Spider-Man is back under the creative guidance of Marvel Studios, and after not one but two wretched Amazing Spider-Man movies, audiences couldn’t be more excited. It sure seems like Sony Pictures didn’t understand what made the most iconic Marvel superhero special, but only if you ignore the original trilogy of films, directed by Sam Raimi. Those films knew what made Spider-Man tick.
Oh, they weren’t perfect of course. They’re filled with groan-inducing moments of dramatic cheese, villains with awkward costumes and a distracting preponderance of post-9/11 patriotism. The special effects are dated now, no two ways about it. And Spider-Man 3, which we still defend, was nevertheless a jumbled mess of studio notes and uncomfortable moments. (But hey, at least it’s not the worst Spider-Man movie anymore.)
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The two Marc Webb movies have their fans, and did some things right, including casting the right hero (Andrew Garfield, we have no slight against you) and romantic lead (Emma Stone, you rock). But the attempt to reboot the character glossed over or flat-out ignored many of the things that make Spider-Man… well, Spider-Man, reducing him to a mostly generic hero in an admittedly better Spider-Man costume, if only in the second one. They emphasized Peter Parker’s birth parents over Uncle Ben, making their deaths into a ludicrous conspiracy that nobody really cared about. (It sure looked like they spent all of Peter’s college fund on making a subterranean underground lair, didn’t it?)
While there were moments of glory in the Amazing Spider-Man movies, and plenty of hokey elements in the Sam Raimi movies, we contend that Raimi understood the character better than any filmmaker so far. No matter what Marvel Studios decides to do with the new reboot, we hope they remember that the Sam Raimi films did a lot of things right, and that they bring these elements of the character back in the new movies.
5 Things the Sam Raimi Spider-Man Movies Did Right: