Top Five: Spider-Man films

Aside from Batman, Spider-Man will always be one of my favourite superheroes.

Here, from Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man, to the much maligned third instalment…to The Amazing Spider-Man, I will rank the films in order of my personal favourites. What order would you rank the films? The question is, which film was the best of the bunch? Looks like you’ll have to give my post a read…

5. Spider-Man 3 (2007)

With the emergence of Eddie Brock (Topher Grace), a rival photographer at The Daily Bugle newspaper where Parker works, Sandman and the rekindled rivalry with Parker’s childhood friend Harry (James Franco), is making Parker’s life a little less cheerful. Parker’s own identity and allegiances soon become very shaky.

There was far too much and yet so little going on in the space of two and a half hours, making Spider-Man 3 a strenuous watch. The back story of Sandman is at times sympathetic, but at other times needed more detail. In fact, Oscar nominee Mr. Church does well in the role of Flint Marko/Sandman, as does J.K. Simmons, returning as J. Jonah Jameson, Parker’s boss at The Bugle. Simmons once again chews up the scenery like a shark, but is only glimpsed on…briefly. Spider-Man 3‘s main downfall is the script (and its pacing), having too many villains as well as an overload of sub-plots to deal with.

Spider-Man 3 is ripe with iconography – the American flag, a recurring theme from the first two films, and even a very slight homage to King Kong. Indeed, forgiveness is a theme that runs throughout this rushed and unfulfilled exercise. However, it is unlikely that Spider-Man fans, comic book and film alike, will be able to forgive this manic mess.

4. Spider-Man (2002)

Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) is bitten by a genetically engineered spider, and becomes a superhuman with powers resembling those of a spider. After his beloved uncle Ben (Cliff Robertson) is murdered, he decidesto fight for the greater good.
This is a flawed action/superhero film, but is still enjoyable.Though it does provide the perfect platform for the sequel. This film is simple fun with good story, characters, and action. However, it falls apart later simply due to the Green Goblin’s lack of real motivation.

3. Spider-Man 2 (2004)

Peter Parker struggles to manage both his personal life and his duties as Spider-Man. Especially alongside villain, Dr. Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina), who becomes insane following a failed experiment and the death of his wife. Using his mechanical tentacles, Octavius is dubbed “Doctor Octopus” and threatens to endanger the lives of the people of New York City.

Better than its predecessor. It’s rare when a sequel can surpass the original. But in this case, it blew the original away. Special effects had improved dramatically, and Spider-Man moves more realistically. Screenwriter Alvin Sargent writes better dialogue than the original and has better pacing, working well during the dramatic and romantic sequences. Sam Raimi’s direction is still great. With regards to New York, he really weaves in that old school comic book aesthetic, though is still not afraid to add his own darker shade on the franchise.

2. The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield), who was adopted by his aunt (Sally Field) and uncle (Martin Sheen) after his parents died in a suspicious plane crash years ago. Peter looks deeper into his father’s work and discovers an equation which is crucial. When Peter is bitten by a genetically altered spider, he gains powers of similarity to a spider. New York’s latest superhero appears just in time to confront a giant lizard-like creature that has been emerging from the city’s sewers.

While this film is not a remake, it understands what makes the decent remakes we have witnessed here and there work: it changes the tone, the characters, and the minute details while staying faithful to the source material as well as updating any dated or already too-familiar plot elements.

The cast is great – Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone have outstanding on-screen chemistry (I wonder why…). But Gwen (Emma Stone) is not just a love interest to be taken hostage later in the film, she’s an intelligent young woman that actually helps Peter when he is in trouble. With regards to the action sequences, especially the ‘web-slinging’, the film also delivers.

1. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)

Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield) is back and continues to do what he can to keep New York City safe. Otherwise known as Peter Parker, he is just about to graduate high school, as well as trying to maintain his relationship with girlfriend Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), also having to deal with the guilt from the death of Gwen’s father, since he blames himself entirely for the incident. And just when you think Peter has enough going on, he also has to deal with a new villain, a man by the name of Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx), who Spider-man once saved. Max’s only desire is to have friends and to get noticed. Though Max has a slight accident and from then on, all hell is let loose in New York City.

Visually, this film is absolutely stunning. Personally, I thought this film was even better than the first installment in this rebooted series. And while some say they still prefer Tobey Maguire, I don’t. Andrew Garfield does a wonderful job. Jamie Foxx does very well in portaying such a delusional character, yet evoking sympathy to a certain extent. I also liked the way the film-makers handled the whole appearance of Electro. The special effects throughout are remarkably done.

Overall, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is fun, humourous and simply magnificent. I hate to say it, but I’ve almost forgotten about the Raimi versions. The Amazing Spider-Man is by far the best Spider-Man franchise to date. A must see for all Spider-Man fans like myself, and even if you’re new to the franchise, I have no doubt you’ll enjoy it, just make sure you watch the first instalment beforehand.

