‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ will be the 23rd movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, bringing to a close its dramatic fourth phase, last punctuated by the mega-blockbuster ‘Avengers: Endgame’. The movie sees Tom Holland slip into his Spidey suit once again, this time in a world sans Tony Stark (RIP). As the young Peter Parker takes a much-needed break and explores Europe with his schoolmates, he must once again confront his responsibilities as the web-slinging superhero.
But before we head into theatres to experience this brand new adventure, we figured it’s a good time to check in with all the other Spidey flicks and see how they stand up now. From Sam Raimi’s beloved trilogy to last year’s animation superhit, ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’, here are all the Spider-Man films ranked, from worst to best.
7. Spider-Man 3
Could there have been anything worse than watching an emo Tobey Maguire flash finger guns at unsuspecting women as he shimmied down the streets of New York City? The answer is yes, yes there were. For a film that was riddled with issues even before its release, what was most telling was the fact that even its director, Sam Raimi, wanted little to do with it once it was released. From Topher Grace’s abysmal Venom to Harry Osborne’s (James Franco) ridiculous amnesia storyline and the shoehorning of a Gwen Stacy character, an overcooked plot and an overbooked rogue’s gallery led to the crash of Raimi-universe and was enough to spell the untimely demise of the Maguire-led franchise. Need we say more?
6. The Amazing Spider-Man 2
While Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man grew to be earnest, funny and cocksure in Marc Webb’s sequel to ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’, the film suffered because of its exposition-filled plot, Jamie Foxx’s horrendously campy performance of fan-favourite villain Electro and, also, just plain old Spider-Man fatigue. While Sony had to keep churning out Spider-Man movies so they could hold on to the rights to the IP, how terribly this movie did ultimately led to our favourite web-slinger finally joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So here’s three cheers for the effort lads. (P.S. Garfield and Emma Stone’s sizzling chemistry kept us warm in this otherwise blighted enterprise).
5. The Amazing Spider-Man
I have to say that the only reason Garfield’s movies are so up here in this list is only because the rest of the Spidey films were so phenomenal that there’s nowhere else to put them, meaning that ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ was an entirely watchable and entertaining experience. One of the main issues with this film, however, was the fact that director Marc Webb decided to unleash yet another origin story at us when he could have used our still fresh memory of the Raimi-verse to just jump into the middle of the story and not get bogged down by the more depressing and familiar elements of Peter Parker’s Spidey transformation.
If we had to pick a movie that really made superhero films a mainstream entity, Sam Raimi’s seminal first Spidey flick is it. An origin story told right, ‘Spider-Man’ introduced Tobey Maguire as the orphaned teenager who loses his beloved Uncle Ben to a senseless tragedy just as he discovers his super powers. What really worked for the film was the complicated/intense dynamic between Peter Parker, Harry Osborn (James Franco) and Mary Jane/MJ (Kirsten Dunst). Not to mention Willem Dafoe’s excellent portrayal of Norman Osborn/Green Goblin. Maguire also proved himself to be an effective Spider-Man, deftly switching between his nerdy and superhero roles.
3. Spider-Man: Homecoming
Channelling the spirit of John Hughes’ popular high school-set films, ‘Homecoming’ was a gift even in an already overcrowded superhero space. Did we need a third actor to play Spider-Man in the space of a decade-and-a-half? The answer was a resounding nope. But did we enjoy Tom Holland’s turn as the friendly neighbourhood superhero as he joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe and took on his first solo outing there? Absolutely! Witty, smart and light, ‘Homecoming’ was a respite because it didn’t take the worn path of the origin story and skipped all the sanctimonious ‘With great responsibility...’ nonsense. ‘Homecoming’ didn’t tell, it showed. What also helped was the fact that Holland absolutely looked the part: Young, fresh-faced and eager, the actor has made Spidey his own in a short amount of time and you can tell he’s just getting started.
2. Spider-Man 2
One of the best superhero stories told of all time, ‘Spider-Man 2’ was a resounding success because of its portrayal of a superhero-villain dynamic that went beyond the regular tropes of that relationship. Pitting the wall-crawler against Doctor Octopus (a brilliant Alfred Molina), ‘Spider-Man 2’ fleshed out its characters with touching flourishes of complexity. The film also shines because it gives Maguire’s Peter Parker time to be conflicted about his new superhero identity — a de rigueur now but a breakthrough event then — as he weighed the responsibility of his actions against the weight of the people he loved and cared about. Romance, friendship, comedy, conflict and great actions scenes — ‘Spider-Man 2’ had it all.
1. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Visually stunning, narratively tight and emotionally gut-wrenching, ‘Into the Spider-Verse’, the animated effort from Sony that released in December last year, seemingly appeared from nowhere to win everyone’s hearts. Featuring Miles Morales (Shameik Moore), the 14-year-old Black teenager from Brooklyn, as the newest kid to put on the Spidey mask, ‘Into the Spider-Verse’ also opened up the multiverse to invite in all kinds of Spider-People: Spider-Gwen, Spider-Ham, Peter Parker B, Peni Parker and Spider-Man Noir. Laugh-out-loud funny and full of poignant and teachable moments, ‘Into the Spider-Verse’ came alive because of its innovative style, filled with complex visual gags that worked because they were ultimately so well thought out. A cinematic gem.
Don’t miss it!
Spider-Man: Far From Home releases in the UAE on July 4.