5 things The Amazing Spider-Man does better than Spider-Man Trilogy: TASM vs. SM trilogy
Spider-Man was already a fan favourite character in the Marvel lore even before its animated series and movies were released. But Sam Raimi’s and Mark Webb’s movies furthermore increased its popularity and made this web slinging superhero a sensation in the mainstream media.
The Spider-Man trilogy by Sam Raimi is one of its kind. It redefined and paved the way for the modern superhero genre in the best way possible. The franchise mainly focused on Peter Parker, his life, his struggles and, his dilemma between his personal life and choosing to be Spider-Man. Being Spider-Man took a huge toll on Peter’s life and these 3 movies didn’t hesitate to dive deeper into this aspect. And this makes this trilogy such an impressive feat. Moreover, with some great character development, it gave us some iconic supervillains like Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus.
Look, I’m one of those people who genuinely enjoyed Spider-Man 3. I know the movie had some problems with its plot and characters, but I still had a good time with it. But many people and critics seemed to feel otherwise and due to creative differences with the studio, Sam Raimi opted out of this franchise.
Now Sony, being Sony, had this amazing idea to reboot Spider-Man with a new franchise called as The Amazing Spider-Man. I, for once, really admire Marc Webb’s take and Andrew Garfield’s performance as Spider-Man. Both Sam Raimi and Marc Webb had different visions for Spider-Man and their movies are so distinctive from each other. But the one thing common between both these franchises is that they are very entertaining.
The Amazing Spider-Man movies tried something different with Peter Parker and in some way, they excelled but not without problems in their plot. I’ve discussed all such problems in TASM movie in another article which you can read in the link below:
As I discussed in that article, TASM suffers some major problems with its plot, underdeveloped stories and character development but if you neglect these things, it can be a great watch.
Now, there are many things which Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy does better than Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man movies and if I go and talk about those things, the article would become very long. The trilogy is everyone’s favourite and they can easily list all of its good aspects, but for TASM, same thing cannot be said. The Amazing Spider-Man movies are underratedly good and are not as bad as some people claim them to be. While watching these two movies, I realized there are some aspects which are better than those of the Trilogy. So, to spread some love and appreciation towards the TASM franchise, I’m going to discuss such aspects in this article.
So, I hope your Spider Senses are tingling because we are about to discuss things which The Amazing Spider-Man does better than Spider-Man Trilogy.
The Amazing Spider-Man (Marc Webb’s franchise) vs. Spider-Man Trilogy (Sam Raimi)
1. Web Swinging Scenes
What does someone say when they spot Spider-Man? “THIS GUY SWIIIINGSSSS”. Because that’s what Spider-Man does, he swings. And he swings so excellently and profoundly in The Amazing Spider-Man movies.
There’s literally no denying the fact that TASM hits the ball out of the park with its swinging scenes. Whenever Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man swings in these movies, you know it’s going to be a treat for your eyes. Let it be the ending scene of the first movie or the opening swinging sequence of the second movie, every web slinging scene is so well choreographed with the CGI and VFX being chef’s kiss.
I’m not saying that the swinging scenes in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy are not well done, they are great in their own way. Specifically, I just love this scene, it’s shot so beautifully. But when you compare the web swinging scenes of Spider-Man trilogy with that of The Amazing Spider-Man movies, you’ll find that the latter is superior. Maybe it’s because of the advancement in technology as there’s a gap of 5-10 years between these movies, but I enjoyed the web slinging scenes in TASM a little bit more and I still go back to those scenes.
2. Peter's Parents and the lore behind them
Parents play an important part in everyone’s life and Peter is no different. Look, there are certain things inevitable in the classic Spider-Man story. First, both the parents of Peter Parker would be dead and second, at some point, Uncle Ben would get murdered too, and this has happened in all three cinematic versions of Spider-Man (Sam Raimi’s Trilogy, Marc Webb’s TASM and Jon Watts’ MCU Trilogy)
In Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy, Peter’s parents were only mentioned in few conversations or for indirect references and were not discussed in much depth. I don’t mind this because this paved the way to strengthen the relationship of Peter with his Aunt May and Uncle Ben. But the makers of TASM handled this differently and made Peter’s parents an integral part of the plot.
The opening scene of The Amazing Spider-Man alone sets up the importance and impact Richard and Mary Parker would have in Peter’s life going forward. It was only because of Peter’s father and his research that a normal nerdy guy like him turned into Spider-Man. We learn in the second movie that Richard implanted his own DNA in the spiders, due to which only the people with his DNA would be affected/cured by those spiders. This is why the spider venom didn’t work for Harry Osborn. If the spider had bitten any other person, they would’ve died, but since it bit Peter Parker, it changed his life forever. In a way, you can say that Peter was destined to be Spider-Man. So, I really admire the way this franchise handled Peter Parker’s parent and focused on how they affected his life.
