Before I tell you of Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker/Spiderman im going to give credits to Thomas Blakey. The one who made this good job Thomas.
[The Amazing Spider-Man](movie:45497) series may have its critics, but there’s one thing few can argue against and that’s the casting of Andrew Garfield as our hero Peter Parker. A fairly unknown actor at the time whose only real role of note was in David Fincher’s ‘The Social Network’, it was considered a huge risk by Sony to cast him for the lead in a film where in the age of Blockbusters critical acclaim means little to studios without the box office success to back it up.
“Though his name may be new to many, those who know this young actor’s work understand his extraordinary talents. He has a rare combination of intelligence, wit, and humanity, Mark my words, you will love Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man.”
Two films later, and we couldn’t agree with Marc Webb’s words more. Garfield burst onto the scene with a fresh, funny, innovative and entertaining portrayal of Peter praised by fans and critics alike.
It was a welcome and desperately needed breath of fresh air after the sour note Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy ended on and to put it simply, he puts Tobey Maguire’s performance to shame. Even Stan Lee has gone on record saying he prefers Garfield’s rendition of his beloved creation, and we couldn’t agree more.
Here are ten reasons – beside Tobey Maguire’s ridiculous facial expressions – why Andrew Garfield is the superior Spider-Man.
10. His Love of Spiderman
9. Garfield Actually Behaves Like a Teenager
While Tobey Maguire comes across as the perfect little choir boy at times (except when he yelled at Uncle Ben that one time), Andrew Garfield is far more believable as a teenager, and it instantly gives the younger audience a chance to really connect with him.
Garfield takes a different approach to Maguire’s ultra quiet, geeky Peter and simply put, just portrays a teenager. He’s argumentative, moody, selfish, arrogant at times, but also quiet and isolated, and isn’t that how we all were in those dreaded times?
There are a few complaints about Garfield’s portrayal of Peter coming across as ‘not geeky enough’ or ‘too hipster’, but honestly, fans need to keep in mind that not only have times changed since the first Spider-Man, but also if he portrayed him as ‘more geeky’ it runs the risk of becoming too similar to Maguire’s performance. While it’s also worth noting that Peter is supposed to represent an ordinary person, that’s one of the best parts of him and Garfield does this well.
Some of the complaints of him being a jerk may have some merit, but point us in the direction of a teenager who isn’t.
8. His Supporting Cast is Much Better
You know the saying, a good director can be ruined by a bad editor and a bad director can be saved by a good editor?
The same applies to actors and their characters. Maybe Christian Bale wouldn’t be everyone’s favourite Batman if he didn’t have five tremendous villains to work with and a brilliantly cast Bat-family, and the same can be said about Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man.
A lot of thought has gone into the casting; pairing Martin Sheen and Sally Fields as Uncle Ben and Aunt May was a solid decision, as both bring years of experience, respect and critical acclaim with them, giving the series instant credibility.
Not enough can be said about Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy (but we’ll try our hardest later), while even Dane Dehaan has brought a much more sinister approach to Harry Osborn that’ll make any future interactions between him and Spider-Man very interesting.
The villains have also been an improvement with Rhys Ifans’ Curt Connors proving to be an excellent choice to start the franchise, and even with Jamie Foxx’s Electro falling a little flat, it’s still a huge improvement on the three villains in Spider-Man 3.
Most of the actors who appeared in Raimi’s trilogy are all successful and accomplished talent with a backlog of terrific films – J.K. Simmons remains to this day one of the best character adaptations in comic film history – but in comparison to the actors hired and directed by Webb, there is very little debate.
The cast is much stronger as a unit and Andrew Garfield works brilliantly with them, no one seems out of place and it gives his Peter Parker a chance to truly develop. As long as Garfield continues to have a terrific cast to work with – one that will push him to be better – he’ll continue to outshine Maguire.
7. Peter's Intellect is Better Illustrated
Peter Parker is a smart boy, one of the brightest in his school and in a comic universe where Tony Stark and Reed Richards are the smartest in the world, the audience can sometimes forget just how intelligent Peter is. Fortunately, Webb’s series decides to really highlight our hero’s IQ and Garfield excellently showcases it.
From working closely with Doctor Connors, to his scientific experiments and even his homemade gadgets like his door lock (every teenagers dream come true), his scientific mind is far better illustrated in the Amazing Spider-Man series and it was an absolute joy to see Peter put together his web-shooters.
