Spider-Man: Homecoming conquered theaters this weekend with an opening of $117 million. Critical and audience buzz surrounding the film has been nothing but positive, but the same cannot be said of all of Spidey's films. With now six films to his name, here is the definitive ranking of the web slinger's films.
6. The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
It had been just five years since the last release of a Spider-Man film, but that didn't stop Sony from wanting to go to the bank again. In an effort to retain the rights to the hero or risk losing him to Disney's Marvel Studios, Sony hired 500 Days of Summer director Marc Webb to direct a reboot of the web slinger. Andrew Garfield was cast as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, and Emma Stone was cast as Peter's original love, Gwen Stacey.
While all of these elements should've made for a compelling film, The Amazing Spider-Man was a woeful misfire. From boring a villain (Rhys Ifan's Lizard was nothing short of a mini-Godzilla knockoff) to a love story that made the Twilight films' love triangle look eventful by comparison, The Amazing Spider-Man is a prime example of a soulless studio film made to retain the rights to a popular property in an effort to cash in. Many believed Marvel Studios/Disney and Sony should team up after the lack of success for the film, but that didn't happen until after the release of...
5. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is marginally better than The Amazing Spider-Man thanks to Jamie Foxx's portrayal of Max Dillon/Electro. Yes, the filmmakers made up his powers as the film went along, but he's one of the coolest comic book villains to ever appear on screen. Otherwise, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a prime example of franchise fatigue. From the Green Goblin appearing as a villain once again, the relationship between Peter Parker and Gwen Stacey reaching embarrassing new heights to the blatant product placement, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is a mess.
Sony's plan of creating their own cinematic universe/Spideyverse by teasing the costumes of the Sinister Six, Spider-Man's arch rivals, fell through due to the film's lack of commercial and critical success, leading to them sharing custody of their beloved hero with Disney/Marvel Studios.
4. Spider-Man 2 (2004)
*UNPOPULAR OPINION ALERT* Spider-Man 2 is not a good movie. Why does Doctor Octopus rob a bank when he could just steal the equipment needed to redo his experiment of creating a mini-sun? Why is Peter Parker, a scientific genius, turned into an idiot who can't deliver pizzas on time and doesn't realize he could sneak through a window to see his girlfriend's play? Why do Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson fall into the typical romantic comedy trope of not communicating and have relationship problems? Why is Doctor Octopus fat?
Call it nit picking, but Spider-Man 2 is not one of the best comic book movies ever. Turning Doctor Octopus into a sympathetic figure was a mistake, having Spider-Man's powers start to fade due to Peter's complicated life made little sense, and the climatic battle sequence was one of the biggest yawn-inducing affairs of all time. Had it not been for the subway action scene, Spider-Man 2 might have placed even lower on this list.
3. Spider-Man 3 (2007)
Director Sam Raimi wanted to have Flint Marko/Sandman be the main villain. Sony interfered and wanted Eddie Brock/Venom. As a compromise, both were included in the movie. While making Flint Marko Uncle Ben's killer was a big middle finger to the audience, his back story was still well done. Mary Jane Watson continued to be the worst girlfriend ever, but those signs were seen back in Spider-Man 2. Yes, the ending is terrible, but the action sequences deliver and are thrilling.
The rivalry between Harry Osborne (played by a gleefully over-the-top James Franco) and Peter Parker is palpable. Peter Parker's battle with the black suit/symbiote personality is compelling, and sees one of the most comical moments in superhero film history as a dressed-in-all-black Peter Parker dances around New York City to James Brown.
Many will disagree with me and say Spider-Man 3 is an awful film, but I believe Spider-Man 3 is misunderstood and should be regarded as one of the better films in the series.
2. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
The first joint venture between Disney's Marvel Studios and Sony, Spider-Man: Homecoming sees the web slinger kick off the cobwebs and swing into high gear for the first time this decade. Although the film screams cash grab, Spider-Man: Homecoming is easily the funniest Spidey film to date thanks to Zendaya's Michelle and Jacob Batalon's Ned.
It's got terrific performances, particularly from Michael Keaton, whose intimidating performance as Adrian Toomes/Vulture makes him one of the best #Marvel villains to ever grace the screen. Although many worried about Iron-Man/Tony Stark overkill, the film features a healthy amount of a snarky-as-ever Robert Downey Jr. in a mentor role to the web slinger. Tom Holland also shows he's more than capable of swinging Spider-Man to new heights, but the film doesn't have the same handcrafted love as the No. 1e Spider-Man film on this list.
1. Spider-Man (2002)
Spider-Man to this very day rests towards the top of my all-time comic book movies list, easily making it the best Spider-Man film to date. With the exception of having Mary Jane Watson appear as Peter Parker's first love, Spider-Man's origin is done perfectly. From Peter taking down school bully Flash Thompson all the way to his heroic display at the World Unity Fair, Spider-Man's origin perfect.
Tobey Maguire's portrayal as the web slinger is still one of the best superhero performances of all time, and Kirsten Dunst gives Mary Jane Watson the "girl next door" vibe that would've melted any man's heart. Cliff Robertson's Uncle Ben had the emotional resonance needed to propel Peter into the life of a hero. While many scoff at his costume, Willem Dafoe's Green Goblin is frightening and intimidating, making him one of the finest supervillains ever.
It's a wonder how, in the first attempt at one of Marvel's most popular heroes, Sony was able to make a near perfect superhero film. One can only wonder what could've been had the other two sequels lived up to this first film, and had the franchise not been rebooted far too soon.
What is your favorite Spider-Man movie?