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The Comenian

The student news site of Moravian University

The Comenian

The Comenian Staff Reviews Every Spider-Man Movie

Photo courtesy of Entertainment Weekly
Photo courtesy of Entertainment Weekly

Spider-Man – Logan Palau

2002 was a simpler time. Gas cost $1.36, stamps were 37 cents, and there was only one Spider-Man movie. Toby Maguire’s adorkable depiction of Peter Parker is one of my favorite Marvel moments. Nothing quite hurt more than the first time I saw Uncle Ben die. His death may be a cannon event, but it does not make it any less painful. His words of wisdom are in every Marvel fan’s heart, including my own, that with great power comes great responsibility. This cast was also another favorite of mine compared to the other Spider-Verses. 

Though the movie doesn’t dive too deeply into MJ’s story, the glimpses the audience gets are telling. Her dad is first seen chasing her out of the house, and verbally abusing her. The next time we hear about her parents is when MJ and Peter are out in the backyard and Mary Jane’s parents sound like they are having a domestic issue.

The first chase scene we get from Maguire’s Peter is when he is pursuing the man who killed his uncle. After a chaotic yet beautifully choreographed fight scene, Peter pins the man into a corner. His facial expression when he realizes it’s the same man who he let run away with robbing the man at the wrestling match is something unforgettable. The pain, hopelessness, rage, and sadness all are beautifully executed in Maguire’s performance.

The Green Goblin is my absolute favorite Spider-Man villain. The cause of the Green Goblin’s creation follows that of most supervillains, a greed for power and a hunger for more than what they have. His death was also another extremely heartbreaking moment to watch because I empathize with Harry, as well as Peter and Norman. Peter did not know who he was fighting, Norman was overtaken by his evil alter-ego, and Harry had just lost his father.

Overall score: 8/10

Spider-Man 2 – Liz Kameen

This sequel somehow manages to be on par with the original Maguire, tackling the deep inner burdens of Spider-Man, while simultaneously balancing crime, romance, school, and work. In this film, Peter decides to retire his suit, overwhelmed by these burdens as life, frankly, runs him over in this film. 

Yet, despite the emotional burdens of this film, there is, of course, humor. As I said before, I don’t think Maguire excels in the humorous quip department but quotes such as, “Pizza time!” and, “I’m back!….My back!” will have me in hysterical tears no matter how many times I watch. 

I just love this film. I love the timing, with romance coming in at perfect points in the film, but not being overwhelming. Doc Ock is a compelling villain that I felt myself empathizing with (man, why can’t Spider-Man just battle jerks with no traumatic backstory? Well, I guess the film doing its job if I feel this way…) and the film perfectly sets up the next film without it being too obvious. The plot, dialogue, and soundtrack are unparalleled by other Spidey films, and I am simply obsessed with this film. The train scene? TEARS. Straight emotional trauma; I sob every time I watch that part. 

Score: 9/10

Spider-Man 3 – Joel Hendricks

“I’m gonna put some dirt in your eye” – Bully Maguire

Spider-Man 3 is so strange that it is simultaneously one of the best and worst movies in this article. From a filmmaking standpoint, the movie is dull. There are too many messy subplots, Kirsten Dunst still can’t pull off a decent MJ, and Venom doesn’t feel quite right within the larger story. You’re trying to keep track of a million different things going on that everything tends to seem out of place, characters included. However, that’s okay because the movie is hilarious.

Peter gets the black suit in this movie, and it turns him into a massive jerk (the internet has dubbed him “Bully Maguire.”). What’s great though is that the lines he delivers are so incredibly funny in the context of the story that the movie instantly becomes entertaining. You might be familiar with the scene where Peter dances like an idiot while funky music plays in the background. It’s moments like these that make the movie fun to watch.

Because of Bully Maguire, this movie is watchable. It’s not good by any means, but that’s okay. I’m always down to watch Spider-Man 3 because of the hilarious delivery of lines and the goofy scenes that take place. It has problems, and normally they would constitute an awful viewing experience. However, that isn’t the case here; the movie is saved by the one and only Bully Maguire.

Score: 6/10

The Amazing Spider-Man – Caillie Fish

The Amazing Spider-Man film had little to be desired. The only thing that kept the movie alive was Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone’s chemistry. Andrew Garfield And Emma Stone had a beautiful dynamic. I could feel their relationship as if I was living it with them. Their banter was fantastic. I know that some may think that their acting was bland, but I’m sort of a sucker for romance. 

The cinematography was amazing in this movie (no pun intended). The graphics were beautiful, the scenes were dynamic, and the colors were vibrant. This really tried to distract from the poor writing, but inevitably failed. Another aspect of the movie that tried to be the saving grace was the soundtrack.

Hans Zimmer did a great job with the score. Some of my favorites are  “We’re Best Friends” and “I Chose You”. They are both very beautiful songs that are peaceful and fully encapsulate their scenes. I am also a sucker for movie scores, especially when accomplished perfectly. 

Although there are some good qualities to this movie, I do think that the characters were poorly written. Garfield tried his best with what he had. The script and story were terrible. Dr. Lizard man, or whatever his name was, wasn’t even a good villain. The dude just wanted to grow his arm back and failed miserably. I think with some better writing, the movie could have been better. Garfield has been one of my favorite Spideys, but he was done dirty by the writing. 