3. VFX, CGI and the Visual Style
This might be a tricky topic due to the technological differences between these movies. I love Sam Raimi’s vision and direction in general, and when you combine that with a satisfactory VFX work, then the movie will do wonders. That’s what happened with the Spider-Man trilogy.
The first scene of Green Goblin in the fair and the scene of Peter Parker with the black suit are so well directed with some adequate CGI BUT in other scenes, the quality of CGI decreases. I mean, in the third movie, there’s a fight sequence between Spider-Man and Harry Osborn’s New Goblin (little Goblin Jr.), and you can clearly figure out that it is computer generated because it seems very adamant and some parts doesn’t look real. There are even more scenes in this franchise where CGI could have been better.
But in The Amazing Spider-Man movies, the VFX and CGI are sublime. Every shot looks insanely beautiful with top-notch cinematography. These are one of those movies, which you can pause at any moment, take a screenshot and that certainly will be wallpaper worthy. The scenes, though computer generated, looked aesthetic & real. Sony Pictures Imageworks was responsible for this department and you can clearly see the improvement it has made from the trilogy. The artists even managed to hit a bullseye with the Spider-Man poses and his swinging scenes. So, after 8-10 years of their release, the TASM movies still have one of the best visual effects from all the Spider-Man movies.
4. Spider-Man and his Suits
I always say this, Sam Raimi’s trilogy was more about Peter Parker than Spider-Man. Those movies focused mainly on Peter, his life, his struggles and his dilemma and these are the reasons as to why this trilogy is one of the best. Raimi makes us connect with Peter Parker and we still can easily understand the ambiguity in Peter’s life even without any superpowers.
But, on the other hand, The Amazing Spider-Man leaned towards the Spider-Man aspect of Peter’s life. The disappearance of his parents plays a big role in his personal life, but that too is used to make him a superhero. If it wasn’t for his father, he wouldn’t have gone to Oscorp Industries where that spider bit him. Marc Webb and the screenwriters made sure to add some elements in this franchise to distinguish it from the previous Spider-Man trilogy.
Vengeance was the thing which drove Peter to take this moniker. His primary motive was to find Uncle Ben’s shooter, but when he saw that his city was in a need of such superhumans, he started to become the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man as we know him now. The driving factor of this movie was undoubtedly Andrew Garfield. He delivers an applaudable performance and portrays Spider-Man with such ease and efficiency.
One more thing which TASM does better than the SM trilogy is its suits. The suits from both movies look so magnificent on screen and the suit revealing scene from the first movie still gives me goosebumps. This franchise tried to be a bit more grounded than the trilogy and the suits contemplate that well. With bright colors and enlarged eyes, the comic accuracy of these suits was never out of the question. Even the tiniest details of the suits and how they are affected during the fight sequences & swinging scenes are so carefully designed. You can clearly see the passion and the admirable work of the design department in these 2 main spidey suits.
5. Peter Parker's Spider-Sense Ability
Spider-Sense (or Peter Tingle in MCU) plays a huge role in the life of Spider-Man. If it wasn’t for his spider-sense, Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker would have died by Green Goblin’s glider. Raimi depicts this spider sense in such an efficient way. His direction and visual style were exceptionally good in the corridor scene with Flash Thompson. But later in the franchise, it seemed like that the makers just forgot about the Spider-Sense. There were many fights where this sense would have given Peter an upper hand, but alas! It did the Hulk thing (Infinity War) and never came to fruition when needed.
The Amazing Spider-Man proved to me that Marc Webb is a talented director. He just needs a better script to work with. In the second movie, the Times Square action sequence perfectly utilizes Marc’s incredible style and the skills of the VFX department. The spider-sense integration in the same scene is easily one of my favourite moments from the film.
Even in the train (first movie), where Peter first discovers/uses his power, the essence of Spider-Sense is captured so effectively. Add to that the amazing performance by Andrew Garfield and the scene you get would be elite. There are some scenes in this franchise too, where Spider-Sense doesn’t work when it’s needed but the frequency is less. So yes, according to me both the movie understood this ability of Peter Parker and presented in different ways, but TASM used it well than the Spider-Man Trilogy.
So, both movies of The Amazing Spider-Man might not be excellent, but still, they bring their own fun. The idea behind this franchise was admirable and with a good writing, it had potential but alas! Reality can be often disappointing. Still, it has its own positive aspects and can be a very fun watch.
Each Spider-Man franchise brings something new and different to the plate and I hope we keep seeing such incredible variation and characterization of Peter Parker and his alter self in much more depth in the upcoming movies.
Spider-Man is a fabulous character and after No Way Home, MCU’s Peter Parker’s life is completely changed. I cannot wait to see what Sony and Marvel have in store for this web slinging superhero, but no matter what, our love for the Human Spider shall never die. Thanks a lot for reading and I hope you have an excellent 2022 because we superhero fans are in for some epic movies.