It almost seems fitting that we release an article quite like this on the release day of Spiderman: No Way Home. This is Tom Holland’s third rodeo as the main man in a stand alone film, having made other appearances in The Avengers movies, and he has taken to the role excellently. Holland exerts a youthful charm, something that is actually quite important to play the role of Peter Parker. If you look back at the comics, Parker is in fact a kid (well, teenager), in high school, so when it got to Spider-Man 3 for example, Tobey Maguire was already 30. A possible reason for why that film flopped was because we weren’t used to seeing Peter Parker so mature, as it’s not how it was meant to be. Perhaps the same could be said for Andrew Garfield in The Amazing Spider-Man 2; where he was 29 too. A third film was scrapped because the producers just felt that Garfield was no longer suited. So if we were to rank them by performance and how they took to the role, how would they rank? Find out below.
It only makes sense to start with an analysis of Tobey, seeing as how he was the original Spider-Man. Tobey took to the role as though it was made for him. It was so iconic that he became somewhat typecast. We are sure that for many watching The Great Gatsby that every now and then you would cook up an image of Spidey flying through, right past Leonardo DiCaprio. Maguire portrayed Peter Parker as a soft, kind-hearted, studious boy who was deeply in love with Mary-Jane (Kirsten Dunst). He had an innocence that resonated well with the viewer and with flashes of a steamy temper and deep-rooted positive morals, he was instantly loveable. We felt for him when he lost Uncle Ben, we loved his relationship with Aunt May and some of his quotes are still memorable today. Who could possibly forget the classic “See Ya Chump” (Spider-Man 3 to Eddie Brock), as bad-Spidey. Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 were excellent films with some a great plotline and some credible acting from all involved. Dr. Octopus and The Goblin were great villains; it was just Spider-Man 3 that let the series down. If we were to go by the first two films, we would have to rank Maguire exceptionally well. Let’s be honest also, Spider-Man 3 wasn’t that bad.
We actually think that Garfield was treated a little harshly. Many criticized his series of Spider-Man films, but they weren’t actually all that bad. We think Garfield was let down by weak villains with elements of storylines that didn’t really make sense. Why did Max Dillon/Electro (Jamie Foxx) hate Spider-Man so much, why did he even name himself electro? It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. What did work well however was Garfield’s individual performance, alongside an equally enjoyable Emma Stone in the role of Gwen Stacey. Stone certainly gave Dunst a run for her money as the main love-interest of Peter Parker. A well thought-out storyline made for a great first installment, the second stunted a little and the third installment was somewhat harshly cancelled. It wasn’t exactly Garfield’s performance that caused this, just quite a few factors: from age to a general reboot. Not a bad Spidey indeed.
Now we are on to our current Spider-Man, Tom Holland. Holland has taken to the role very well and is certainly up there fighting for top-spot. In this series of Spider-Man we truly see a more youthful Peter Parker, prioritizing school at times, but some of the storylines have been somewhat sub-par. Fans had high hopes when Jake Gyllenhaal was announced as bad-guy “Mysterio” in the second installment of Holland’s Spider-Man films, but the film seems to have taken a lot of inspiration from Tony Stark (Iron Man). Since when was Spider-Man all about gadgets and upgrades? You can’t beat your classic friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. That being said, Holland was great in the role in the Avengers films and it was nice seeing him integrate among other favorites like Captain America, Star-Lord and Black Widow. Additionally, Zendaya is very loveable as the most recent “MJ”.
Even though Holland has applied himself to the role very well, we have to give it to Tobey Maguire. He was the classic Spider-Man, his passion for the role and chemistry with Kirsten Dunst just nudges it towards him for us. Holland certainly isn’t far behind however, and even though Garfield wasn’t all that bad, he finishes dead last here.