One of the best things about the friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man is his super cool rogues gallery. From the Green Goblin to Carnage he has one of the best rosters of baddies in comics. With the release of Spider-Man: Homecoming we have a live action version of Adrian Toomes/The Vulture played by Michael Keaton.
But how does Keaton’s big bad compare to other Spidey villains we have seen on the big screen? Well redmangoreviews is going to count them all down! SPOILER ALERT for everything up to Amazing Spider-Man 2.
#9 Venom (Topher Grace), Spider-Man 3
One of the worst parts in the WORST Spider-Man film ever was Venom. Taking a fan favorite villain and giving him barely any screen time and a dumb characterisation was a real slap in the face to fans. We needed more time to develop the character of Eddie Brock and make his hate of Spidey more believable, and definitely a whole lot more time with Venom making Peter’s life a living hell. For how to do this right look no further than the animated series The Spectacular Spider-Man.
#8 Rhino (Paul Giamatti), The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Now Paul Giamatti is a fantastic actor and I adored him in comedy-drama Sideways but this shouting angry role was ridiculous. Now the comic character is a guy in a rhino suit so I did not mind them going the robotic route, but the costume just looks ugly and we barely get to see it in action. Such a waste.
#7 Sandman (Thomas Haden Church), Spider-Man 3
Giamatti’s Sideways alum did not fare much better as the shape-shifting Sandman. Sure the effects looked great but the character was as dull as mud and really undeveloped, a symptom of cramming in too many villains and plots into one movie. Haden Church as Sandman was another waste of good acting talent.
#6 Harry Osborn Green Goblin (Dane DeHaan), The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Now I enjoyed DeHaan as the brooding Harry Osborn but his transformation into Goblin took too many illogical leaps. As a villain he is cackling but not threatening and uninteresting. And the makeup makes him look like he is trying out for Leprechaun X: Leprechaun in Space Again.
#5 Electro (Jamie Foxx), The Amazing Spider-Man 2
There seems to be a trend of good actors getting the short end of the stick playing Spidey villains. Foxx is an Academy Award-winning actor and is most talented. But he does not get to do much playing the bumbling Max Dillon or the generic one liner spouting baddie Electro, whose motivation is as flimsy as cobweb. Though like Sandman at least he is visually interesting. And the origin of having him fall into a vat with electric eels may work in comics but did not translate well in film at all.
#4 The Lizard (Rhys Ifans), The Amazing Spider-Man
With our final four baddies things do start to get better. I enjoyed Ifans’ turn as Dr Curt Connors and his descent into madness via his formula. And as the Lizard he is a formidable match for Spidey delivering some thrilling fight scenes.
#3 Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe), Spider-Man
With a face like Dafoe’s you were born to play a villain and as Norman Osborn/Green Goblin he certainly has a fun time playing the maniacal baddie. His variety of weapons and his armed glider certainly gives Spidey heaps of trouble and great action for fans. The character does come off a bit cheesy at certain points though, so that is why he only gets the bronze.
#2 The Vulture (Michael Keaton), Spider-Man: Homecoming
We have seen Michael Keaton as Batman and as Birdman so by filmogrpahy alone he should play the Vulture. All joking aside Keaton is awesome as high tech weapons dealer Adrian Toomes. While other Spidey villains have been over the top his Vulture is a much more grounded, realistic character with the most basic of motivations. As Toomes he is delightfully dark and intimidating and in the Vulture suit he looks brilliant, even better than the character looked in the comic. The original character is not the most interesting of Spidey’s rogues but Keaton’s iteration is intriguing and entertaining throughout.
#1 Dr Octopus (Alfred Molina), Spider-Man 2
Was there ever any doubt? Spider-Man 2 is one of the best superhero movies of all time and a huge part of that is because of Molina’s performance. As Otto Octavius he plays a brilliant scientist, loving husband and mentor figure for Peter Parker. As Dr Octopus he is a mad, menacing monster who puts Spidey through his paces and then some. The fight scenes at the bank and on board the train are some of the greatest superhero action ever put to film. But the main reason he is number one is because Molina delivers a rounded and flawed character that the audience can empathise with and root against. Definitely number one.
So who is your favorite Spidey movie villain? Feel free to comment below.