With Spider-Man: Far from Home now out in The U.S., I’m taking a succinct look at every past entry in the Web-Slinger’s cinematic canon
Selection criteria: Theatrical releases headlined by the Wall-Crawler (i.e. no animated series or Avengers flicks)
Ranking criteria: Technical execution, historical, cultural, or aesthetic significance
7. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) – 4/10
Wasting a talented cast and the potential seen in its predecessor, TASM2 collapses under a convoluted plot and the worst cartoonish antics this side of Batman & Robin.
6. Spider-Man 3 (2007) – 5/10
What should have been the capper to the greatest comic book superhero trilogy ever is severely undermined by the filmmakers’ obvious misunderstanding of the central plot’s source material.
5. Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) – 7/10
Some times fun, some times grating, Homecoming is a John Hughes-ian Spidey-take for the post-millennial generation—for better and worse.
4. The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) – 7/10
Though hampered by some elements, including a superfluous origin story rehash and the premature demise of a major supporting character, TASM is an overall solid adaptation of the Spider-Man mythology.
3. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) – 8/10
An imperfect but wildly inventive adventure that takes both the animated and superhero genres to hitherto unexplored levels.
2. Spider-Man (2002) – 10/10
Though Maguire and Dunst aren’t quite the comics’ Peter and MJ, much of the plot and many of the sequences are near page-to-screen, capturing the spirit of the original Lee/Ditko/Romita runs in an early 21st-century environment and setting a high bar for all comic adaptations to follow.
1. Spider-Man 2 (2004) – 10/10
So good that it even elevates the weaker elements of the previous installment; a sequel for the ages and a formula which should be emulated more often.
Bonus: Far from Home Sequel Title Predictions –
Home Is Where the Heart Is, Homesick, Home Sweet Home, No Place Like Home, Close to Home, Keep the Home Fires Burning, Home Time, Home Team, Home Fries, I’ll Be Home for Christmas, Country Roads Take Me Home, Homey Don’t Play That, Can I Get a Ride Home?, Sherlock Homes (Not to Be Confused with “Holmes”)