Tobey Maguire is arguably the fan-favorite Spider-Man to many. The 2002 movie and its sequels featuring him are beloved by many, present company included. In 2012, the Spider-Man series was rebooted and Tobey was recast to the disappointment of cast and fans alike, again present company included. Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man was already heavily disliked purely for the fact he wasn’t Tobey. Now that some time has passed and the character has been rebooted a third time, was he all that bad? He may not be as good as his predecessor, but looking back the hate wasn’t really warranted. The argument could be made that there are some things the Andrew Garfield Spider-Man movies did better than Tobey Maguire’s.
Perhaps one of the biggest issues people had with the Raimi movies was the lack of quips of the titular hero. While they were certainly there as many have pointed out, they weren’t as frequent as many would have hoped. Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man always had a joke at the ready, whether in costume or not. Many fans even criticize this version of the character for joking too much, yet others will argue this is perfectly in keeping with the comic iterations.
His Relationship With Gwen
While Gwen Stacey was present in the Raimi movies, this is mostly referring to Peter’s relationship as a whole. Kirsten Dunst played Peter’s love interest, Mary Jane Watson, throughout the original trilogy. Ever since the first film, fans have pointed out that the chemistry just didn’t click all that well. People criticize the choices made by the lead couple that make little to no sense, and them ending up together makes even less sense. With Andrew’s take, many agree the chemistry is much better. This could be due to the fact that the two leads were a couple in real life just like the present Spidey couple Tom Holland and Zendaya, or simply because Gwen was a better-written character than MJ was.
There is no doubt that the Raimi suit is iconic, and some fans go a little too crazy over it. In fact, it may very well be the best live-action Spidey suit. However, it shouldn’t overshadow the suit worn by Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man, especially in the first film. The suit was very different than Tobey Maguire’s yet it was still very much Spider-Man. The suit focused on blue a bit more than other suits, which made the main red pop out quite a bit more. Another nice touch was the yellow eyes, which stood out among the rest of the suit. Peter first donned the suit to go after Ben’s killer and he wanted to scare criminals. The first suit looks a bit more menacing, which works extremely well all things considered.
Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man was able to shoot webs organically from his body as opposed to needing web-shooters. This may not have been comic accurate, but in many ways actually made more sense. The fact Andrew had web-shooters isn’t why they made the list, but it is simply how cool they are. The sound Spider-Man’s webs make is well known, but something about Andrew’s is so satisfying to listen to. On top of that, they emit red light when activated, which just adds to the awesome factor. Fans look forward to Andrew slinging a web simply for satisfaction.
Inspiration for the Suit
When Andrew’s Peter decided to put his powers to good use and go after his uncle’s killer, he had a pretty standard outfit, he didn’t even wear a mask. After a less than successful run-in with some goons, Peter ends up through a roof and land in a wrestling ring. There, he sees a promotion for a wrestler with a familiar-looking mask. This promotion is what inspires Parker to create his Spider-Man outfit. In the Raimi movies, Peter designs the suit on his own. While this may be seen as better, showing the creative side of the character, there wasn’t really much fanfare for the suit. Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man builds up his suit. From him seeing the poster to the full reveal of the final suit, the build-up is fantastic and, as implied before, is more than worth it.
The Raimi movies barely, if at all, mention Peter Parker’s parents. Many fans feel this is positive as the less they know about the character the better. The issue is Spider-Man isn’t a mysterious character, so the parents should have been at least referenced. The Amazing Spider-Man retcons this not only by featuring them but by having them be major players in the story. Their deaths were shrouded in mystery, and the sequel reveals that Richard, Peter’s father, was partly responsible for his son becoming Spider-Man. Some may feel this change to the lore was unnecessary, but in some ways, it is refreshing to see a new spin on the character.
Andrew Acts More Like a High Schooler
Peter Parker is typically a teenager when he first becomes Spider-Man. While all three live-action versions are in high school, Tobey doesn’t exactly look the part. Granted he was supposed to be a bit older than the usual 15, being a senior, but he still looks at the youngest late college. Andrew’s Peter is around 17, and he looks around that old. Peter’s school life isn’t a big part of the 2002 film, as he graduates about halfway through the film. However in TASM, he is a student throughout, so he fittingly looks younger. Andrew perfectly plays the role of an out-of-place teen looking to fit in. This characteristic is a ket trait for Spidey, and Andrew hits it out of the park.
Peter Parker is incredibly smart. This is hinted at several times throughout the Raimi films, as Peter is shown to be top of several classes, and impresses Otto Octavious among other things. However, Peter’s smarts are on full display in TASM. In addition to being shown inventing his web-shooters, Peter is shown holding his own among scientists at Oscorp, having a large hand in creating the formula that transforms Curt Connors into The Lizard, and invents a cure for the same man. Tobey Maguire’s Peter is certainly smart and knows his science, but we never see this in full force outside of some dialogue.
Peter’s Quest For Ben’s Killer
When Tobey’s Peter set off after his uncle’s killer, it didn’t take him any time at all to find him. While certainly a suspenseful scene, many feel Andrew’s was a bit better albeit anti-climactic. The actual confrontation was much better in the original movie because TASM didn’t even show it. After a while, the movie just kind of forgot it and Peter stopped looking for him. However, the actual search is what makes this version great. Peter is very new at this and has yet to find a way to control his emotions. Everyone who fits the description gets interrogated until he knows it isn’t them. One man even receives an ominous warning that things could have gotten worse. The thrill of this hunt comes from the suspense of what Peter will do once he finds the killer.
Saving Kid in Car
Spider-Man resonates with so many fans because he looks out for the little guy. Tobey’s Spider-Man does this extremely well, but there is one scene in TASM that exemplifies this. During The Lizard’s rampage on the bridge, a car with a child inside gets thrown over the edge. Spidey tries to save the kid, and even removes his mask to show him he shouldn’t be afraid. He then tells the kid to put the mask on because it gives him courage. This kind of scene is exactly what the character stands for, and it is proof that Andrew is a fantastic…or better yet….an amazing Spider-Man.