Even Peter’s artistic talent and his skills in photography are better touched upon, brining forth a more well-rounded, brilliant Peter Parker whose intelligence isn’t just limited to science.
Since Raimi decided to have organic webbing, we never witnessed Peter invent his web-shooters and his intelligence seemed to take a back seat, we only believed Maguire’s Parker was intelligent because other characters told us so, and apart from one scene with Otto Octavius when they discussed physics, we never really witnessed this for ourselves.
6. His Deeper Connection with Aunt May
Aunt May is arguably the most important character in Spider-Man canon.
Yes, it’s Uncle Ben’s wise words ‘With great power comes great responsibility’ that sends Peter on his path to becoming a hero, but it is Aunt May’s constant presence and love that keeps him on that path. You cannot begin to underestimate how much Peter loves his Aunt and vice versa, every decision he makes likely started with a voice in his head asking ‘Would Aunt May approve?’
With the film focusing more on Peter’s younger years (as opposed to Raimi’s series where he moves out mid-way through the first film), we were always going to get more interaction between the two and this has proven to be a good move. The character is wonderfully portrayed by Sally Fields who brings a real sense of vulnerability to the role that was absent from Raimi’s Aunt May who walked around like a clueless and naïve fool at times.
The connection between Peter and May seems so much deeper in this series as they band together, not only to support themselves financially, but emotionally after the death of Uncle Ben.
You truly understand the love between the two, as Aunt May comes across as more of a mother than an Aunt and it’s the moment when she fiercely declares Peter is ‘her boy’ and Peter responds that she’s ‘his everything’ in the second film where this truly shines.
5. Garfield is Bursting With Charisma
Looking back at Sam Raimi’s trilogy, there is something incredibly lacking in Maguire’s performance, especially compared to Garfield’s rendition of the beloved wall-crawler. To sum it up best, it’s just plain.
Yes, not everyone can be as revolutionary as Heath Ledger or as ovary popping as Tom Hiddleston, but you’ve still got to bring something unique to role, and there is just nothing massively interesting about Maguire’s Spidey, nothing that separates him from the rest of the pack.
Andrew Garfield, however, bursts onto the scene with such a dynamic personality he puts Maguire to shame. He’s funny, he’s awkwardly charming and he’s brave. In his early scenes he already distances himself from Maguire’s Peter, but it wasn’t until he dons the mask for the first time when his charisma really shines.
Maguire just seemed like a wet blanket at times, constantly snivelling and coming across as weak and dull, while Garfield maybe a bit bold and brash at times, you cannot deny that when he’s on screen he is commanding the spotlight.
Andrew Garfield brought the right level of playful sarcasm and presence to Spidey in the costume that was lacking from Maguire’s, not to mention a plethora of additional affectations that Maguire’s personality just couldn’t pull off. While Maguire seemed to struggle, Garfield appears effortless and as cliché as it sounds; it’s as if he was born to play this role.
6. His Fighting Style
There is something very unique about Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man compared to most on-screen heroes and that is his fighting style. The fight scenes are what can make or break a film and each character has their own unique style – Black Widow is a more martial arts based character, Batman is a brutal brawler while Superman and Hulk will generally just punch and smash everything with the difference being one jumps and the other flies.
Garfield’s battle with the Lizard in his high school was wonderfully done, the way he moved was almost spider like – he was agile, quick (in wit and movement) and decisive, but it’s important to remember Peter Parker is just a teenager with special gifts, but no training, and that does come across in his performance.
Even his web slinging is leaps and bounds better than the robotic moves of Maguire’s swinging through the skies of New York, as Garfield’s flexibility and movement looks like it’s taken straight from the pages of a comic book.
A lot of credit has to go to the stunt co-ordinators and special effects team, but it is Garfield fans that will recognise these great scenes (Garfield did study the way Spiders move before tackling the role).
To say Tobey’s Spider-Man never had these moments would be wrong, Spider-Man’s train battle with Doctor Octopus was a tremendous piece of filmmaking and is arguably the finest Spider-Man fight scene made, but the consistency of quality and entertainment in Garfield’s battles will always outshine Maguire.
3. His Chemistry with Emma Stone
It’s no surprise that Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone are dating in real life, no one can deny the chemistry between Peter and Gwen, it’s the absolute backbone of the film, fuelling it and giving it that something extra to separate it from other comic books films – where criticisms of the love interests and romance are ever apparent (looking at you, Maggie Gyllenhaal).
