A wonderful ask to return to!
As any of you who follow my blog know, I love spiderman. Even going as far as owning a spider-man costume. This doesn’t make my opinion more relevant than anyone elses but I only mean that I’ve been a fan for a good long while now and do have things to say about both franchises.
Am I taking myself too seriously? Probably. But I do wish my opinion was more widely shared….to quell the warring.
So here is the deal: I like both franchises for different reasons and think that both can be enjoyed. And I have decided to compare them in pieces since all at once is far too confusing. Not being super coherent just writing my thoughts as they come. TL;DR.
Costume | Peter Parker | Girlfriend | Plot | Villain
I will not be comparing either movie’s visual effects. There is nearly a decade of difference between the two so it is moot. I am referring to each Spider-man/Franchise be the actor’s first names. So this is a comparison of ‘Tobey’ and ‘Andrew’. Also, spider-man III does not exist
Costume: Tobey’s costume is more traditional with some updated texturing and is quite dear to my heart. (All my action figures are wearing this costume). Andrew’s costume was a huge leap in design and was very different. I still do not like the spider with the lengthened legs but thought the rest of the changes very cool. No major complaints, both costumes looked great in their respective movies but remain different enough to be distinct.
Peter Parker: Time to set all the fangirls screaming. Peter Parker is a character made up of many parts and neither Tobey or Andrew did a perfect job. But both did a good one! As I recall people responded positively to Tobey. I certainly don’t have any strong opinions about him as an actor but within the narrow field of the spider man
trilogy duology I think he did a bang up job. I don’t understand people suddenly decided he did a shitty job because of how Andrew captured the same character. Everyone liked the other movies people. Its ok. Peter Parker is a super smart, super angsty, over burdoned dork who puts on a red and blue suit and is insta-SWAG. Both Tobey and Andrew got some of these characteristics correct. In my opinion Tobey was more emotional and dorky while Andrew was more angsty smart and full of SWAG. I prefered everything about Uncle Ben/Peter in the original movie franchise. So credit to Tobey for the emotions and for being relateable. Andrew, though, was funny. Fact: Tobey was not. I think I cracked a rib during some of Andrew’s one liners and fights… but his reaction to Uncle Ben left me feeling dry. They both got the dorky aspect down but Andrew did use his smarts more. I attribute that more to the plot of the films rather than the actors’ interpretations. I really think they both did an equally good but equally unique job. It isn’t like the two Dumbledores…where one absolutely sucked beyond all FUCKING reason. I will grant you, dear reader, that Andrew is more attractive but please ladies…put your panties back on and widen your view.
Girlfriend: Initially I liked Mary Jane. No great obsession mind you, but she was fine. Engaging enough and I rooted for her to be with Spidey and thought the upside down kiss was tres hot. When I learned they were using Gwen instead I found that really interesting and it was the first hint that the new reboot was going to stick to the comic books. Which could be good or bad…for those of you who know Gwen’s fate. And when I finally saw the movie Gwen Stacy was so full of relevant epicness that I didn’t even know I found MJ kinda wimpy until I had her as a comparison. Easily the better female role. But I still like MJ, just not as much.
Villain: Both the villains were equally silly (in a good comic book type way). They both went crazy when—dun dun dunnnn—science goes wrong! Goblin’s motivation was a bit more clear. The lizard trying to make everyone lizard people…uhhhh…His story started strong but finished weakly. Goblin just wanted to fuck everything up and make the little spider squirm. And he never strayed from that path.
Plot: [SPOILERS-ISH] I never minded how they changed some comic details for the Tobey Spiderman movies. Such as his webslinging coming from him and not from something he invented. Or how MJ was in his life right away etc. etc. Super hero scripts have to be put on the chopping block or bring villains and side characters in early. With how ridiculously convoluted comic time lines are you can’t really blame them. I thought the love story was more believable in the new movies. It was more adorable and Gwen was portrayed as relevant and non-whiny. (as mentioned above). I did not like how Andrew ‘discovered his powers’ with his angsty skate boarding routine. I found that rather lame. I prefered Tobey tentatively climbing and shouting ‘go web go’ to keep up the dorkitude. I loved how super smart they made Andrew be. Sneaking into the lab, doing math-things and being a baller. That was definietly missing from the first franchise and they only barely hinted at with Tobey. My biggest gripe with the new franchise is how they dealt with Uncle Ben’s death. Gripe 1: they rushed the shooting itself. There was no build up or foreshadowing just….dead. Gripe 2: queue the movie wasting 40 minutes (an exaggeration) on Spiderman running around on a wild revenge kick. I was looking at my watch and waiting for him to…you know…decide to be Spiderman. Hurry up movie! Naturally they never had Spiderman catch the man with the star tattoo. Making the wasted time feel even more useless. In the Tobey movies they cleverly tied up him getting his name, practicing his powers, A BRUCE CAMPBELL CAMEO, and then his Uncle being shot because of his immediate actions. It was more clever then just…oh this guy bought me some milk so Imma let him go now (TASM). In the Tobey movie it was revenge on the cage-fighter agent being a dick to him about money. Ben was shot, and Tobey killed the villain and learned what happens if he doesn’t use his power for good and decided to become Spider-man….all in a 10-15 minute span that was not rushed. So then we had 2/3rds of the movie to follow Spiderman around and not just some dorky kid who remains unsure. Andrew took way too long to become Spiderman and I didn’t like that BUT he did such a great Peter Parker that it wasn’t terrible. I could go on and on to nitpick MJ needing to be saved all the damn time…Peter writing his name on his camera for the world to see. Stupid stupid…but I won’t. Tiny plot holes that you can step over. Everything else in the movies was pretty equal. Cool fights, WEB SWINGING, dat ass in dat suit etc.
In sum, neither Peter Parker was better than the other. More like two halves to whole. Gwen was a much better female lead the MJ. Tobey’s movies may have had a *slightly* tighter plot and the villains were equally campy/predictable but Gobby was less all over the place.
One is not better than the other. They are different! Just enjoy.