Expect Spectacular Spider-Man, a reboot of The Amazing Spider-Man, to be slinging into cinemas in 2017. You heard it here first.

18 thoughts on “Top Five: Spider-Man films

  1. Hmmm I’m normally in board with your lists but I don’t agree with this ordering at all. I felt like Amazing Spiderman 2 made all the mistakes that Spiderman 3 did – too many villains and unnecessary subplots. The original Spiderman is in my opinion still the best. It started the Superhero franchise and really changed the level of quality you could expect from comic book movies.

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  2. It sounds as if me and you are some of the only people I know who really enjoyed The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and while I do think it may have been slightly over-crowded I thought that the Green Goblin was awesome and Gwen’s death scene just broke my heart. I also thought Andrew Garfield was perfect as Peter Parker, it’s such a shame that he’s being recast.

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  3. Another great list idea. I wonder how you’d rank the Superman films…

    Personally, I’d say that Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2 is the best of the bunch, and I’d probablygo so far as to rate one of those Nicholas Hammond Spider-man TV-movies above Spider-Man 3 (I did not like that film at all). NIce work, as always.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Love the hint – looks like that will be my next list!! And thank you. Spider-Man 3 was certainly unforgivable, simply a mess of a sequel. The franchise was doing so well…shame! And I’m afraid I haven’t seen the TV series, was it worth watching? Thanks again for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Always glad to stop by your blog. I’m afraid the TV-series is badly dated, but those of us old enough to remember it first time around might have a little rose-tinted affection for it. Either way, it’s better than Spider-Man 3. Then again, most films are.

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  4. Fun read, but our enjoyment of Spider-Man movies seems a bit off. I haven’t gotten around to seeing ASM2 just because it doesn’t look like anything I would enjoy, but of the four I have seen.

    4) Spider-Man 3: I love Sandman to death but that’s about it. Everything else in this movie is either too silly or just too poorly executed.
    3) Amazing Spider-Man: Better acted than the original, but their Lizard is one of the worst antagonists in any comic book movie I can recall.
    2) Spider-Man: It hasn’t aged very well but it was a huge thing at the time.
    1) Spider-Man 2: Other than the fact that Tobey and Kirsten just aren’t suited to these characters I can’t find any real fault in this movie. I love it.

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  5. Mine would be:
    (1) Spider-Man 2
    (2) Spider-Man
    (3) Spider-Man 3
    (4) The Amazing Spider-Man 2
    (5) The Amazing Spider-Man

    I think the first Spider-Man is more entertaining than most of the Marvel Cinematic universe, but Toby Maguire doesn’t convince beyond Peter’s sweetness, and Willam Dafoe is too silly to be intimidating. Spider-Man 2 improves pretty much everything: Maguire’s performance, the action, emotional resonance, a better villain, and more J.K. Simmons (the highlight of the whole movie). Spider-Man 3 is a guilty pleasure, over-stuffed with plot, cheesiness, and silly dance scenes. But I don’t take it seriously, so I can still enjoy it. Plus, I find the entire final act so satisfying that the only thing that makes it bad is the whole movie that came before it.

    The Amazing Spider-Man movies have almost nothing for me; they try to go Batman Begins and fail. I did enjoy Andrew’s performance as Spider-Man himself in the second one; he’s silly, doesn’t take himself seriously, and gives people self-confidence. It’s one of the best superhero portrayals I’ve ever seen. But Electro’s too depressing. He’s just a guy who needs a friend and nobody’s there to help him. Plus, they kill him in the end. I’m glad that Marvel now has access to him, for better or for worse.

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  6. Hey.
    I preferred the original series with Toby Maguire, because of 2 reasons:
    1) He looked nerdy enough to be spiderman. I mean, this was the time before photography was cool, right?
    2) I live andrew garfield, but somehow the image of toby as peter parker just stuck in my mind.
    But anyway, The reboot was much more entertaining and the visuals, as you said above, were more entertaining. And Gwen had a proper role to play, other than MJ.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s great to hear your opinions! Thanks for reading! I think it’s fair to say that the majority of people prefer Maguire and I think I’m in the minority that prefers Garfield. But don’t get me wrong, Maguire was great and well-suited to the role. I must have a soft spot for Garfield…

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  7. I definitely wasn’t a fan of the Garfield Spider-Man movies :/ Spider-Man 2 is easily my favourite but it’s good to see a more unpredictable ranking of these films!


  8. I have to disagree with this list. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is the worst in my book. Terrible script that just doesn’t hold together and detracts from a pivotal moment that didn’t just reinvent Spider-Man but ended the Silver Age of comics. For me it would be:

    1. Spider-Man 2
    2. Spider-Man
    3. The Amazing Spider-Man
    4. Spider-Man 3
    5. The Amazing Spider-Man 2

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