Score: 5/10

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Todd Reedy

It’s been almost 10 years since The Amazing Spider-Man 2 hit theaters and I’m overjoyed to say that it still sucks! I legitimately love Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone individually, but they were totally dragged down by their characters feeling painfully incompatible with each other and just overall, bad writing.

Spidey really wasn’t done any justice with this one. Spider-Man is well-known for having interesting villains but this film fumbles the villain department to new heights. Electro, obsessive to a fault and loves to tell everyone that it’s his birthday, made me feel a shade of blue different than he was, and Green Goblin had about 10 minutes of screen time total and made it very hard for me to care about him as a whole. Peter and Harry Osborne’s relationship felt forced and Harry’s descent into madness was not compelling.

Immersion in this movie felt impossible due to god-awful dialogue that had me laughing more than anything, such as Electro’s stellar delivery of, “It’s my birthday… time for me to light the candles,” or arguably my favorite line in the whole movie from Osborne, “You’re a fraud Spider-Man!” No one said anything that I could take with relative seriousness, and with a whopping 2 hours and 22-minute runtime, I was at least thankful the experience was funny enough to keep me going that frequently blew my eardrums out with a soundtrack that loved dubstep more than Call of Duty 360 no scope compilations from the MLG era.

I’m glad I rewatched The Amazing Spider-Man 2 for all of the wrong reasons. Would totally recommend watching it if you need a good laugh.

Score: 4/10

Spider-Man Homecoming – Liz Kameen

Tom Holland stuns in his first solo movie of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) in this 2017 rendition of Spider-Man. Peter juggles to balance the trials of his duties as Spider-Man and the tribulations of a high school student on an Adademic Decathalon team. 

The humor in this film is essential to its success, a sharp contrast to Maguire’s awkward, cringey quips during fights. Yet, this film also tackles the common Spider-Man theme of Peter having to conquer himself in some way–balancing love, friends, family, school, co-curricular commitments, and his Spider-Man duties. 

I’m incredibly biased, but I felt Michael Keaton performs Vulture as the perfect villain. He captures the bitterness of the perfect hero, while still capturing the empathy of the viewers for his ultimate motivation. 

The CGI, web-slinging, and fight scenes are exhilarating, and I remember not being able to hold back my shocked gasps during my first viewing. I do have a couple of complaints about the film, such as Peter relying a little too much on Stark technology, seemingly diminishing the point of his spidey sense. 

Although I didn’t realize this in my first few viewings, there is a major timeline discrepancy that I’m sure confused dedicated viewers. The film opens with a scene set immediately after the most recent The Avengers, and after this scene ends, a timecard says eight years later, despite the film only taking place four years later. This was pretty shocking to find out since the scared MCU timeline could have been permanently butchered if Marvel had not acknowledged their mistake. 

Score: 8/10

Spider-Man Far From Home – AJ Minnich

This film is … not great. Do you remember all the growth and development that Peter went through in Homecoming? Yeah, this film just ignores all of that to teach Peter the same exact lesson that he learned in the last movie. 

This film follows Peter and his high school buddies as they travel across Europe after the events of Avengers Endgame. During their travels, Spider-Man is looped into a seemingly worldwide conflict. 

While it’s novel to have a Spider-Man movie set somewhere besides New York, there’s something lost when removing Peter almost entirely from New York in this movie, especially in his second outing. 

Peter also just acts completely out of character in this movie. Sure, it makes sense that Peter feels overwhelmed by life after the events of Endgame, but his actions in this movie completely go against all the lessons of responsibility and individuality that he learned in Homecoming. 

By the end, he just learns the same exact lesson again at the end of the movie; which makes this movie feel completely inconsequential to Peter’s wider story except for him developing a relationship with MJ.

There is some great stuff here but it’s overshadowed by a lot of typical MCU mediocrity. It just seems to me that they did not know which direction to take Peter which resulted in a half-baked retread of the previous movie but with a different setting.

I also especially hate how the villain of this movie is yet again motivated by their hatred for Tony Stark which makes Peter’s character and mythos feel much smaller and less important than they are.

Score: 5/10

Spider-Man No Way Home – AJ Minnich

I reviewed this back when it first came out and, at the time, I was absolutely in love with this movie, but now my opinion has soured a little bit. On one hand, this is easily the best Holland has ever been as Spider-Man and he provides a great emotional range here that we rarely see from this version of Peter.

On the other hand, the plot feels somewhat disjointed and messy and it feels like it’s held together by duct tape. There is a very stark contrast between each act to the point where the movie just doesn’t feel wholly cohesive.

Despite the lack of cohesion, this story unequivocally tells a story that drives to the heart of Spider-Man and the sacrifice that comes with being a hero. For the first time since Civil War, they actually understood the struggle and consequences of being Spider-Man.

As good as that is, though, the timing of this film was exceptionally poor. Put simply, this movie should not have been this early in Peter’s life. This version has barely fought any villains so his first time meeting his two biggest enemies was in this movie. I really don’t like how they just cannot do Doc Ock or Green Goblin now since he’s already fought them.

I won’t lie, seeing Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield back in the mask as the alternate Spider-Men was a childhood dream to behold. Just seeing the different Spider-Men interact and bond was a wild thing to see. I don’t think anything could replicate that sense of euphoria for a long time.

Score: 7/10

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    David BattagliaOct 27, 2023 at 7:07 pm

    Wow. Well done. I expect I’ll be watching them again