There’s something special about the final movie fight scene in any superhero movie, Spider-Man included. Firstly, it represents the culmination of the film’s conflict – the hero finally uses his resolve to beat the bad guy. Secondly, they tend to be the most intense, showing off the full extent of the villain’s powers. Thirdly, it means the actors get time off – their CGI doubles can do the rest. You must take advantage of a good time off, folks.
Jokes aside, we’re focusing on ranking the best to worst Spider-Man movie fight scenes since we’re hyped about No Way Home. The movie promises to be the most epic Spidey adventure yet, and it’s cool to look back at the epic battles that preceded its own. So, without further ado, equip your web-shooters and don your masks – we’re going into battle.
7) Mysterio (Far From Home, 2019)
Mysterio is a good villain and gamely played by Jake Gyllenhaal. However, Spidey’s final battle against him leaves more to be desired. Visually, it’s cool watching Spider-Man taking on Mysterio’s drones with his best acrobatics, but compared to earlier films, the stakes behind this movie’s fight scene are lacking. Honestly, this is just the nature of Peter’s place in the MCU. In the Cinematic Universe, Peter is established as a low-ranking hero compared to his peers, and his villains likewise feel low-ranking compared to The Amazing and Raimi bunch. That said, it’s incredible to think how much ground the bowl-headed villain laid for Spider-Man: No Way Home.
6) Vulture (Homecoming, 2017)
Peter’s fight against Vulture is better than his showdown with Mysterio in FFH, but that’s not saying much. The MCU fight scenes seemingly suffer from a lack of exhilaration, which previous movie iterations nailed down. Granted, it’s great to see Peter prove himself a hero without his Stark Suit. However, because this scene follows Peter’s defiant emergence from a ton of rubble, it feels underwhelming in comparison.
5) The Lizard (ASM1, 2012)
In terms of his characterization, ASM‘s Lizard isn’t the most exciting villain in the Spidey movies. Even Rhys Ifans, who plays Curt Connors and his scaly alter-ego, expressed disappointment that his character didn’t live up to comics’ counterpart’s dark nature. That said, his final battle with Peter is deliciously dark and tense. At one point, the villain appears to have outmatched Spidey by destroying his web-shooters and restraining him beyond escape. However, last-minute intervention by Captain George Stacy ensures Peter’s survival – even if it means it costs his own life in the process. Brilliantly staged, genuinely ominous, and gorgeously animated, the scene is one of Spidey’s darkest movie showdowns yet.
4) Venom/Sandman (Spider-Man 3, 2007)
Spider-Man 3 isn’t the best Spidey movie, but it’s underrated in many ways. One of these includes the epic final battle between Peter, Venom, and Sandman. Although initially outnumbered, ol’ web-head is joined by Harry Osborn (or ‘New Goblin’ as his official alias underwhelmingly reads), and the two team up to kick some supervillain butt. It’s by no means the best final battle of the Raimi trilogy, but it still makes Sandman look intimidating in his larger form and makes Venom scary in a way Tom Hardy’s movies haven’t achieved. The CGI isn’t overused, and it’s great to see Peter work out the symbiote’s weakness and defeat it for good.
3) Electro/Goblin (Amazing Spider-Man 2, 2014)
No, the fight with Rhino in the last few minutes doesn’t count because we didn’t get to see the whole thing. Instead, let’s look at the real final battle of ASM2, Spidey vs. Electro and Green Goblin. Given that TASM2 is, frankly, a bit of a mess, it’s surprising how decent the final battle is. Electro is a powerful villain, and watching him try to zap his arachnid rival is a visual feast. While the Green Goblin’s addition to the battle is less impressive, Gwen’s death is the saddest ending to any superhero battle ever.
2) Green Goblin (Spider-Man, 2002)
The extraordinary thing about Spider-Man‘s final scuffle is that it’s mostly not CGI. Once Spidey and Goblin begin duking it out in the abandoned building, it’s live-recorded fare, a rarity for the genre nowadays. Yet, despite not employing the CGI tricks of the trade, it doesn’t hold back in tension and vigor. Having Goblin dominate a wounded Spider-Man, successfully countering his every attack, makes for some edge-of-your-seat viewing. The emotions of the scene are heightened by Peter’s ripped mask – we can see his pain as he gets whooped by his nemesis. Yet, it has a moment of heart too – before Spidey inevitably wins, we see him boldly state, “I have a father. His name was Ben Parker”. It’s a final battle that not only doesn’t pull its punches but is also a culmination of Peter’s character arc in the movie.
1) Doc Ock (Spider-Man 2, 2004)
Is it any wonder fans are excited to see Doctor Octopus return in No Way Home? The deranged scientist proves to be a major challenge for Spider-Man as they go head-to-head in his lair. Counteracting the web-slinger’s acrobatic attacks with his mechanical arms, Doc Ock’s battle feels like visual ballet as much as it does a fight. Much like the preceding train fight, the action flows rhythmically, keeping you engaged from start to finish. However, what makes the battle truly special is that Ock actually turns good in the end and sacrifices himself and his dream of nuclear fusion to save the day and redeem himself. It’s stuff like this that makes me miss the heart and soul that were central to Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man movies. But by golly, we can’t wait to see the iconic villain return in Spider-Man: No Way Home.
But alas, this is just one opinion. What are your favorite fight scenes in the Spider-Man movies? Are you as hyped for Spider-Man: No Way Home as we are – and what villains are you most excited to see in the film?