Spider-Man: A Brief Cinematic History

By Michael Sweeney

The latest installment of Spider-Man is out now. To mark the newest arrival of the Stan Lee created super hero, the Strathclyde Telegraph has decided to give a quick run-down of the top three movies which have been previously released involving the arachnid man. We will also be giving readers and fans a brief insight of what to expect before seeing ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’. So if your Spider-Man trivia isn’t up to scratch, or you are at a loss to the hero’s history, check this out!

Spider-Man (2002)
First up is the opening chapter of the Sam Raimi trilogy on the comic book hero, ‘Spider-Man’ which was released in 2002. Toby McGuire stars as geeky teen Peter Parker, whose life is transformed after being bitten by a scientifically enhanced spider on a visit to a laboratory. His new found powers plunge him into conflict with Norman Osbourne (Green Goblin), a rogue scientist on a path of destruction. Parker eventually defeats Osbourne after a tense and desperate struggle. In the aftermath, Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst) reveals her love for Peter, who has resolved to place his duties as Spider-man above all else. Peter’s friend Harry (Norman’s son), has also vowed revenge on Spider-man, who he believes is responsible for his father’s death.

Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Peter faces a new foe in the form of Doctor Octopus, a former scientist with enhanced artificial tentacles gained from a failed experiment and surgery gone wrong. Parker also must contend with the emotional distress of his sweetheart Mary Jane departing him for John Jameson. Harry strikes a deal with Octopus to deliver him Spider-Man in exchange for energy for Octopus’s nuclear reactor. Upon realising Spider-Man’s true identity, Harry is unable to carry through with taking revenge and instead directs Peter to Octopus. Peter and Octopus fight with close to exploding nuclear reactor alongside them. Having been defeated, Octopus sacrifices himself to prevent the reactor exploding as a penance for his past deeds. Jane leaves John and returns to Peter. Harry is visited by the ghost of his father who implores him to avenge his death.

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
In this reboot, Andrew Garfield plays the troubled high schooler Peter Parker. Peter is given his powers after being bitten by a scientifically enhanced spider after sneaking into the Oscorp Laboratory to find out more about his father. He meets Dr Connors, a former colleague of his father and gives him his father’s key findings relating to limb regeneration. Facing pressure from his superior Dr- Ratha to conduct human trials, Connors uses the limb generation therapy on himself and develops into a mutated lizard (The Lizard). Connors embarks on a violent rampage and aims to inflict the same lizard-like disease on the rest of the world through the release of a chemical gas. Peter foils this plot through the release of an antidote which turns Connors back to his original human form. Connors is placed in jail and Peter reconnects Gwen (Emma Stone), despite the request of her dying father.

What do we know about the newest addition to the Spider-Man series? This time around, Peter Parker will be played by Tom Holland, known for his performance in the disaster thriller ‘The Impossible’ and Oscar winner Marisa Tomei (‘My Cousin Vinny’) as Peter’s aunt, May Parker. Cinema goers and fans of the Marvel Universe have already witnessed Holland and Tomei in their respective roles after both appeared in last year’s Captain America: Civil War. Holland won a Saturn Award for Best Young Actor for his performance.

Without revealing the plot, initial reviews are overwhelmingly positive. Benjamin Lee of The Guardian has awarded the movie four stars and has praised the detail and intelligence of the script. Lee also praises the ability of Holland and his fellow cast members to appeal and connect with the audience on a meaningful level throughout the movie.

‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ is out now.