On paper Spiderman seems like he'd be one of the easiest comic book characters to make a film of. A high school student bitten by a radioactive spider gets super powers and uses the to fight crime after the death of his Uncle Ben while keeping it secret from his Aunt May. To me the most difficult part would be the actual look of them swinging on a web through the city special effects wise. And I am not including the mad for TV version from 1977 where he had salad strainers over his eyes sometimes and mirrors others then shot two inch thick ropes at folks.
The third film version of Spiderman recently appeared in the new Captain America: Civil War film which means that I can now judge which of the three is the best one. I am going to start a new system introducing a Defining Moment for the character in the movie that either made or broke them.
Tobey McGuire as Peter Parker (2002)
"When bitten by a genetically modified spider, a nerdy, shy, and awkward high school student gains spider-like abilities that he eventually must use to fight evil as a superhero after tragedy befalls his family." McGuire had the nerdy thing down. He seemed like a kid that would get picked on in school. He was awkward and in love with the pretty girl but was too shy to let her know. He was nice to his Aunt May and would do anything for her. I liked him even though he was twice as old as he should be to play this character. I'm not kidding. He was about 33 years old.
Tobey McGuire as Spiderman
Pretty damned cool. No one can sit here and tell me they didn't get goosebumps when they first saw the footage of him swinging through the city and landing on top of a building. When you read comics there are certain things you wait to see in movies and hope they get it right. Superman flying for the first time. Batman beating the shit out of people. Wolverine stabbing people with his claws. When Spiderman swung it was awesome. They sadly couldn't use that amazing scene where he caught a helicopter in between the World Trade Center anymore. You could say that out of the three movies made, two and a half of them were good.
When he realizes that the guy he let escape because the wrestling show promoter decided to rip him off by repeating his own line at him of "I missed the part where that's my problem" kills his Uncle Ben. Peter finally catches the guy, realizes who it is, and I think cripples the guy. Or kills him. Its hard to say. But that scene defined him as someone that, regardless of the fame or pay, has to do the right thing.
"After Peter Parker is bitten by a genetically altered spider, he gains new found, spider-like powers and ventures out to solve the mystery of his parent's mysterious death." I was not a fan of this from the start seeing as how he looks like the guy that would pick on Peter. I refuse to believe that this guy was a nerd and that Mary Jane wouldn't be into him. He was also around 30 years old but looked to be in his mid-20's. He didn't seem to like either his Uncle Ben or Aunt May and was a super dick to her as she grieved for her dead husband while he played vigilante and beat up any guy with long, blond hair. He comes home and she is worried because he is bruised up and he tells her to go to sleep and she screams "I CAN'T SLEEP!" Then he leaves her alone some more.
Andrew Garfield as Spiderman
He looked like a colorful basketball. In the previous Spiderman movies it turned out that scenes I thought were CGI were real and the real ones were CGI. In this it is very obvious when its not real. And do you have nay idea how hard it was to find an image from this movie of him in the full costume? Every shot is with him and the mask is removed which is a problem I had with this movie among many others. His Spiderman came across more as an asshole at worse and dick at best.
Like I said, he is going around the city trying to find the guy that killed his Uncle Ben. He finds this one guy who may or may not be the guy and instead of beating the shit out of him and taking him to jail or just straight up murdering him he decides to turn it into a comedy sketch by pretending to be afraid of the guys knife. Mind you: this guy may be the killer of his uncle! He just toys with him like a dick until realizing he isn't the guy...after almost smothering him to death with webbing. By the way, he never catches the guy. This movie had one sequel which was worse than the first before they killed it altogether.
Tom Holland as Peter Parker (2016)
A small, young looking, nerdy kid that sounds like he is from what I think New York accents sound like! Spiderman, not even in cartoons, has ever sounded like what I imagine people from New York sound like. I don't care what part of New York you're from I think you should sound like a Batman villain. Within one moment on screen he managed to be a better Peter than a combination of five other multi-million dollar films did.
Tom Holland as Spiderman
This kid is the best interpretation of Spiderman in terms of the fact that he can not stop talking during a battle. One of the characters actually asks him if this is his first fight since he won't shut up. His movements are strange as you'd imagine and his outfit is very loud in color which I like. People are making a big deal out of his eyes which I liked and the fact that they move. I loved that Deadpool's eyes moved on his mask in his movie and hopefully by doing it in this Spiderman he won't have to rip his mask off every other scene to talk.
Its a small thing but I noticed and appreciated it. During a fight with Falcon and Winter Soldier there is a moment where Spiderman stops to appreciate the material that Winter Soldier's arm is made out of. It shows that not only is he geeking out by being in this situation, but that he is astonished by the construction of an arm that is trying to beat him. There's also another scene where he tells Captain America that his shield defies the laws of physics that made me laugh. There was no Uncle Ben being murdered scenes or his origin story. I hope they don't do it in his upcoming film.
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