At the time of this writing, there have been eight Spider-Man movies. The first three were directed by Sam Raimi, starring Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, and James Franco as Peter Parker, Mary Jane Watson, and Harry Osborn respectively. Then came along the Amazing Spider-Man franchise, which failed to reach the same lofty heights. And, in more recent times, we’ve been treated to two more solo movies starring Tom Holland as the webhead - as well as last year’s excellent Into The Spider-Verse.
So we now take a look back through the previous eight movies and pick out the worst thing about every one. Starting with 2002’s Spider-Man...
8 Spider-Man: The Obliviousness Of Everybody Around Peter Parker
Prior to being bitten by a spider, Peter Parker was just your normal guy. He lived with his aunt and uncle in Queens, struggled with his love life at high school and, in truth, was a bit goofy. However, when he gets his powers, he drastically changes - both in looks and how he acts.
And the worst thing about the blockbuster is that nobody notices, despite it being obvious. He doesn’t wear his glasses, he’s suddenly got a six pack, he’s suddenly got amazing fighting skills and he’s much more confident. All while there’s a new superhero in town. Students at his high school even see his webbing! It’s infuriating to watch.
7 Spider-Man 2: Harry Osborn
Spider-Man 2 is a superhero so close to perfect that it still stands up there with the very best ever released. Tobey Maguire is at his most-comfortable playing Peter Parker, Kirsten Dunst ups her game significantly as Mary Jane Watson while Alfred Molina proves himself to be a more than worthy villain, just one movie after Willem Dafoe’s sublime performance as Norman Osborn.
But James Franco is the weak link in this blockbuster. All he does is moan about Spider-Man, wrongly blaming him for the death of his father. Once again, it’s infuriating for audiences to see, especially as they know the truth. Osborn chokes when it comes to killing his friend upon learning his identity - making his character’s whole purpose in the film somewhat redundant.
6 Spider-Man 3: Too Many Villains
After two extremely good outings, hopes were high for Spider-Man 3. However, Sony’s decision to take creative control led to the worst installment of the trilogy, with the call to have three villains in the movie in the forms of Venom, Sandman and the New Goblin backfiring.
The decision to have three different bad guys - all with very different motives - leads to the movie coming across as disjointed. And it’s arguably what rendered it a flop, far more than the decision to have Peter Parker turn into a goth or the cringe dance moves the character displays. Even Sam Raimi would later express a belief that the inclusions of such big characters was too daunting a task for the time.
5 The Amazing Spider-Man: It’s A Rehash
Spider-Man fans were gutted when Sam Raimi’s fourth installment of the franchise was cancelled, with the director unable to get a sufficient script together. Sony then made the brave call to reboot the franchise but, when it came to putting the movie together, it all felt rather repetitive.
Peter having a crush on a girl who is initially out of his league? Check. Uncle Ben dying again? Check. Another funeral scene? Check. The list goes on. It was the company’s ideal time to start again but, really, they just did the same things as Raimi’s trilogy. With a considerably worse villain, too, with Dr Curt Connors’ plan to turn a whole city into giant lizards even scoffed at by Harry Osborn in the sequel.
4 The Amazing Spider-Man 2: The Pointless Parkers
We nearly went with the decision to have three villains as a bad point again. Seriously, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 should have focused on Harry Osborn or Electro, not both at the same time. It certainly shouldn’t have had the duo team up and throw Paul Giamatti’s shoddy Rhino into the equation as well.
But it’s the decision to spend much of the story focusing on the long gone Parkers that saw this movie become a dud. Nobody has ever wanted to know more about them - because they’re just not relevant. Director Marc Webb, however, believed it was worth having them in the movie for reasons we still can’t really fathom. They did nothing for the plot, besides wasting time and detracting from Peter’s fights with Harry and Electro, as well as his relationship troubles with Gwen Stacy.
3 Spider-Man: Homecoming: The Shockers
For the most part, Spider-Man: Homecoming focuses on Peter Parker’s fight against the Vulture, who is stealing alien technology and using it for his own dastardly schemes. But Sony, typically, felt another villain had to be in the movie instead. And two actors, Bokeem Woodbine and Logan Marshall-Green , were able to play the Shocker.
Except both are forgettable. Like, really forgettable. The first version of the character, played by Marshall-Green gets disintegrated by the Vulture after mouthing off too much. And the second version gets beaten by Ned. Seriously, Ned? No disrespect to Spider-Man’s best friend but he’s not exactly superhero material. And that means you can’t exactly be villain material either.
2 Spider-Man: Far From Home: Killing Off Mysterio
Spider-Man: Far From Home is another outing for the webhead that ranks up there with the very best. It’s brilliant seeing Peter Parker outside of New York City, travelling to places such as Prague, Berlin and France as he aims to prevent what he thinks is a alien attack. Really, it’s just the excellent Mysterio.
Bad guys have been absolutely nailed by the MCU in recent times. Michael B. Jordan was excellent as Killmonger in Black Panther, while Josh Brolin smashed it at Thanos during both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. And Jake Gyllenhaal was another worthy bad guy of the genre, with his tricks and illusions as Mysterio keeping audiences on the edge of their seats. Our only complaint is that he was killed off after just one movie. That seems a waste, particularly with such an interesting character and brilliant actor to boot.
1 Into The Spider-Verse: Not Seeing More Suits
Into the Spider-Verse is another installment for the webhead that scales brilliant heights. So brilliant, in fact, that Sony have already announced that a sequel will hitting theaters next year. And we have only one very minor complaint: that we don’t get to see all of the amazing suits in Aunt May’s basement that are there on display.
This is something we hope a sequel does do. A close second is that some of the background rendering and textures is a little off - but we’re willing to let that slide. It’s still a super movie and we’re eager to see what Sony have in store for us when the sequel comes out in 2022.