Ok, as expected Spidey2 got the upper hand in the poll. That was actually the obvious result and i'm not surprised in the least. Spidey2 has two important things that Homecoming doesn't have: a bucketload of nostalgia and a very important place in the history of superhero movies.
My analysis of both movies was made by a stand point where nostalgia was thrown out of the window and where Spidey2 was in a "vacuum in time": basically i didn't count the fact that it's a really important and influential movie in the grand scheme of things (at least for superhero movies in general). I was trying to be as objective as possible with both movies. So what's my result?
I actually thought long and hard about this and i came up with a really anticlimactic answer: they both have the same level of quality but in different places. I know that sounds weird but let me explain.
It's the best movie from a technical stand point. The soundtrack is amazing and the directing is fucking on point, there are lots of scenes that are shot in very dynamic and interesting ways, the entire battle scene on the subway is still a fucking marvel (pun intended) to watch. Also the movie likes to take advantage of the physicality of the actors, especially Tobey Maguire: when he gets hit on scene you FEEL IT. That's actually something to be expected from Sam Raimi since he likes to do this kind of shit with his actors (just ask Bruce Campbell, he has lots of stories about that topic).
Where are the negatives then? The script. It has some pretty memorable lines and everything J. K. Simmons says is fucking gold as usual, but the way the plot flows and how some characters act doesn't really make sense in the grand scheme of things. Example: Peter's powers disappearing. They never really go into detail about that. They just say "oh it's because you're kinda depressed or you don't know what you want", ok so does that mean that peter's powers are tied directly to his emotional state? How and why? Can that happen again? Is it just a matter of not feeling like being spiderman after a bad weekend? Also Peter just need a talk with Aunt May to get over it. Mhmh. So they can just come back THAT quickly and easily? Sure ok.
Another issue the movie has is the internal logic of Dr. Octo
gonapus.Technically speaking he's a waaaaaaaay better character in the movie than in the comics: he's a world renowned scientist, he has a beautiful and loving marriage with a wife that shares his interests and job and he's interested in various things outside science (like art and poetry). Man, this guy is really amazing. He really doesn't have any negatives at all.
...Wait, how is he our villain if he has no negatives at all? He's too much of a good guy to be a villain. And the "oh the tentacles did it" is not a good excuse. It's actually pretty goofy and lame. I always laugh at the scenes where he's talking with the tentacles because he feels like Jim Henson talking to Kermit the frog. AND NOW I CAN'T STOP IMAGINING THE TENTACLES TALKING TO HIM WITH A KERMIT VOICE.
See, the point of his character is that the tentacles should have pushed him to reveal his inner dark side, especially because of the broken state of mind he was in. Problem is, we're never shown hints of his dark side when he's normal. NORMAN OSBORN HAD THAT. IN THE LAST MOVIE. THEY HANDED THAT IN A MORE GOOFY WAY BUT BETTER. So in the case of Otto it just comes out of nowhere. Also don't bullshit me by saying again "the tentacles", because Otto takes the initiative and does really evil shit on his own without the tentacles being like "HEY DO THAT". It's shown that Otto can communicate with the tentacles only if he talks to them as if they're people around him, so a lot of evil actions he does during action scenes are made on his own. There are a lot of good ideas here but it feels like they just decided to go with all of them without considering how that would influence the internal logic of the plot. And it's kind of a shame.
ANOTHER ISSUE WITH THE SCRIPT IS the moral. The entire point of the movie is for Peter to grow up and stop himself from forcing his way through both spiderman shit and regular life shit. He needs to let go of people if he wants to be spiderman, because being spiderman will make those people suffer. That's why at the end of the movie he's like "Mj i won't stop being spiderman so i'd rather you be happy without me instead of being sad and stuck with me". That was a really adult thing to say and follows the entire arc Peter has been having for the whole movie. But then the ending is like "nah screw that, you get the chick anyway". So yeah the entire thing was pointless? Nais.
Last issue, and this is the most obvious one: Mary Jane. Because Mary Jane. I don't really have to add anything more. You guys know. I know. She was better in Jumanji anyway.
Oh boy here we go. Let's follow the same order of business i used for spidey2.
Homecoming is a less impressive movie from a technical stand point. The soundtrack is very meh with no real interesting tracks. The only interesting track is their re-use of the 60s spiderman theme but that's cheating because it's not made for the movie. Also the directing is very "marvel standard". Nothing special about it, it looks like decent action movie directing. It's just ok.
On the other hand.
I love the atmosphere the movie has and how it treats the character. Not because it's more faithful to the comics. Spider-man is technically a b-lister in the marvel universe. He's just extremely popular in the pop culture. He's not the strongest and he's not the best superhero. He's kind of a loser who's there for the everyman, he's a street hero. It's more natural for him to have threats that don't need to end with the destruction of an entire city or the world. And this movie conveyed that really well.
Also the script is a lot tighter. Except nitpicky shit here and there (LIKE, REALLY NITPICKY) i really couldn't come up with a glaring issue with the script.
This script follows a concept similar to Spidey2's script: responsability and maturity. The difference here is that this Spidey is literally a Rookie. In general. He's extremely young and extremely new to the superhero business, so of course he's going to make dumb mistakes and get into things that are way over his head. Pete initially wants to stop the Vulture because it will save people yes, but mostly because it will impress Stark. That's why he takes the wrong decisions and keeps using a direct approach instead of trying to get in contact with someone who could help him a lot more, it's all a matter of making Stark see how good you are. And that just puts people in danger more. When Peter realizes that, he still decides to stop the Vulture but not because he wants to impress people. Now he's 100% sure that's the right thing to do and he should do it exclusively because of that. He doesn't even know WHAT the Vulture plans to do until HE'S THERE to stop him. So even if the Vulture wasn't planning on stealing Stark's bullshit he would have stopped him regardless. And this growth in character is reinforced by the last scene where Peter declines the offer of being a full-time Avenger. He recognized the fact that he hasn't really earned that, not yet, and that he should do what he's doing not for personal gain but for other people. Homecoming doesn't skimp out on its own theme or moral.
The villain is shown to have negatives from the very beginning and his development as a character feel more natural. Also he's menacing as hell, Michael Keaton will straight up slash your ass boy. Don't mess with him. Also he's amazing how well they managed to make the Vulture not only cool, but a good character. You can understand why he's doing what he's doing and he doesn't have the "i'm craaazazy" excuse. Good design, amazing actor, good personality and menacing as fuck. He's the whole package.
The love interest - Liz Allen is not as insufferable as Mary Jane. She's not that interesting but she's enough of a character for me to kinda feel something about her that is not annoyance. She was there mostly to be a fake out for the audience and to give that fantastic plot-twist near the end of the movie. Also to give Keaton all the info he needed to understand who Spidey was. She was fine.
And that's it, that's why i think both movies are around the same level of quality and it's mostly a matter of personal taste. Before starting this experiment i expected Spiderman 2 to win hands down but i was surprised to see how many flaws i could find in the movie. That helped Homecoming a lot. I personally can't choose between the 2 because everytime i think of a new good thing for one of the movies, i also think of another good thing of the other that balances them out again in my mind. It's hard. But i'm glad that we have a new, good quality spiderman movie. This should be celebrated regardless. Now let's hope the Venom movie fails miserably so we can have him back to Marvel too.