Some of the finest moments in the series have been between Peter and Gwen, whether it be Peter and Gwen setting the ground rules for ‘being just friends’ or their moment not hidden away in the ‘Bahamas of hiding places’, the romance has always seemed meaningful, never corny and fortunately, never coming across as Twilight-y (yes, that’s a thing).
Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst never had that chemistry, and the will they, won’t they, aspect of Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy derailed their connection to the audience, with Dunst’s character coming across as selfish and unlikeable at times (plus how many times did the villain kidnap her? You’d thought Spidey would have put a tracker on her after the first two times).
Emma Stone literally feels like the girl next door that Mary Jane is supposed to be, she’s gorgeous, smart, funny and has a smile that melts hearts everywhere. If Shailene Woodley does end up continuing her role as Mary Jane, she has a huge shadow cast over her and will have to be at her very best to make fans forget about Emma Stone’s Gwen.
2. Behind the Mask Banter
One of the biggest disappointments of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy has to be the sheer lack of humour from the lead character.
Peter Parker’s terribly timed jokes, awful tumblr-esque puns and behaviour that is downright goofy at times is one of the key and most popular elements of the character. It’s always a delight to open a Spider-Man comic and see our hero battling Mysterio while delivering as many fish bowl related puns as possible, and it’s a shame this never transpired onto the big screen under Raimi’s helm.
For some reason, Raimi and the writers decided to never explore humour in their films outside a Bruce Campbell appearance that was best suited for a Saturday Night Live sketch. J.K. Simmons aside, none of the characters displayed a real talent for comedy with Maguire’s ‘shining moment’ coming from a ‘here’s your change’ quip in Spider-Man 2 (the Saturday Night Fever Maguire strut does not count as comedy).
Comic films are supposed to fun, and The Avengers is a perfect example of a healthy balance of seriousness, humour and action; even the Dark Knight Trilogy known for its seriousness and realism had its funny moments – did anyone not laugh at The Joker’s pencil trick?
Fortunately, that’s where Andrew Garfield comes in whose charisma has already been mentioned, but his clever quips and one-liners are a big factor in separating the two series. Spider-Man uses his humour to distract his enemies and to gain the upper hand mentally, or to simply put, have fun.
He may force himself to remain Spider-Man because of his overwhelming guilt (more on that later), but inevitably he does have fun doing it.
You only have to look to the first film and see Andrew Garfield cowering before a carjacker holding … a knife! Or his confrontations with The Rhino to see just how perfectly suited Andrew Garfield is at portraying the funny side of Peter Parker.
1. Better understanding that strategy of that shapes Peter's life
Peter Parker is better suited as a lead to a Shakespearean play than a comic book.
There is a recurring theme of tragedy that constantly plagues Peter’s life. He grows up an orphan having lost his parents at a young age and loses the two father figures he had left in Uncle Ben and Captain Stacy, then of course, there’s Gwen.
Andrew Garfield has had some very challenging scenes to work through, and each time he has delivered without skipping a beat. He has shone as an actor, being able to effortlessly transition from the cocky, wisecracking superhero to a wounded, guilt-ridden soldier.
Gwen’s death is arguably the most important moment in Spider-Man’s history, and Garfield tackles the scene with respect, thoughtfulness and delivers a devastating performance that would make even the coldest of hearts shed a tear.
The one huge difference between Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker is Maguire’s never appears to develop throughout the course of the trilogy as a character. Yes, he goes through his emo phase and cries a bit, but he isn’t put through hell quite like Garfield’s Peter, who as a result is constantly evolving as a character.
None of the deaths feel like they mean that much in Raimi’s trilogy, while each death in Webb’s series seems to strike a knife through the hearts of viewers. Both Amazing Spider-Man films end with a loved one talking to Peter from beyond the grave (Uncle Ben’s voicemail and Gwen’s recorded graduation speech) and despite his anguish, each time it inspires him to become the man he was destined to be.
Peter Parker’s life has always been full of tragedy and it’s how he picks himself up and carries on in the name of those he has lost that makes him a hero. The ending to [The Amazing Spider-Man 2](movie:508593) couldn’t have made this any clearer as Spider-Man returned to battle The Rhino and save the people of New York in Gwen’s name.
Andrew Garfield brought to life a beautiful moment, showing just how well he understands our hero, and how he is the perfect Peter Parker.