed up to this point. He was a kid dealing with some kid problems. You know, in addition to saving NYC. But the scope of the movie also felt smaller than some of its peers, and I like that, as well. He’s the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, after all. There were plenty of side characters that got their moment in the sun, and Homecoming is easily the funniest Spider-Man movie on this list. I think Vulture and The Shocker fell into the all-too-familiar Marvel movie trap of being underdeveloped villains, and Tony Stark was honestly in the movie more than I would have liked, but those are small potatoes compared to the absolute fun and joy I experienced while watching. I always wanted to be Peter Parker growing up, and I feel like Tom Holland gets that.
So what do you think, which is your favorite Spider-Man movie? Are you looking forward to Spider-Man continuing his involvement in the greater Marvel universe? What about the solo Venom movie that’s been announced? Let me know in the comments below, and be sure to check out my Batman movie ranking and my ranking of the X-Men movies! Thanks for reading!