Swinging, Web-Slinging, and Occasionally Dancing: The Cinematic Saga of Spider-Man

Six films, three Spideys, and the rebirth of an American icon.
By  · Published on July 7th, 2017

Six films, three Spideys, and the rebirth of an American icon.

It’s hard to believe, for me at least, that it’s only been 15 years since the first live-action Spider-Man film. The character is so iconic and so uniquely American it feels like he’s been swinging on screen for decades now. But, no, so far five films are all we’ve gotten, three from Sam Raimi starring Tobey Maguire as ol’ webhead, then two from Marc Webb starring Andrew Garfield in the role. Of these five films, two were good (Raimi’s first two), one was okay (Webb’s first) and two were downright terrible (Raimi and Webb’s last).

But now there’s Jon Watts’ Spider-Man: Homecoming, which according to critical and fan reactions is the best incarnation of the character yet, one that balances the boyish charm of Peter Parker with the lighthearted humor of the comics as well as the coming-of-age aspects of the Spider-Man mythos. It’s not only the apex of the Spider flicks until now, it is the beginning of a bold new character arc that looks to reinvent the character for the big screen not unlike the way Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy reinvented Batman after the Schumacher kerfuffles.

To both celebrate Homecoming and memorialize the Spidey saga until now, editor Sergio Rojo has combined clips from all five previous films as well as some scenes from the Homecoming trailers to trace the cinematic evolution of everyone’s friendly neighborhood superhero. Check it out before you head to the theater this weekend, and count your lucky stars there’s no dancing this time around.

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