Spider-Man (2002); Sam Raimi’s take on Spider-Man is one of the most heartfelt stories in superhero cinema. The acting is absolutely astonishing. The cast is studded with stars – from James Franco to J.K. Simmons to Willem Dafoe. Most impressive though, are the takes on Mary Jane from Kristen Dunst and Peter Parker himself played by Tobey Maguire. Maguire’s performance – supplemented by a script filled with realism (for a superhero movie) – makes for a wildly emotional film. This emotional touch from Raimi is what makes this take on Spider-Man so iconic. The characters are pretty similar to their comic counterparts with only a few changes to separate it for plot conveniences. Best of all for Raimi’s Spider-Man is the story. Spider-Man (2002)’s story is relatable for crowds to enjoy. It explores the consequences of decisions a hero makes – even small ones. It shows that being a hero isn’t a perfect experience without cost. All of which make the film unique for the genre and a great take on a classic story.
Spider-Man: Homecoming; Spider-Man: Homecoming has all the makings of a great superhero film. A relatable and inspiring main character, an action packed fun story, and some excellent character work. Tom Holland is absolutely perfect for Spider-Man, with his mix of quirky charm, and naive, rash behavior that shows his human side beautifully. Jon Watts clearly used John Hughes as a big inspiration, as Spider-Man: Homecoming harkens back to classic 80’s high school drama and emotions. The supporting cast of Marisa Tomei, Michael Keaton, and Robert Downey Jr. are perfect in this movie – bringing these fictional characters to life and still making them as realistic as possible. There are many memorable scenes that won’t be spoiled, but are absolutely thrilling to watch – especially when Keaton and Holland are on-screen together. The chemistry displayed on screen between actors is absolutely palpable, and makes this one of the best acted MCU films to date. Not only that, but it is one of the very best MCU movies, and quite possibly the best Spider-Man movie out there.
At the end of the day, one film tops the other. The role of the titular character is portrayed well by both Holland and Maguire. The script is too fantastic in Spider-Man: Homecoming to fall short to the much cheesier one in its age-old predecessor. The direction from Sam Raimi in the elder of these films is definitely better though. The characters in Spider-Man: Homecoming are distinguishably more comic accurate as well. Spider-Man: Homecoming also is more enjoyable to watch – with the fun that Spider-Man is known for. All of it comes down to their stories. It isn’t about the negatives of one, but rather the greatness of the other. Spider-Man (2002)’s story is a wonderful origin story. But the most important piece here is what’s missing from the other. That part of the film would be lasting consequences. Every choice Parker makes in Spider-Man (2002) affects him for the rest of his story as it helps him learn how to grow up in his personally changing world. This factor (though ignored by many viewers) puts Spider-Man (2002) over the much newer Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Spider-Man (2002) – Cinemaster Score: 9.2/10
Spider-Man: Homecoming – Cinemaster Score: 9.1/10