‘Amazing Spider-Man’ Reviews In: How Do Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire’s Spideys Stack Up?

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Ten years ago, Tobey Maguire starred as Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man, in the big screen version of the popular comic book franchise. Now the franchise’s reboot has officially hit theaters.

Starring The Social Network‘s Andrew Garfield as Spidey and Easy A actress Emma Stone as his love interest Gwen Stacy, The Amazing Spider-Man is receiving lukewarm reviews, earning only 75% on Rotten Tomatoes.

The first film in director Sam Raimi‘s Spider-Man trilogy was released in May 2002, and completely shattered box office records by earning $114 million in its first weekend alone, a number that was unheard of at the time. According to The Hollywood Reporter, The Amazing Spider-Man is expected to earn anywhere from $110-$120 million for its opening weekend — the movie has already raked in $7.5 million during midnight screenings — which is actually rather modest for a franchise.

But how does The Amazing Spider-Man stack up to the first Spider-Man when it comes to movie reviews?


In comparison to The Amazing Spider-Man aforementioned 75% score on Rotten Tomatoes, Maguire’s web-slinging turn as the comic book hero in 2002 earned a strong 89%.


Spider-Man 2002: When New York Times critic A.O. Scott reviewedSpider-Man in 2002, he said “the filmmakers have succeeded in rejuvenating the character while staying faithful to his roots,” however, he wasn’t as impressed with the action scenes. Scott mentioned, “Oddly enough, the ground-level action in ”Spider-Man’ is much more entertaining than the explosive, computer-enhanced acrobatics overhead, most of which looks thin and unreal.” He also praised J.K. Simmons performance as newspaper editor J. Jonah Jameson and said that director Raimi “is a master of pop realism, unafraid of easy jokes and corny sentiment and willing to give the actors room to find moments of offhand wit and genuine tenderness.”

Amazing Spider-Man 2012: For the film’s reboot, New York Times film critic Manohla Dargis reviewed the flick, and referred to Garfield as having “likeablilty,” and added Stone has “natural appeal.” Also, she feels that the main reason the film “works” is because director Marc Webb “keeps the whole package, at least until the requisite final blowout, tethered to his two appealing leads.” However, when it comes down to it, Dargis said the two films are just too similar, adding “Yet despite this and the snazzier special effects, so much looks, sounds, feels the same, even in Imax and 3-D.”


Spider-Man 2002: In Owen Gleiberman‘s 2002 review of Spider-Man, he gave the comic book turned film a B rating, saying the movie “sucks you right in,” but not until after Maguire’s character is bitten by a genetically enhanced spider. Gleiberman referred to the blockbuster as “an adventure in vicarious acrobatic daredeviltry,” but also added it’s a “lightweight movie with little visual style apart from the creation of Spider-Man himself.” However, Gleiberman is a fan of Maguire, adding he “makes it easy to root for him,” but left his review on a bit of a sour note, saying the film is “a canny franchise escapade; it gets the job done. But it also leaves you hungry for something more, and I don’t necessarily mean the next episode.”

The Amazing Spider-Man 2012: This time around, EW film critic Lisa Schwarzbaum was tasked with reviewingThe Amazing Spider-Man, and gave the reboot a strong A-. Though Gleiberman said he wasn’t sucked into the movie until at least half an hour in, Schwarzbaum claims the movie grabbed her attention within the first five minutes, saying she was “bitten” with “pleasure.” Schwarzbaum also said that the reboot is more centered on “human relations” than “special effects.” Also, she praised Garfield and Stone, referring to them as “effortlessly winning” and “irresistible,” respectively.


Spider-Man 2002: Los Angeles Times film critic Kenneth Turan wasn’t the biggest fan of the film, rating it at a 70%. He said, “‘Spider-Man’ may look like an action comic come to life, but its best feature is its romance comic heart. It’s that rare cartoon movie in which the villain is less involving than the love story.”

The Amazing Spider-Man 2012: Again, Los Angeles Times critic Turan was the man for the job when it came to reviewing the reboot, and had much more positive things to say the second time around. Turan said, “The new superhero movie is at its best” but added “it’s too long and sometimes dips below ‘amazing.'”


Spider-Man 2002: Rolling Stone film critic Peter Travers was a big fan of the 2002 flick, saying “Maguire and Dunst keep Spider-Man on a high with their sweet-sexy yearning, spinning a web of dazzle and delicacy that might just restore the good name of movie escapism.”

The Amazing Spider-Man 2012: Travers’ review of the film’s reboot is positive overall, but said it’s “very similar to last Spidey franchise,” and mentioned, “Am I saying The Amazing Spider-Man is bad?  No. I’m just saying, ‘why did we need it?'”

Will you be seeing The Amazing Spider-Man now that it’s out in theaters? Sound off in the comments.