Ranking The Spider-Man Films

Spider-Man: Homecoming is on the horizon and Lee and I could not be more excited. Due to my anticipation I decided I would rank all of the Spidey films up to this point from my least favorite  to favorite!  Hopefully we can all get along with where I have placed these films (especially #3) and without further ado, here is number 5!

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5.) The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

Oh, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, what an out of place film you are. While I personally do not believe the entire film is a mess, the majority of it is all buildup for a franchise that never came to be. Which is what makes it so weird, cause now we have this film that laid all this groundwork for all these films that never happened. I have many complaints about this movie but the main thing that really bothers me with this film is the Harry Osborn and Peter Parker relationship. Their relationship is meant to be a slow buildup, starting off as best friends, into rivals, than enemies. This film pretty much skips the whole friends and rivals aspect and goes right into Harry hating Spider-Man and going after him. It just does not mesh well.

With that stuff, on top of the horribly played out Electro, the introduction of a bunch of characters, scattered plot lines it just makes this film an absolute mess. While you'll see later that I believe Spider-Man 3 is an enjoyable mess, this is not an enjoyable one in the slightest. But thankfully for this movie there are some silver linings, Andrew Garfield is no where near a disaster and I believe his portrayal of Spider-Man outshines Maguire by a long shot and the suit in this movie is easily my favorite live-action Spider-Man suit. Another plus is the Gwen Stacy and Peter Parker relationship. Especially, with THAT scene in the end of the film (The film is still relatively 'new' so i'll keep away from spoilers.) it makes this relationship very unique from the original trilogy, even if it is not as strong as the first.

 There is so much more I can go on about this movie, but, that is for another day. But overall, this film ranks at the bottom of my list and will most likely forever remain there.

4.) The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

This film to me is the hardest one to discuss about. This movie just makes me feel very weird. As someone who grew up watching and adoring the original trilogy, this was a little difficult to accept at first. But after seeing it a handful of times, I finally came to my conclusion. It is a Spider-Man movie that is just kind of...there. 

As said previously, Andrew Garfield is a true treat and he brings the true wit, humor and charm that we all love about Spider-Man. His Peter Parker on the other hand, is very meh. Garfield does not look like a geek and honestly does not truly act like one. It just feels out of place. Speaking of out place, there is the main villain in the film, The Lizard. From his portrayal to his god awful sinister plan it just does not fit this type of movie. I personally feel like The Vulture could have been a great starting off point, but thankfully we will be getting that with Homecoming.

One last thing, this movie just honestly seems like a straight up remake of Spider-Man (2001). The main tagline to this film was "The Untold Story" and besides the bigger emphasis on Peter's parents, there really was not anything that was brand new and that was a bit of a shame. But, that is also what makes this movie just okay. It really does not do anything wrong, cause it just goes off the same beats as the first movie. I just criticize it because it brings nothing new overall, this film is just, okay. It is in no way a disaster. If it was not for this movie being a reboot, I feel I would have appreciated this way more. 

3.) Spider-Man 3 (2007)

This is where I seem to disagree with a lot of people. First of all, in no way is this a perfect film, or even is it a well put together one. To me, it is just a fun time. Watching this film the first few times, I just left with a very "meh" feeling. The over abundance of villains, emo Peter Parker, too many plot lines being meshed into one movie, I totally get it. But as I got older I started to appreciate it a bit more. But still, this is one of those superhero films where you just have to turn your brain off and you will find yourself enjoying it a lot more. Of course, you could do the same for The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but however the more I watch that film, I still find myself with a bad taste in my mouth. But back to my point, Spider-Man 3 still involves Toby Maguire and it is still a Sam Raimi film. It still has that charm that the first two movies had, even though it was overshadowed by many plot lines. The action is fun, McGuire is still an amazing Peter Parker and it left the trilogy at a good enough spot in my opinion. So, that is why I put Spider-Man 3 in the middle of my list. 

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2.) Spider-Man (2002)

Describing the importance of this film could take pages to write. The success of this movie set up the whole landscape for superhero films. While Spider-Man (2002) might not hold up fully, it is still a great time and one of the most important movies in modern day cinema.

 In my opinion, I see it as the first true superhero origin story and it is still one of the best ones ever created. One thing that I adore about this film, is Peter Parkers development as a character throughout the movie. He starts off as an awkward high school nerd who can barley even mutter out a word to a girl, but by the end of the film, he transforms into the man he never thought he could be. A man who is fearless, strong and is able to take care of the people he loves. While of course, there is many more qualities to Parker, that is something I always thought was taken care of very well. Also on the positive side, the love relationship between Mary Jane and Peter is done very well. My favorite scene between them takes place early in the film while Peter is taking out is garbage and Mary Jane walks out of her house after she got in a fight with her father. They both walk up to each other and you finally start to see Peter open up as well as Mary Jane. It is a very sweet scene and it is one of my favorites throughout the trilogy.

Finally, the villain in this film is an absolute classic. Norman Osborne/ Green Goblin who is played by William Dafoe absolutely steals the show. While his suit is a bit...dumb. His alter ego after taking the "goblin serum" stays true to the Norman Osborne character that we have all come to love. He is full of hatred, he wants full power and most importantly he wants Spider-Man dead. Also, the final action sequence between the two is a fight you wont forget.

1.) Spider-Man 2 (2004)

Here we are at number one, Spider-Man 2. This film has received nothing but praise from fans and critics alike. It is looked back on as the pinnacle of the Spider-Man films and is still talked today as one of, if not the best superhero film ever created. Now, I did not put it at number one simply because everyone else loves it, I absolutely adore this film as much as everyone else and that is why is deserves such a high spot. 

Everything in this film works almost flawlessly. The continuing relationship between Mary Jane and Peter is still just as great as the first film. While there is not really a "relationship" between them in this film, it is a huge buildup with a great payoff at the end.

So, you thought Willaim Dafoe killed it as Green Goblin? Well, Alfred Molina takes it a step further as Doctor Octopus/ Otto Octavious. His character is slightly different from the source material as Otto is truly not a bad guy at all. He is a school professor who is passionate about what he does, he loves his wife and is very willing to teach Peter Parker the ways of Science. But the aftermath of his experiment in the film is what changes him into a true monster. Molina destroys the role as he able to balance both personalities so flawlessly. He is such a joy to have in the film and will forever be the definitive live-action Doctor Octopus.

But to me, what makes this film one of kind is Peter's story throughout the film. Balancing your life between being a normal person and being a superhero does not seem easy and Peter surely does not make it look any better. Spider-Man 2 replicates a very realistic and emotional approach to the superhero genre. It really exemplifies the true moral of the whole Raimi trilogy  "With great power comes great responsibility". It shows that just because Peter has all these cool abilities does not change the real life that he still lives. He still has to care for his aunt, he still has to go to school, he is still in love with the girl of his dreams and most importantly, he has to care for himself. Never have I seen a superhero film really focus on this subject and nail it as well as Spider-Man 2. 

(Also, that Train action sequence is one of the best choreographed scenes in modern film making. Like wow.)

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So, there you have it, my least to favorite Spider-Man films. This was a lot of fun to create and I plan on doing a lot more rankings such as these in the near future. Anyway, thanks for reading and let us know what your favorite Spider-Man films are!

-Paul